Windows Phone 7’s Killer Feature is Free USB Tethering [Updated with New Info]

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Update: Looks like Richard Dudley mentioned in the story may have jumped the gun in announcing the tethering feature on Twitter. He has since retracted his initial tweet, stating: “Correction to #WP7 tethering–that is not official, may not happen. I misunderstood a discussion. Tweet removed. My apologies.”

Microsoft evangelist Richard Dudley has tweeted from an official Microsoft event that a nice built-in feature with Windows Phone 7 is the inclusion of free USB tethering, an option that would have cost extra with other smartphone platforms on most carriers, at least here in the U.S. According to Dudley, “Official Word — Windows Phone 7 will support USB tethering, carriers can NOT charge extra, above the data plan.”

Tethering was first popularized on smartphones with Verizon Wireless offering the functionality on the Palm Pre Plus. Since then, various different Android handsets from Verizon Wireless and Sprint have had a mobile hotspot app, negating the need for a dedicated USB modem or MiFi-like device. However, those hotspot features cost extra, though you can share your mobile broadband connection with multiple other devices via WiFi whereas USB tethering will help to preserve battery life but will limit your tethering capability to a single USB laptop or computer.

In the U.S., Windows Phone 7’s free tethering may come with a bit of hurt, especially considering AT&T‘s premier Windows Phone 7 carrier partner status and the carrier’s limited data plan options.

In the past, Windows Mobile had supported tethering in unofficial third-party apps, such as WMWiFiRouter and the built-in HTC utility.

(via: MobileCrunch and WMPU)

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About The Author
Chuong Nguyen