Update: Microsoft reached out to us with this comment regarding tethering on Windows Phone 7: “Windows Phone 7 does not support tethering.”
After a premature leak, which has since been retracted, saying that tethering will be enabled on all Windows Phone 7 smartphones upon release, we’re now hearing updated information regarding the thorny issue that usually has carriers reacting cautiously and users excited if it happens. Reports are coming in saying that tethering will be supported by the Microsoft mobile operating system, but it will be up to carriers to enable the feature, which sounds a lot like the approach Apple has taken with iOS–which has taken AT&T many months to enable the feature despite an early announcement by the Cupertino, California smartphone maker–and Google with Android, which has seen very limited deployment of tethering on Froyo. Instead, we’re seeing carriers taking the capitalistic approach, asking users to fork over money to use the carrier-powered mobile hotspot app, which requires a monthly surcharge for the privilege of sharing your unlimited or limited mobile broadband connection with other devices. The news of tethering on Windows Phone 7 was reported by WMExperts, which spotted a Brandon Watson, a Windows Phone VP, mentioning the carrier discretion on a TWiT.tv Windows weekly podcast.