We were worried (actually complaining) about Windows Phone Mango and how it still misses tethering support when more and more people are looking at this feature as a must.
On the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Matt Bencke from Microsoft answered a worried reader’s comment as follows: “Tethering, in the past was something that we managed independently of the Mobile Operators (e.g. AT&T, Orange, Verizon). In recent years, the Mobile Operators have now taken ownership of this functionality x-all platforms (e.g. our competitors as well as us). We are continually working with them and our OEM partners to enable this functionality for our devices, but at this time there isn’t an announcement that we’ve made in regards to rolling out this feature. Stay Tuned!”
Long story short, there is no tethering in Mango. Reason: carriers. We’ve heard a similar report back in the day, way before the actual launch of Windows Phone 7. Truth is that tethering is really tied to the carrier and, as we’ve recently seen on other platforms, network operators are “hunting down” users who tether without a plan.
But what if you have a contact with a data and tethering plan and you, for whatever reason, want to shove that SIM in your unlocked Windows Phone? Surely some would say that tethering might be available as a carrier application pre-installed on your smartphone at purchase but many people own unlocked, carrier-independent smartphones which they bought for a reason. One such reason would be the independence and ability to use any SIM card of any operator (happening more in Europe, but still).
Microsoft should take Apple’s approach (even though it took Cupertino all the way to iOS 4.3 to implement tethering support). No offering a feature — especially a highly demanded one — will put anyone behind the competition and that’s not the place Redmond wants to be.