No, Virginia, there will be no tethering on Windows Phone

On last week’s Windows Weekly, Brandon Watson mentioned that tethering support in Windows Phone would be dependent on the wireless carriers. This is, unfortunately, incorrect. (Which is good for me, in a way, since I wrote in the book that there is no tethering support in Windows Phone.) But it’s been picked up on various blogs.

To be clear: Windows Phone 7 does not support tethering at all.

The intention is to add this capability over time, of course. But it’s not there for v1.

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13 Responses to No, Virginia, there will be no tethering on Windows Phone

  1. gimletboy says:

    Wow, that is unfortunate. Would you categorize this like copy and paste? I can see copy and paste as being at or near the top of the To-Do list if for nothing more than marketing reasons. Do you see tethering or mobile hot-spot being top of the list type updates.

    I don’t use tethering now, but I would use the mobile hot-spot feature. Seems like a must have feature for a new system that intends to compete head to head with Android.


    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Yes, I think this is a necessary feature and was told they’d be adding it.

      • romit says:

        Is there any sense is looking at the live essentials, IE9 and office web apps teams to get an idea of the iterations that we can expect on WP7 development?

  2. Mike Cerm says:

    I wouldn’t say that lacking this feature is a platform-killer; after all, there are plenty of people who survive without tethering of any kind on iPhone. Unfortunately, for me, this does make WP7 a non-starter.

    A free Wi-Fi tethering option (sorry carriers, I won’t pay extortion money for features built into the operating system), actually makes paying for data on a smartphone worth the cost, and is a necessary thing for me. This is one thing that I liked about my old WM6 phone, and I use Mobile Hotspot on my Palm Pre all the time now.

    So, I guess I’ll be waiting for WP8 (or 7.1). I do want a Windows Phone, but it sounds like it won’t do any of the stuff that I need most (calendar and tethering) until mid-2011. I just hope that enough people adopt the platform between now and then to keep Microsoft motivated to develop something that I can use.

  3. gimletboy says:

    I, like most others here I suspect, have been anticipating getting this product since the original announcement. It seems like switching right off the bat will be something of a downgrade feature wise from my iPhone 3GS. Now of course that is to be expected switching from a mature platform to an entirely new platform.

    It’s funny, since that announcement I have been telling people that it will be my next phone and I will ditch the iPhone at that time. Apple has thus far released nothing that has changed my mind. I just really hope things like tethering or mobile hot-spots are software upgrades. Otherwise, it is awfully hard to resist products like the Droid X or their successors.


  4. gpsarakis says:

    Most people who just buy the phone for the phone don’t use this feature do they? I see it as something lower on the list compared to C/P for example, but that’s just me. You really do have to wonder what sorta user data/market data MS has collected that has went into the choices of what is left out and what has made it into this first version.

    Whatever the case my be, the marketing problem is clear, it’s another things that’s in the “does not have/do” catagory that Android and iPhone can attack you with, the faster that list gets cut down the better for MS’s plans. And any long term plans they often have don’t mean jack if you can’t get a good foot hold into the market from the start. I also want a WP7 and tethering not being in there doesn’t bother me, but it does hurt all around when you try to market a phone to people.

    The new UI, Zune and Xbox can only carry it so far before people start to notice the areas it falls short in.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      We could spend a lot of time debating the “should they have done xxx?” stuff. The question, I think, is “when” they will add this stuff. If the answer isn’t “quickly,” then they’re going to have a problem. I hope they do the right thing. I think they will.

      • gpsarakis says:

        You’re right, and I think they’re also more or less forced to move quick with WP7 instead of falling into some 6-12 month type of long cycle which tries to bing one big update.

        Have you noticed how MS moving IE9 to it’s 8 week dev cycle made Google shift Chrome down to 6 weeks? I think the reverse is going to happen in this case, Android gets a update how often? 2-4 months? MS will have to match this imo.

  5. sk says:

    I was thinking of getting a phone, but lately there’s been a lot of talk about the negative features. Android seems to be the platform of the future (something that Paul agrees with as well). WP7 looks like it’s going to be a huge failure for Microsoft, at least based on recent coverage.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I don’t see it that way. I think Android is and will continue to be the number one smart phone platform. But it’s not like Android is going to own 80 percent of the market. It will be split with iPhone and Windows Phone, in my opinion, and a fourth “other” category (RIM, Nokia, whatever). There’s plenty of users/money to go around. WP will definitely be part of it.

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