No tethering for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 7 won't act as a hot spot, after all.

A Microsoft official recently suggested that it would be up to mobile carriers whether to allow so-called "tethering", but Microsoft confirmed to CNET on Friday that Windows Phone 7 doesn't support the feature at all. Microsoft won't say if future versions might allow for tethering.

Windows Phone 7

Despite some comments to the contrary, Windows Phone 7 won't support tethering when it goes on sale next month. (Credit: Bonnie Cha/CNET)

It's another technical limitation for Microsoft's re-entry into the phone market, adding to a list of features supported on other platforms including full multitasking and copy/paste functionality.

It remains to be seen how large the impact will be from the other missing technical features. Tethering one's phone to allow computers internet access is a powerful, but niche use for the phone. Android and Palm support it. The iPhone has supported tethering for some time.

As for its other limitations, copy and paste are features I use all the time and ones that Apple was lambasted for not having in its early days. Windows Phone allows for limited multitasking, such as playing music and running an application or using the calendar while talking on the phone, but the operating system doesn't allow the full multitasking found on other smartphones.

There is no doubt that those looking for the most technically powerful device will have reason to pause before picking Windows Phone 7. However — and this is the unusual thing for Microsoft — the early adopter isn't really the target customer for Windows Phone 7. The company appears to be aiming for the masses and may have hit its mark, even if it left some useful features on the chopping block.

Having used the phone as an everyday device for the last couple of months, it has proven elegant and reliable, if lacking in the aforementioned technical areas. It'll be very curious to see what mainstream consumers make of the phones when they hit the market.

And we won't have to wait much longer. After years of development, Microsoft wrapped up development of Windows Phone 7 at the beginning of the month and plans to tout it at an 11 October event in New York. Devices are set to go on sale, at least in Europe, later that month, with US availability likely by early November.

No date has yet been announced for an Australian release.


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gregd01 posted a comment   

Without a tethering option on the W7 it looks like I'll be buying an EVO.


Auntie Beryll posted a comment   

Right. so will I be able to listen to the radio whilst composing and sending a text message?
If not that really would be pants...


ds posted a comment   

My understanding is that the reason for not supporting multitasking (in the technical sense) is that there is a battery life risk, particularly when apps aren't written properly. There are a few techniques though for writing apps so that they store their state it looks like you're multi-tasking. What a lot of people think of as 'multitasking' can be handled in this way. It is when you need the program to be chugging away in the background that you need multitasking and then that background programs chews battery life whilst doing so.

I'm happy with my iPhone but curious about Win7 and didn't have to dig far to see that there might be another side to the multitasking discussion.


damez posted a comment   

Having android with the ability to wirelessly tether is such a boon for me; simply would not choose a a mobile o/s without it moving forwards.


sgio posted a comment   

Worldwide it will be available 1st in Australia October 21


Lamboman007 posted a reply   

Can you tell us where you got this info from?

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