Director of Windows Phone 7 Confirms Tethering Support (Update: Not at Launch)

Following on the heels of the rumors last week regarding tethering support, Microsoft’s Director for Windows Phone 7 (Brandon Watson) announced on the Windows Weekly Podcast (at 1:05:40) that tethering will be supported at launch, but it will be up to the carrier whether it is enabled or not.

This is definitely more in line with what we would have expected, even if it is a little disappointing. What say you? Is tethering one of those key features you were hoping for?

Update: Apparently, Mr. Watson misspoke. According to Paul Thurrot (who was also on the Windows Weekly Podcast), tethering will not be available at launch, but will be a feature added in the future. Thanks monomer!

[via Twitter]

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Heh, you just got around to hearing this podcast? I mean it is from last week.
  • Unfortunately, I don't have time to listen to all of the podcasts that I would like to. Windows Weekly is probably #6 on my top 5. :/
  • This is not a factory kit! It looks, sounds and works a little different, although quite seamlessly.
    Parking Sensors
  • Anybody heard anything about the ability to use the phone as a wifi-router?
  • Have not, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • When our cable based ISP service has a service disruption...tethering would be an invaluable option for me. I'm not going to buy a separate dongle or SIM card if I need it so infrequently.
  • Great! Although it will cost extra for data you are already paying for. I prefer WMWifiRouter! :)
  • Whether you tether via bluetooth or usb or it acts as a WMWifirouter, you're still going to be using your cellular data. And your carrier is going to charge you extra for the priviledge, althought I still don't understand why, when your data rates are metered. Why do they care if you are using data directly on your phone or on your computer?
  • Because they want to sell you a dongle for that that has a separate monthly rate plan. Truly ridiculous.
  • Is it Wi-Fi tethering, Bluetooth tethering, or just wired USB tethering? Big difference.
  • I don't believe that was specified.
  • So I guess most carriers won't have this enabled... How unfortunate. :(
  • Why would you make such a dubious assumption that when tethering is enabled on virtually every Windows Phone 6.x phone? This isn't some "must-have-PDAnet" or "prepare-to-jailbreak-your-phone" backdoor thing: It's built-in and supported meaning it's a feature that adds value the customers... and provides a potential secondary revenue stream for some carriers.
  • MUST HAVE!!!! MUST HAVE!!! Seriously. . what's the big freaking deal?
  • You are a Very Skilled Blogger, You either have first hand knowledge of what your talking about or you did some great research. Thanks for this wonderful post.
  • OK this makes a lot of sense dude.
  • When you tether you cannot receive any calls or messages.
  • That is partially incorrect. On CDMA carriers (Verizon, Sprint) this is true, but GSM carriers (with 3G) are capable of simultaneous voice and data; so this shouldn't be an issue. Since WP7 is initially coming exclusively to GSM at first this shouldn't be an issue at all.
  • Apparently this was "unfortunately, incorrect." To quote: "To be clear: Windows Phone 7 does not support tethering at all."
  • Brandon actually works on the WP7 team, I think he is in a better position to know what features are actually in WP7. How come Paul Thurrott's word is being taken over Brandon's?
  • Biggest reason is that he was part of the conversation on the podcast that started this, and then he came back later and clarified. Plus he wrote the book on WP7. ;)
  • Yeah well, its now been confirmed. Seems there's nothing but bad news when it comes to WP7, by the time it launches who knows what else it wont be capable of.
  • I was at a Windows Phone 7 boot camp on 9/21 and a Microsoft presenter did say that it was up to the carriers to add tethering. It was said in a way that it wasn
  • We're hearing so much about what Windows Phone 7 won't do. They are setting it up for failure.
  • Not really, this is the newest thing in the list of "does not have" for now anyways, and IMO it's a niche feature. I can see how it helps, and why people would use it, and I'm sure carriers would love to charge you up for the data you'd use. Still the vast majority of cellphone buyers out there, I expect, don't use it and probably don't even know they can use it (if they're phone does have it). All of this is moot since in the end we don't know what MS's update schedule for WP7 will be like anyways. If they come quick and add everything or most of it back by mid 2011 (May or June) then I don't see the problem with the OS lacking things for a few more months.
  • While Microsoft plans to roll out updates more frequently, it will still be up to the carriers on when they will actually release it. The carriers will want to load it up will all their bloatware as they do now. We will NOT see frequent updates.
  • I don't believe this is true. First of all, Microsoft has set hard limits on the Bloatware, something like 3 or 5 apps that aren't "full versions." Second, the updates are going to be over the air, not full ROM updates (for the most part), so there shouldn't be much in the way of carrier customizations as far as the updates are concerned.
  • Thank you for a giant Step backwards. The whole reason I picked up the HTC HD2 was so I could have 3G+ internet on my phone and my PC, with T-Mobile. I guess I'm glad I didn't wait for the HD7.