In a thread in our forums where folks are discussing the fact that the Treo 500v doesn't have WiFi (more on that below), Windows Mobile superuser surur points something out that I didn't know:

Mal, did you know this neat trick. If you go to PIE, and type in the address bar file://computername/ you can browse your shared network files. No additional software needed. This of course only works when connected internally to the network, usually via WIFI.

That is a neat trick. As surur says, it will only work on Wifi-enabled Windows Mobile devices that are on a network with Windows-shared files. As Malatesta (the referenced "Mal") points out, it's a little eerie for open networks. If nothing else, consider it yet another reason to make sure your WiFi network is secured and that you know what you are and are not sharing on your computers.

Anyhow, the whole thread is a great discussion on whether or not WiFi is a necessary component on modern Windows Mobile devices. My own personal feeling is that:

  1. Yes it is,
  2. Hell will freeze over when Palm puts WiFi in a Treo, and
  3. It's actually surprising that the Treo 500v lacks WiFi, because it looks like it was pretty much "built to spec" for a Windows Mobile 6 Standard-Edition device. There doesn't appear to be much in the way of Palm-specific "special sauce" in there, so it's difficult to believe that it would have been hard to include it. It must have just been a cost/battery life decision.