image“Windows Phone 7 Doesn’t Need Tethering"”. That’s the title of a PCWorld blog entry posted today. Essentially, the argument is that carriers are shunning tethering through excessive pricing that’s tiered. So on AT&T, for example, the privilege to tether is $20 plus $25 per 2gb/month. Meanwhile you can get a cheaper portable WiFi hotspot (like the Virgin Mobile MiFi) on an unlimited data plan.

For my two cents, I can’t recall the last time I needed tethering and almost none of my non-tech friends have any idea what tethering even means. Yes, it’s a nice feature for some, but I’m not sure it’s as mainstream as we’re all making it out to be. Quite frankly, if you know what Windows phone 7 is then you’re probably outside of the norm since most people think CNN is a new source and not Engadget.

In the end, it’s something that will be implemented but it’s a feature that’s being overhyped by an overly technical blogosphere who think that all people tether all the time…they don’t. And again, I think MS needs to fix these issues so the word on the street isn’t about the lack of features in WP7 because of they lose the media campaign they’ll doom their launch.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I used the the tethering ability on my WM6.5 phone 3 times in the past year:
    1) To log on to my office network from a client’s place
    2) To show my Android owning friend that WM is capable of tethering
    3) To show my Apple owning friend that WM can tether

    I will definitely need tethering on WP7 just for future 2 and 3 scenarios. But other than to show off and compare, I don’t see much personal use for tethering.

    What I want to know is whether WP7 can use the internet connection via the sync software (Zune?). I use this feature of activesync everyday to sync up content without using my data plan. I cant connect to my office wifi through my phone so for me this is a crucial feature compared to tethering

  2. Well What u say is right in USA but in other countries tethering is quiet necessary. I am from India and none of the carriers charge us for tethering. We r billed by the MB that we use and secondly products like MiFi r not even launched here. So tethering is very important especially when i have to connect a device without a USB say like Ipad to the internet. We have data cards (USB Sticks) but again u will pay extra for that so why pay double if tethering is available.

  3. Admittedly, I don’t need tethering often, but when I do, it’s really convenient. The biggest use is when visiting some of our relatives who don’t have internet access or when staying at a hotel where I get the privilege of paying $10-20 per day to get Internet access. (Why do the hotels that charge upwards of $150/night insist on those sorts of charges, too? Never understood that.) It’s not often, but it makes a lot more sense than buying a new plan just for the few times/year I use it. I never go over my monthly “unlimited” amount, even with the tethering so don’t see why it’s a big deal. It also keeps me from having yet another device to carry around because I can just plug my phone in and go. Wonder if I should just keep my Fuze around so I can swap SIM cards and tether that? :P

    Regardless, I think MS needs to be really, really on the ball for updates and feature releases. As it is now, WP7 seems to be more known for what it can’t do rather than what it can.

  4. People need to look to what the product brought, and not look for any missing features..

    Not a single phone in the market has all the features.

    So, calling WP7 a failure for missing Tethering or complete multitasking is really ridiculous

    Do you think when you advertise the real advantages of WP7 (XBox, Office, Zune, Live, Tiles, Hubs, …) people will think about these little things?!

  5. I actually, gave up while back on my ATT DSL line then comcast super fast internet provider and instead got for $50 A month unlimited internet and TXT (back then there was that plan on ATT) and ever since I only use my phone’s internet as my main internet provider… I live in the Bay Area, and speeds , are pretty much good everywhere i go… Its even faster than most peoples DSL… So there are a few of us that use Tether…. I m one of those that will be upgrading to windows 7 right when it come out… but if tether is out… ill just keep my tilt 2 for a while….

  6. I don’t really use the tethering nearly as much as I used to. Yes it comes in handy when I have to look somethings up on my laptop and there isn’t an open wifi aorund but most people don’t have that need.

    Very good point about Microsoft needing to clear these things up. The very technical few will piss and moan about relative non-issues and paint a bleak picture in the media for WP7.

  7. now that i have wifi at my place i dont need tethering. and hell, if your phone is powerfull enough, there is no reason why you would need a computer in the non-computer-internet-friendly zone. ive used tethering on certain train rides, bus rides, and car rides and that is about it. and they were all so i could watch youtube and go on facebook. there is no reason why i wouldnt be able to do that on a phone.

  8. Mussab, you’re right that no phone has all features but you need to look at what’s there and what’s missing.

    Included: XBox, Office, Zune, Live, Tiles, Hubs, …
    Missing: Tethering, full multitask

    Given my regular uses, I’ll stick with WinMo 6.5 as long as I can and hope that MS wakes up the way Apple did when it made copy/paste part of an iPhone OS upgrade.

  9. I only need to tether about… maybe six times every year, and that’s in the MSP airport. I think I’ll just keep my Touch Pro 2 around when I need to tether.

  10. Don, I’m with you.

    I meant, we shouldn’t “just” look for what’s missing.

    Missing Tethering and Multitasking could be a deal breaker for some, and that’s fine.

    What I hate is when someone evaluate the product and its future by his own needs, not what the market needs.

  11. @jagan:

    Where’s the like button?! :-)

    I actually LOL’d! my office mate thinks I’m psychotic!
    Thanks! I would like tethering for scenario 1 but like you said 2 and 3 are probably where I get the most use! :-)

  12. “I think MS needs to fix these issues so the word on the street isn’t about the lack of features in WP7”

    COULD NOT AGREE MOAR! Seriously, it drives me crazy that everywhere, bet it forums or blog write ups or previews, people are constantly focusing on what it DOESN’T have instead of what features it handles BETTER than current smartphones. Basically if its not perfect then it is a failure. UGH!

  13. Wtf is this, the lack of tethering is crazy, i don’t understand why Davind belives that everyone have the same crappy contract as he does, my service provider (Telia) includes unlimited free data on my contract and that’s great, tethering was probably what i used it for the most when i had an iphone and i really miss it on WP7. The lack of tethering is one of the most crippleing thing about WP7. I still love the OS though and i will not go back to using my iPhone. But the last time i was on a trip i actually brougt along my iPhone and put the SIM card in that one when i had to go online with my laptop.

    Tethering is an essential CORE function of every smartphone imo.

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