This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but Microsoft’s Brandon Watson has confirmed that Windows Phone 7 will be capable of sharing a wireless connection with a PC or other device — but that the feature may not be available on individual handsets because it will be up to wireless carriers to decide whether to enable or disable this feature.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s no different from the current situation with Google Android. Google rolled out USB and WiFi tethering capabilities in Android 2.2, but I believe T-Mobile is the only US carrier that lets you share your phone’s 3G internet connection with a computer for no additional fee — and that may only be on the Google Nexus One. It’s not clear if it will apply to other devices once they’re upgraded to Android 2.2.
Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers typically either charge extra for tethering capabilities or simply don’t offer the option.
Update: Microsoft appears to be sending mixed messages here. After Brnadon’s recent comments on the TWiT podcast, a Microsoft spokesperson reached out to SlashGear to inform the site that Windows Phone 7 doesn’t support tethering. At all.