It has now been officially confirmed that tethering support will be a native feature of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, adding to other highlights such as Xbox Live gaming. Tethering basically allows you to plug your phone into a laptop or PC through USB or Bluetooth and use its mobile data connection, avoiding the need for expensive integrated 3G. While its addition was to be expected, it's definitely a relief to find tethering on an OS where basics like copy and paste are surprisingly absent.
Unfortunately it will be up to carriers whether to enable the feature, but at least the support is there to begin with. Microsoft is actually playing catch-up here though: the most recent revision of Apple's iOS4 already adds support to the iPhone 4, and Android handset owners lucky enough to be running the latest version 2.2 (or Froyo if you're more into desserts than maths) are also able to reap the benefits.
Palm OS and RIM OS were already on the ball for a while, and with Nokia's Symbian likewise offering support (and its future MeeGo phone OS looking likely to do the same), smartphone tethering has become a standard feature across the board.
It's definitely the way things are headed, all part of the glorious wireless future ahead in allowing us to keep our devices connected wherever we are. Do you use tethering already, and do you think dedicated 3G dongles and expensive integrated 3G modules in laptops might soon be a thing of the past, or are they here to stay with cool candidates like the award-winning Mobile Broadband MiFi E5830? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.