Zune Software Allows Internet Sharing With Windows Phone 7

One of the interesting capabilities of Windows Mobile and ActiveSync is that the device can access the Internet via USB and the desktop computer’s network connection. For the original Windows Mobile PDAs that only had WiFi, this ActiveSync passthru provides a way to access the Internet when WiFi is not available. Developers even found a way to take advantage of this capability to remotely control Windows Mobile devices from PCs and display the Windows Mobile screen in a window on desktop computers.

I was surprised to learn today that this ActiveSync “passthru” capability is available with Windows Phone 7 and the Zune desktop software. To try it out, turn on airplane mode on your Windows Phone, connect it to a computer running the Zune desktop software, open Internet Explorer on the phone, and open a web site. I am hopeful that developers will find a way to take advantage of this passthru capability to provide remote display and remote control applications like those that were available for Windows Mobile.