The usefulness of my Windows Mobile Phone just went up by orders of magnitude…

Work provides me with a Windows Mobile phone. For the most part, I don’t find it overly useful. It syncs my Exchange Email, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks except when ActiveSync decides to stop syncing for inexplicable reasons. It has the worst calculator I’ve ever seen on a phone. Website browsing is a horrendous experience. Adding useful applications is a costly exercise in futility. In alerts me endless to calendar reminders I’ve already dismissed in Outlook. The only useful things I’ve found for it our the Live Search application and SMS messaging, and SMS messaging is only useful because it has a full thumb keyboard and the cost for the data plan isn’t coming out of my pocket.

While listening to Windows Weekly Episode 100 Paul Thurrott (of SuperSite for Windows) fame mentioned a Windows Mobile application named WMWifiRouter that will turn your Windows Mobile device into a Wi-Fi router that uses your cellular data plan on your laptop or other Wi-Fi device without the need to pay extra to your provider to add the tethering option to your phone and data plan.

Sounds good. I’ve used PdaNet to do this in the past, but PdaNet requires software to be installed on the client side, and PdaNet requires a physical USB connection. No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity between your computer and phone, and since it requires software on the client, PdaNet is Windows only.

WMWifiRouter allows connectivity via Wi-Fi, USB, and Bluetooth. In Wi-Fi mode, WMWifiRouter sets up an Ad-Hoc network.A slight downside for me as corporate Group Policy has Ad-Hoc mode disabled on wireless network connections. I tried with my iPod Touch and it worked no problem. That alone opens a whole new world of possibilities with the iPod Touch. I also tested it on a Mac Mini (stil in Wi-Fi Ad-Hoc mode) and it worked great.

Still trying to figure out if I can overwrite the lockout on Ad-Hoc networking on my Windows computer to test that…

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