I'm going to stop here for a reason. You claim this is for a work place and wrote the IT staff may be apprehensive. I own a POCKET ROUTER that cost me 20 bucks and is USB powered and is just dandy. But at our office we don't have the IT staff to worry about since we are developers.
There are many threads asking whether or not a USB wireless adapter can be used on a hard wired PC (with an internet connection) to connect other devices to the internet instead of using a wireless router. The answer inevitably is always Yes, but a router is cheaper, You have to leave the computer on.....blah blah blah
Lets rephrase the question:
I work in an area that has poor phone reception and I want to be able to use the internet connection at work with my smartphone or other device by plugging in a little, inconspicuous USB wireless adapter to the pc. I don't care that the computer MUST be on in order to use the connection cause the computer is always on while I'm at work. A router requires installation and other registry modifications that may get the IT folks a little apprehensive and a USB adapter can be pocketed or tossed in a drawer at the end of the day, or carried to another host computer.
So, is the 50 million dollar idea out there?
A USB wireless adapter that can hook up to a PC without having to jump through the hoops of complicated setup and then provide a connection for my smart wireless device. It would be icing on the cake if it could do it without leaving a browsing record on the computer or network.
Really, whomever comes out first with this device, functional as envisioned, will become a multi millionaire.