Report: Microsoft Manager Says Windows Phone Already Supports NFC
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, released in the fall, already supports NFC, a product manager for Microsoft UK has told a UK-based technology Website.
Will Coleman, a so-called developer evangelist and product manager at Microsoft UK, reportedly told TechRadar that no handset maker using the Windows Phone platform had yet chosen to introduce an NFC phone, with an NFC chip inside, but the operating system support is there.
“Think it's just about timing; in the not too distant future there are some exciting things that will be coming through with NFC from Microsoft,” reported the site.
Update: But Microsoft has reportedly repudiated the earlier report, with a spokesperson saying: “While NFC is not currently supported on Windows 7.5, it is coming. We expect NFC-enabled Windows Phone devices to ship within the next year.” End update.
In October, Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s Windows Phone division, confirmed in an interview that the mobile platform will support NFC and reportedly that it would support payments. But it was unclear at the time whether Windows Phone 7.5, nicknamed Mango, or the follow-up version expected next year, Windows Phone 8, would first support NFC.
As NFC Times reported earlier, Microsoft is developing wallet software to work with NFC applications. And the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia are expected next year, probably on Windows Phone 8. In addition, a Samsung mobile executive indicated the phone maker would offer NFC with its Windows Phone handsets.
Nokia didn’t include NFC on its first couple of Windows Phone devices released this fall, including the Lumia 800, but TechRadar cited Keith Varty, head of apps and partnerships for Nokia, as suggesting that it is only a matter of the development time needed to incorporate NFC into Windows handsets that is holding back the first NFC-enabled Windows Phone devices from Nokia.
“NFC isn't an if, it's a when it will happen,” TechRadar quoted Varty as saying. “Obviously, there's no NFC on our launch devices, so it's difficult to comment too much on that, but the main divisions between secure and nonsecure (NFC) mean there are bags of opportunity for the technology (on our phones), especially with so many operators launching services.
“We need to get a (Windows Phone) device into the marketplace with NFC capabilities, and when we do, we can really start to showcase our services.”
Nokia has been an early backer of NFC, and has put the technology into seven of its smartphones, most of them based on Symbian. But so far it has emphasized nonsecure NFC applications–those that don’t require the support of a secure element.