Reports Offer More Confirmation of Microsoft’s Plans for Support of NFC Wallet
Reports are citing comments from Microsoft vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore as emphasizing an NFC-based “wallet experience” for the software giant’s planned Windows Phone 8 platform.
Tech site Pocketnow said Thursday that a leaked video of Belfiore discussing major changes in Windows Phone 8, codenamed “Apollo,” was originally intended for Microsoft's “partners” at Nokia. The changes from the existing Windows Phone 7 platform will include an NFC wallet that could be branded by carriers and controlled by SIM cards or embedded chips, Belfiore reportedly said.
The NFC support will also include tapping to pair and share a range of Windows devices– namely smartphones, desktops, notebooks and tablets. Windows expert and blogger Paul Turret confirmed he’d heard many of the same changes, including that Windows Phone 8 will allow users to “securely pay and share via NFC.”
The new reports help confirm earlier reports that Microsoft was working on an NFC-wallet app and corresponding support in secure elements. The app would be among perhaps 100,000 apps Microsoft has promised will be available in its Marketplace when Windows Phone 8 launches, expected in the fourth quarter of this year, according to reports.
As NFC Times reported several times last year, Microsoft is working on an NFC wallet due out this year on Windows Phone 8 devices produced by Nokia and perhaps other handset makers. The software giant is expected to work with established payment schemes, such as Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide, to enable users to pay by tapping their phones. The Windows Phone app, therefore, could compete in a way with the Android-based Google Wallet, though there is no evidence yet that Microsoft plans to launch an offers service, as Google has done.
Microsoft earlier made known its support for NFC in its separate Windows 8 operating system for desktop, notebook and tablet PCs at its Build developers’ conference in September.
The software giant previewed the new operating system for PCs and tablets at the event and showed “tap-to-share” applications by tapping a prototype tablet to a contactless card and to another tablet. Windows 8 is a follow-up to Microsoft’s present Windows 7 operating system and will probably be released in the latter part of 2012. That will likely be around the same time as the release of Windows Phone 8.
There will be even more integration between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 than earlier reported, according to Pocketnow, citing the Belfiore video.
Developers will be able largely to port apps from Windows desktops or tablets to Windows Phone handsets, for example. Windows Phone 8 also will support multicourse processors, four screen resolutions and removable microSD cards, according to the reports.