Have your Android friends been mocking you because your Windows Phone device doesn’t support NFC technology? Well, that’s about to end, because Microsoft has revealed today that its latest Windows Phone Mango operating does support NFC technology, it’s just manufacturers haven’t enabled it yet.
Will Coleman, developer evangelist and product manager at Microsoft UK, disclosed Windows Phone’s little secret to TechRadar today, and said it’s only a matter of time before the technology is embraced by Windows Phone vendors:
“As far as I’m aware, NFC is supported by [Windows Phone], but needs to be enabled by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). So, if any OEM wants to enable it, that can be done by all means.”
“Think it’s about just about timing, in the not too distant future there are some exciting things that will be coming through with NFC from Microsoft.”
We’re surprised that Windows Phone Mango supports NFC, and that manufacturers are yet to enable the technology. In a bid to keep up with handsets on rival platforms, and compete with other Windows Phone handsets, you would think that manufacturers would be rushing to adopt the technology.
However, TechRadar notes that the reason behind its slow progress could be that while NFC is there, secure NFC, which is used for wireless payments, hasn’t quite made its way into the platform just yet.
Keith Varty, head of apps and partnerships for Nokia, said that NFC didn’t make it into the Nokia Lumia 800 simply because there wasn’t enough development time. However, he insists that the technology will reach Nokia devices in the future:
“NFC isn’t an if, it’s a when, it will happen. 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 non-secure [NFC] mean there’s 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.”
So, there you have it: your favorite operating system does support NFC, it’s just manufacturers are a little too slow at implementing it. There’s no doubt, however, that NFC will make it to Windows Phone in the future, and there have been rumors that Microsoft will launch a payment service to rival Google Wallet.
Would you be interested in an NFC-equipped Windows Phone handset?