Late last week we caught wind of some news coming out of the UK, courtesy of a Microsoft employee. In an interview, product manager Will Coleman discussed the state of Near Field Communication support in Windows Phone. While this was a feature we were expecting the operating system to adopt further down the road, Coleman was adamant that the required foundation for NFC already existed within Mango as we know it, and that the only real problem at the moment was a lack of hardware taking advantage of it. That was an unusual, unexpected claim, to be sure, but given the position of its source as someone who should be in the know, we were left giving it the benefit of the doubt. Today Microsoft spoke up, hoping to clarify the situation.
While Coleman painted an intriguing picture of Windows Phone NFC development, it turns out we’re not quite there yet. Microsoft spokesmen commented, “while NFC is not currently supported on Windows Phone 7.5, it is coming. We expect NFC-enabled Windows Phone devices to ship within the next year.”
That’s pretty much where we were before hearing from Coleman. Microsoft doesn’t seem to be in any big NFC rush, but then again, no one’s really that overly enthusiastic. Maybe it’s a lack of applications, maybe it’s the carriers getting in the way, but NFC doesn’t feel like it’s on the fast-track, at least not for Microsoft.