We’ve heard about some of the features due for future releases of Windows Phone: things like LTE, support for new resolutions, and NFC. While NFC has yet to find widespread acceptance, its presence (or absence) is definitely something we think about when choosing phones, and adding it to the Windows Phone lineup could go a long way towards portraying Microsoft as eager to adopt new technologies (especially if we’re still waiting for NFC on iOS). Just what are we waiting for, though? Microsoft UK’s Will Coleman was recently discussing the platform, and indicated that NFC support already exists in Windows Phone, but no OEMs have enabled it.
The situation sounds like what happened with internet connection sharing as introduced in Mango. The framework for NFC may be in place, but manufacturers are going to need to build compatible hardware, as well as provide the software drivers to enable the feature.
Why hasn’t anyone come out with an NFC-equipped Windows Phone handset yet? It’s likely a lack of interest due to the perception that there aren’t enough applications for it at the moment. Some speculation suggests that the current platform support lacks a secure communications mode, restricting the potential for use in payment scenarios. In the future, Microsoft may create a Zune-like “beaming” feature to transfer media using NFC, but for now, it doesn’t look like anyone’s in too much of a hurry.