Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is on its way to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 powered devices, latest reports suggest.
With Google already onboard and BlackBerry soon to follow, the Redmond software giant reportedly has plans in place to join the party imminently, according to two shadowy figures familiar with developments.
The sources told Bloomberg: “Microsoft plans to include mobile-payment technology in new versions of its operating system for smartphones as part of an effort to narrow Google Inc.’s lead in handset software.
“The first devices boasting these features may be released this year.”
NFC uses a short-range, high frequency wireless transmission that allows smartphones to be used as electronic wallets for making contactless payments for low-ticket items such as travel, much in the way of the Oyster Card on London’s Tube network.
Apple is purportedly in two minds about the tech after conflicting reports of ostensibly reliable provenance emerged. One claimed that the next iPhone would ship with NFC onboard, while the other suggested it wanted to wait until there was more a more universally adopted standard across the industry.
If Microsoft adopts NFC, it would gain even more traction and may even push Apple off the fence to make a decision. With the London Olympics just around the corner, expectations are high that the flock of tourists armed with the latest smartphones will help propel wave-and-pay technologies in a massive way.