Microsoft UK product lead Will Coleman revealed in a discussion Friday that Windows Phone already supported NFC. The short-range wireless was already in place in software "as far as I'm aware," Coleman told TechRadar, but just needed to be enabled by the phone maker. No current Windows Phone, not even those from ardent NFC supporter Nokia, currently have NFC in place.
Nokia apps head Keith Varty echoed this, but added that it was a matter of when, not if, Nokia would use the feature. He hinted that Nokia would likely want to implement a secure system for payments and other technology to stand out. "The main divisions between secure and non-secure [NFC] mean there's bags of opportunity for the technology, especially with so many operators launching services," he said.
NFC might be on devices as soon as the Tango update due early next year, although it might be used for free features in its early days. Rumors have popped up of Microsoft reviving 'squirting' through Windows Phone which could, as an example, use NFC to pair two phones together to share information. Google already supports that in Android 4.0 on NFC-equipped phones like the Galaxy Nexus.
Other possible uses include reading location tags, triggering a fixed piece of technology such as a store display, or pairing with accessories like Bluetooth headsets and speakers.