Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is planning to introduce support for Near Field Communication in a future Windows Phone 7 software update. The technology allows users to make contactless payments with their phones.
NFC looks set to be huge in the coming years. ABI Research estimates that the number of smartphones with NFC support will double in 2012, and 340 million mobile payments will be made across the globe in 2014.
As such, it’ll be vital for Microsoft to embrace the technology if it wants to keep up with rival operating systems. Android has introduced NFC support, and NFC handsets – such as the Samsung-developed Google Nexus S – have already started trickling onto the market.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear if the upcoming iPhone 5 will have NFC capabilities. Earlier this month The Independent reported that Apple intended to hold off and introduce its own technology, but just a few days later Forbes suggested that the iPhone 5 would ship with NFC goodness.