Microsoft: Uh, actually, Windows Phone doesn't support NFC

So, a couple of days ago, we reported that Microsoft had stated that the Windows Phone operating system already supports NFC. The confirmation came from Will Coleman, product manager at Microsoft's UK outpost, who said that "NFC is supported by it, but needs to be enabled by the OEM. So if any [manufacturer] wants to enable it, that can be done by all means." 

Turns out Coleman made a boo-boo, and today, Microsoft was forced to issue a statement to retract his comments and clear things up (hopefully) once and for all. 

Speaking with WinRumors, a Microsoft spokesperson explained: 

Microsoft would like to correct a previous statement it made around near field communications. 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." 

Rumours continue to swirl around Microsoft's plans for NFC, including the suggestion that it is preparing its own alternative platform to Google Wallet, and that NFC will be instrumental in the way that Microsoft devices interact, and share information and content. Assuming that we can still take Coleman at his word, it's worth noting his assertion that "in the not too distant future, there are some exciting things that will be coming through with NFC from Microsoft".

A report emerged yesterday stating that Microsoft would bring NFC to the platform in Windows Phone 8 (also known by its codename, Apollo), which is expected to arrive in the middle of next year. The source of that report also revealed new details about the next Nokia flagship, the Lumia 900. 

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This is what happens when you release your pre-release versions of the OS for testing amongst Microsoft employees "with a voice". They don't seem to know what version a feature was added.

Forced to split hairs...

The base OS supports NFC, with driver capability, etc...

However, the Silverlight/.NET OS Platform does not expose this functionality.

So it supports NFC and it doesn't support NFC.

WinCE has supported variations of NFC technologies since the late 90s.

The problem is that the original claim stated that OEMs could release a working NFC enabled WP right now.

I don't think OEMs are allowed to customize WP enough to take advantage of functionalities that might be buried somewhere in there but are not exposed, so the claim would be wrong anyway.

Tango & Apollo are the two codenames of WP7 versions scheduled for next year. Microsoft just confirmed NFC will come to WP in 2012 so yes it should be in one of both

Interesting retraction. I personally don't use NFC, but for those that do, hopefully it will make it into Tango or Apollo. Sounds like it's definitely on Microsoft's radar though.