A widely reported story about Windows Phone 7.5 supposedly supporting NFC is false, Microsoft this week said. The news was spread by fact-checking-averse blogs in the wake of misquoted comments by a Microsoft employee.
Ah, the Internet.
According to TechRadar (and many other blogs that apparently never read the actual quote), Will Coleman, a UK-based developer evangelist, supposedly said that "its current Windows Phone 7.5 platform already supports Near Field Communication (NFC) technology." If only the hardware makers would supported it, the post suggested, Windows Phone could really make up some lost ground.
But TechRadar, whose primary mission appears to be serving pop-under ads through your web browser, didn't even get the story right. In its own post, Mr. Coleman repeatedly qualifies his comments about NFC, betraying that he really has no idea what he's talking about.
"As far as I'm aware, NFC is supported by [Windows Phone], but needs to be enabled by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)," Coleman told TechRadar. "So, if any OEM wants to enable it, that can be done by all means. I think it's just about timing; in the not too distant future there are some exciting things that will be coming through with NFC from Microsoft."
Or so he thinks. Cue yet another Internet clusterf$%^ and, later, corrections by the blogs that were all too quick to jump on this nonsense. As usual.
Here's what's really happening. NFC is not supported by Windows Phone today. Simple, eh?
"Microsoft would like to correct a previous statement it made around Near Field Communications," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "While NFC is not currently supported on Windows 7.5, it is coming. We expect NFC-enabled Windows Phone devices to ship within the next year."
Microsoft was "forced" to correct this statement because certain blogs never questioned the credibility of the original source. This isn't the tail wagging the dog. It's the dog's ear wagging the tail that's wagging the dog. In other words, it's ridiculous. It's also far too typical these days.