Microsoft was keen to tell the world that there was over 500 improvements to Windows Phone 7 in its 7.5 Mango update, but was less keen to list them all out. It turns out that one of those features was NFC support caked into the OS, although so far there's no hardware support for the technology.
Microsoft developer evangelist in the UK Will Coleman told TechRadar:
"As far as I'm aware, NFC is supported by [Windows Phone], but needs to be enabled by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). So, if any OEM wants to enable it, that can be done by all means."
"Think it's about just about timing, in the not too distant future there are some exciting things that will be coming through with NFC from Microsoft."
Given the upcoming launch of Nokia Windows Phones with designs based on the NFC-enabled N9, I'm guessing "not too distant future" means "a surprise at the next Nokia handset launch".
That said, even with NFC built in to the hardware and OS, the platform would still need banks and credit card companies to jump into bed with them before the end user could start using NFC as a personal wallet solution.