updated 03:30 pm EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
Microsoft tips much more Windows Phone hardware
Microsoft's mobile president Andy Lees added to Windows Phone plans for the year early Thursday with confirmation of plans to add NFC to Windows Phone. Devices should start getting the short-range wireless support sometime in 2012. The step would help put them on par with the leading edge of Android and BlackBerry hardware and pay in shops or share data just by tapping the phone.
LTE 4G was coming in the future, Lees said, but he wouldn't say when.
The next year would also address a major gap relative to Android in variety of devices. Windows Phone was getting an architecture that would let companies add their own hardware support, Lees said. While he didn't explain what would be different, some have complained that Microsoft's attempt to avoid Android-like fragmentation have led to very little difference in screen resolutions, processors, and extra features.
Windows Phone share has stayed flat or declined in its first year and has faced pressure both at the high and low ends of the market. As Windows Phone hardware has rarely been high-end, both Android and iPhone have had options that were faster or otherwise more advanced. Android's support for very inexpensive hardware has also seen it become the primary choice in Asia where Windows Phone is only just getting to the area through ZTE and the upcoming Tango update. [via This is my next]