Like it or not, near-field communication seems to be growing more popular as the days go by. Over the weekend, a rumor emerged claiming that Google is teaming up with MasterCard and Citigroup for a big NFC push later this year, and now Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft will be getting in on tech soon, too. According to two sources speaking with the site, Windows Phone 7 will receive NFC capabilities in the next version of the OS, while smartphones featuring NFC built-in may arrive this year, all in an effort to cut into Android's lead in the smartphone race.
With all of its rivals either in the process of implementing NFC into its devices or possibly doing so soon, it won't come as a surprise if Microsoft decides to include the tech in their own products. When and if that'll actually is still up in the air, but WP7's next big update, codenamed Mango, is scheduled to arrive this fall. Will NFC make it into that the Mango build? Tough to say right now, but I'm sure Microsoft would like to get the functionality into WP7 as soon as possible.