Microsoft has enabled tap to pay functionality via the mobile Microsoft Wallet app on Windows 10 Mobile preview builds 14360 and higher, the company announced on June 21.
Like its rival platforms, namely Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, Microsoft Wallet allows smartphone-toting shoppers to pay for their groceries, dry cleaning, and other goods and services at compatible point-of-sale terminals. Users simply call up the app, hold their phones to a near-field communications (NFC)-enabled checkout device and complete their purchases.
In a sign that contactless payment systems are gaining momentum in the United States, Bank of America has recently begun to update its ATMs to support cash withdrawals using Apple Pay. By the end of the year, Bank of America hopes to add the functionality to 5,000 ATMs in select markets.
While Windows Phone hasn't fared as well as Apple's iPhone and the massive smartphone ecosystem powered by Android, Google's mobile operating system, it hasn't kept Microsoft from pushing its own mobile wallet.
"Microsoft Wallet is a cloud-based payment technology that will make mobile payments simple and more secure for Windows 10 Mobile devices, starting in the U.S. with our Lumia 950, 950 XL and 650, and usable in over a million retail locations; anywhere you see the contactless payment symbol or the Microsoft Wallet logo at the point of sale," stated Will White, director of Payments at Microsoft, in a June 21 announcement.
Microsoft partnered with MasterCard and Visa to bring the feature to Windows 10 Mobile. Members of the Windows Insiders early-access program can try out Microsoft Wallet now. General availability is slated for later this summer, according to Microsoft.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update Gains an Activation Troubleshooter
Over on the PC side, Microsoft on June 22 released Windows 10 build 14371 to Windows Insiders enrolled in the fast ring.
It includes an Activation Troubleshooter, a Windows 10 Anniversary Update feature aimed at helping users who encounter problems activating their Windows OS when they make changes to their system's hardware components, like replacing a hard drive or motherboard. To thwart software piracy, Windows operating systems will sometimes require users to reactivate after significant hardware changes.
"For example, if your device has a digital license (formerly called 'digital entitlement') for Windows 10 Pro from a previously activated Windows 10 build but you accidentally re-installed Windows 10 Home on such a device, the troubleshooter will automatically guide you through upgrading to Windows 10 Pro and activate Windows," explained Dona Sarkar, head of Microsoft's Windows Insider program, in a June 22 blog post. Activation Troubleshooter can be accessed under the Update and Security section in the Windows 10 Settings app.
Users can also link Windows 10 digital licenses to their Microsoft accounts, enabling them to reactivate Windows 10 devices using the new Activation Troubleshooter feature. Accounts used to log into activated Windows 10 Home or Pro devices will be automatically linked, said Sarkar.