HTC's Android flagship phone gets a Windows Phone option

HTC's Android flagship phone gets a Windows Phone option

Summary: HTC launched a Windows Phone version of its HTC One on Verizon -- its first Windows Phone flagship in two years.

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HTC launched on August 19 a Windows Phone version of its flagship HTC One M8 smartphone.

htcwinphone

Called the HTC One M8 for Windows, the newest member of the HTC One family is nearly 100 percent identical, hardware-wise, to the Android HTC One M8. Literally, the only difference, according to Microsoft officials, is the etching on the back of the phone, designating that it's a Windows Phone. Otherwise, the hardware is the same as the Android-based HTC One.

The HTC One M8 for Windows is running Windows Phone 8.1 with the developer preview of Update 1. That means it includes Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant, a notification center and the Update 1 features like nested folders and consumer VPN support.

HTC engineers, some of whom temporarily co-located at Microsoft's Redmond offices, worked hand-in-hand with the Windows Phone engineers to ensure that Microsoft's phone OS would work on the HTC One hardware, Microsoft execs said.

The HTC One M8 for Windows — HTC's first Windows Phone flagship since it launched the HTC 8X two years ago — is exclusively on Verizon in the US. (at least for now). It is available for purchase as of noon ET today, August 19, and in Verizon stores starting August 20. HTC officials declined to say when and if the HTC One M8 for Windows will be available on other carriers or in other countries.

The promotional price of the new phone is $99 with a two-year contract. It also is available for $29.99 per month on Verizon Edge. (No pricing for unlocked phones was provided at the launch event in New York City today.) Microsoft Stores also will sell the device with Verizon Wireless service and a special offer for a free HTC Dot View Case and screen protector for $25. 

In February 2014, Microsoft officials said they would be changing the Windows Phone hardware requirements to enable more phone OEMs to use the same hardware to run Windows Phone OS as they were using with Android. The HTC One M8 for Windows is the first phone available in the US to take advantage of those changes, which include support for onscreen buttons.

Contrary to some rumors, Microsoft and its phone partners aren't going to allow users to choose between the Windows Phone OS or Android on their phones. Instead, Microsoft will make changes to the Windows Phone OS platform so that OEMs can put either OS on the same hardware, officials said during today's launch event.

The HTC One (M8) for Windows is brushed metal. It has a five-inch 1080p HD display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.3 GHz processor. It comes with 32 GB of storage, expandable up to 128 GB with a MicroSD card (and 15 GB of OneDrive for free).

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, HTC, Microsoft, Mobility, Smartphones, Windows Phone

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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80 comments
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  • AT&T needs to step up

    The Windows Phone devices I may want...
    Nokia Lumia Icon and now... HTC One M8 for Windows...
    are all on Verizon... ;-(
    thekman58
    • 930

      Icon and 930 are the same. I wouldn't get either of them tough. The only real killer feature of the Lumia series is Glance, and the 930 is missing that.
      Sacr
      • I didnt think the 930 was available in the US

        nt
        thekman58
        • Unlocked

          It isn't if you want to buy with a contract.
          Sacr
          • but...

            I'm not entirely sure about the supported frequencies tough.
            Sacr
      • And...

        Cortana- you should try it out, it's pretty amazing, especially when a friend with "Siri" or an Android phones gets their first look at my $99 Lumia 630. It isn't the highest end Lumia but it does everything I need and more and does it all so very well..
        xplorer1959
    • Patience is a virtue

      They're going to get it sooner or later, in the meantime, you might consider switching to Verizon if you have to have a windows phone.
      Don't eat the yellow snow
  • Hopefully others will wake up

    I got a Windows phone from my carrier AT&T but it wasn't easy. They had them in the store (Samsung 5s phone basically) but they were buried in the display. I had to ask about them and then the rep said "are you sure you want that?". Sad really, and no cases or protectors stocked for Windows phones - anything else in the store but not a Windows phone. The kicker is, I love the phone and the OS - rock solid - battery life incredible and the interface is slick and very fast. No constant swiping around. Hook up with my PC was effortless. My wife, son and daughter have Androids - Samsung same model - and after playing with my phone are upset they didn't listen to me and opted for the Android instead of the Windows phone. Once you try one you won;t go back - I am really impressed and very pleased with it.
    bob.perrone1@...
    • I dunno about that

      Reminds of people bragging about how relatives were jealous of their Vista/Win8/Phone8 devices, the same devices that I have trouble getting relatives to try for free.

      Anyway, I don't begrudge the Phone8.x anything, but there's nothing about it that makes me want to ditch Android/iOS.
      sandmich
      • It's an alternative

        There may not be anything in particular about it to lure you away from whatever platform you're on, but for a lot of people just the fact that it's not Google or Apple is enough.
        vincewansink
  • android vs WP OS on exact same HW

    bring it on - this will settle it (except for the app problem, and company reputation, but close enough).
    drwong
    • I thought so when we heard the news, and again now

      It's great for users - one more step towards being able to choose hard wars and OS seperately.

      Of course the other thing this is is a big step toward a common platform - think of the days of 'IBM-compatible'. It's been my view for sometime that once you take apple's proprietary nature out of the equasion, a common hardware/firmware platform is inevitable - however unpopular it is with OS devs
      MarknWill
      • The sales reps

        will still try to convince customers to buy iPhones. I swear they all must have Apple stock. Just doesnt make sense how bias they are when phones like HTC are technologically superior.
        Sean Foley
        • I've never experienced this

          It may be a US thing, but over here you get samsung thrown down your neck!

          When I got my htc one (m7, it's getting old) they would not let up on the S4; I'd been tryin phones for a couple weeks, came in and said 'what plans have you got for the htc one? Each one was followed by 'and the samsung s4 equivilent is..' I'd assume they were showing variety, but it really felt like the guy's;f
          MarknWill
          • Oos

            Posted by mistake!

            Felt like the sales guy's commission depended on an s4 contract.

            Even recently getting my mother a moto g, we were demonstrated the s4 mini - at 2.5 x the price, but not any other make?

            Last time one of them recommended an iphone was the 3GS lol!

            Actually I found it very difficult to actually buy a limia 520 to try last summer - lots of 'really?! Are you sure?'s
            MarknWill
          • Similar story in Canada

            Except, here the iPhone is pushed down your throat just as much as any Samsung. The sales people will have you believe those are the only two phones to choose from.
            vincewansink
        • Lately,

          it's felt like sales reps anywhere I go are pushing Samsung. Samsung S5, Samsung Note 3, etc... I don't like TouchWiz and I hate the way Samsung's hardware feels cheap when compared to an iPhone, a HTC One, a LG G2 or G3, or even a Nokia Lumia 500 series device. Then you see they're all wearing Samsung this and using Samsung that, and you think to yourself "it still doesn't integrate all that well."
          Champ_Kind
          • LG doesn't even compare in the rank...

            ...as the titles says, LG is the worst of the bunch.
            80sGuy
        • HTC

          I have a soft spot for them having used a series of their Windows phones over the years, but in all three cases I was always limping into the final months of the contract because of some malfunction issue with the phone (the 8125 and that blue tmobile thing had sliding keyboards which went wonky eventually (and the memory issues, geez) and then that big HTC win 6.5 thing with the bad digitizer design; all absolute garbage in the end, alas).
          sandmich
        • The iPhone is so small that ...

          It's almost unusable unless you are totally a clueless Apple fanboy. Android has been dominant from a spec race standpoint and their marketshare shows it. It's just like the PC spec wars of the '90's. More cores, higher rez screens and a constant quest for battery life. Windows Phone was late to the game but the Lumia Icon/930, and this particular HTC phone are a good sign that MS isn't giving up. Apple? Last time they had an edge was prior to the untimely death of Steve Jobs. Ever since, they've been more than a few steps behind. Fanboys will wake up one of these days and go, why am I using this tiny phone? DOH!
          Oknarf