Feature Article

August 21, 2014

HTC One M8 for Windows Lands at Verizon

HTC has created a Windows version of its flagship device the HTC One M8, which up until now only ran Android.  The new Windows phone is exclusive to Verizon and is available now for $99 on a two-year contract.

All of the M8's Windows hardware remains unchanged from its Android counterpart - it features a 5-inch HD screen, 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and an Adreno 330 GPU.

It also has a Duo Camera, a 5Mp front camera, NFC, 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and support for 4G LTE networks.

The new M8 will ship with Cortana, Windows Phone’s personal digital assistant. Cortana helps manage calendars and set reminders, letting a user know when it's time to leave for their next appointment and when to stop at the grocery store and grab some milk.

HTC was even able to get the phone's infrared port working, something Windows Phone doesn't inherently support.  The IR port allows the phone to be used as a remote control.

“We succeeded in offering customers the best of both our worlds with this phone,” said Darren Laybourn, corporate vice president of engineering for Microsoft.”

It is the first time a smartphone has been retrofitted to run a second OS, according to HTC.  The last time HTC created a Windows phone was back in 2012 when it debuted the HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S.

Windows Phone captures just 2.5 percent of the smartphone market as of the second quarter, according to market researcher IDC, but Microsoft is hoping by adding one of this year's hottest smartphones to its product lineup that it can draw more eyes toward its mobile operating system.

For now, Verizon has exclusivity with the HTC One M8 for Windows with AT&T issuing a statement yesterday that it will offer the device at a later date.  If the Windows M8 proves to be a success, it will be interesting to see if other smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung begin offering up their own flagship devices to Microsoft, bringing the platform the kind of attention it needs to become relevant in the marketplace.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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