HTC announced the anticipated version of its One (M8) flagship running Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, which at least for the moment is exclusive to US operator Verizon Wireless.
The move marks the first high-profile Windows Phone launch outside of Nokia for some time, and comes after Microsoft made changes to its OS to make it easier to port to existing Android hardware.
This will provide device makers with the ability to leverage scale in components and manufacture across the portfolio, and reduce the amount of commitment necessary to bring devices to market powered by what is still something of a niche platform.
The device supports the core features of the Android version of One (M8), including BoomSound audio and ‘ultrapixel’ duo camera, and is compatible with the Dot View case.
It also maintains the metal case of the existing device.
New features introduced via Windows Phone include Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, and Action Center to provide ‘one swipe’ access to recent notifications and messages, as well as programmable quick settings.
It is powered by a 2.3GHz quadcore Qualcomm processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage – a microSD expansion slot is also on the feature list.
One (M8) for Windows is initially available for $99.99 with a two-year contract.
So far, HTC has not said if the device will be made available beyond Verizon Wireless, although it certainly seems likely now that the development heavy-lifting has been done.
Indeed, in its current guise the device already supports international 2G, 3G and LTE networks.
AT&T, Verizon’s main rival, subsequently said it will be offering One (M8) for Windows, with “further details on pricing and availability…announced at a later date”.