HTC this morning confirmed that it will expand its flagship HTC One (M8) device to Windows Phone, marking an important step for Microsoft in the company’s attempt to create an ecosystem for Windows Phone beyond its own Nokia hardware platform.
The device blends the worlds of Windows Phone and HTC, offering HTC features such as the BlinkFeed social and news stream, while running Windows Phone 8.1 Update, including Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant.
HTC One (M8) was originally unveiled in March of this year for Android. The Android version is available across a variety of carriers, but the Windows Phone version is described as exclusive to Verizon for the launch period. The new HTC One (M8) will sell for $99.99 with a two-year contract on Verizon starting today.
“Consumers love the HTC One (M8) and today’s introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in their mobile experience,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas, in a news release. “HTC fills a gap in the market for unique devices that put a premium on form and function. Microsoft shares our vision, and that’s why we committed to bringing the Windows Phone platform to the HTC One (M8).”
Microsoft’s Windows Phone has 4 percent market share worldwide, and is on pace to reach 10 percent by 2018, according to Gartner projections.