For the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing a lot about the HTC One M8 for Windows, the new version of HTC’s flagship smartphone that drops Android for Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. Previous leaks indicated that the smartphone would look exactly like HTC One devices that users have seen already. As new picture leaked today shows, those rumors seem were completely accurate.
Users exploring the website for Verizon earlier today found a single picture of the HTC One M8 on the company’s servers. Just as most speculated, the HTC One M8 for Windows looks exactly like the HTC One device that users already know and love. In short, that means that HTC One M8 for Windows users can expect the same front-facing BoomSound speakers, front-facing camera and lack of hardware buttons on the front.
Really, the only key difference hardware-wise seems to the slightly off speaker at the bottom. Software is a completely different story though. Microsoft has opened up certain parts of the Windows Phone experience to customization by hardware makers. However, they are still not allowed to customize the Windows Phone Start Screen. That’s important because the render of the HTC One M8 for Windows includes a live tile for Blinkfeed, HTC’s news and social networking app.
The picture of the HTC One M8 for Windows includes tiles for other HTC-made applications that originally made their debut on Android. HTC Camera, should bring with it the software algorithms that power the HTC One M8’s rear-facing UltraPixel camera. Unlike the home screen, users can actually set the HTC Camera app as the default camera experience. The HTC television app is also included in the screen, hinting that the HTC One M8 will become the first Windows Phone to include an IR-blaster that allows the Android-based HTC One M8 to communicate directly with televisions. In Sense 6 HTC added options for allowing users to keep up with sports scores.
If these apps are packed into the HTC One M8 for Windows than this device represents the first real software investment HTC has made in Windows Phone in some time. The company has spent the last few years releasing Windows Phone devices without exclusive software experiences. This certainly didn’t help it compete with Nokia, especially since the firm has always loaded its Windows Phone devices with exclusive apps, games and more.
Earlier this week rumors indicated that HTC One M8 for Windows could be available to smartphone buyers in the United States as early as August 21st. Those rumors also indicated that the HTC One M8 for Windows would be exclusive to Verizon’s wireless network in the United States. That today’s leaked image was found on Verizon’s servers certainly lends credence to that. If the HTC One M8 for Windows is restricted to just Verizon, other Windows Phone users are bound to be disappointed. Most signs point to this being a very quiet late summer for flagship Windows Phone devices.
To be clear, the HTC One M8 for Windows isn’t some hacked device that isn’t officially supported by Microsoft. Moves the company made all year-long paved the way for HTC and other Windows Phone makers to create devices based on their Android line-up. Windows Phone can run on the same processors as Android. Microsoft recently added support for software navigation buttons for Windows Phone too, ditching the hardware buttons that dominated Windows Phones previously. This may kill hardware variety, but in the long run potential Windows Phone buyers should find devices that are every bit as good as the devices now coming with Android.
HTC has an event scheduled for August 19th. Presumably, it’ll be at this event that HTC launches the HTC One M8 for Windows.