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Windows-Powered HTC One Will Be Key Test of Platform's Appeal

Finally consumers will be able to choose Android or Windows on an identical -- and popular -- hardware design.

Ina Fried

HTC’s announcement Tuesday that it will offer a version of its HTC One running Windows Phone could help settle the argument about whether it is software or hardware that has been holding back Microsoft’s operating system.

For several years, some inside and outside Microsoft have argued that Windows Phone sales were being held back because companies like Samsung and HTC weren’t offering up their latest and greatest hardware running the operating system.

The arrival of Windows Phone on the HTC One M8 means that customers — at least those at Verizon — will be able to choose the exact same hardware running either Windows Phone or Android. It will be fascinating to see how many choose Windows Phone.

Verizon will sell the HTC One M8 For Windows for $99 (with a two-year contract) and it will be available starting later today.

Although the hardware is identical to the Android-powered HTC One M8, there are no plans to allow customers to switch between operating systems, HTC said.

The Windows-powered HTC One is the first of what Microsoft hopes will be a lot of phones offered with a choice of operating systems. How well HTC does, though, could have a lot to say in whether more hardware makers take that plunge.

While cheaper than designing a Windows-only model, there is still significant customization and support work involved in offering the choice of operating systems.

This article originally appeared on

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