AT&T to get the M8 for Windows, too; it's not just Verizon

Timing and price have not been announced

Less than a day after the HTC One (M8) for Windows went on sale "exclusively" on Verizon Wireless, AT&T also said it will carry the new smartphone -- at a date and price to be announced later.

Verizon put the Windows-based M8 on sale online at noon Tuesday for $99 with a two-year contract; AT&T issued a statement today saying it would carry the device as well.

AT&T buyers can register online to get a notification when the M8 for Windows will be available; a note says it is "coming soon" to AT&T.

Verizon has the Nokia Lumia Icon running on Windows Phone 8.1, but AT&T has a broader array of Windows Phone smartphones than any other U.S. carrier. Having the M8 for Windows "will offer AT&T customers a sleek new design not yet seen in the Windows Phone ecosystem," AT&T said in its statement.

The M8 for Windows uses the same hardware as the M8 released by HTC in April running Android KitKat (4.4.2). That earlier phone won rave reviews for its styling, aluminum body and stereo speakers, among other attributes. It also boasts a bright LCD 5-in. display at 441 pixels per inch and two rear-facing camera lenses to allow for depth perception in shots. Windows Phone 8.1 also features the digital voice assistant Cortana for the first time.

Several analysts said that HTC worked with Microsoft to produce the M8 for Windows partly out of a long history of working together and also because Microsoft is providing Windows Phone 8.1 for free to HTC and will share marketing and promotional costs for the device. Having the phone on more than one U.S. carrier should expand the reach of a high-quality device.

HTC and Microsoft were probably planning on launching the M8 for Windows on AT&T all along, analysts said, but the companies wanted to offer a short-term exclusive to Verizon to give Verizon exposure, especially after it has only carried only a limited line of Windows Phone devices.

On the carrier side, with BlackBerry almost out of the picture when it comes to market share, there is a need for more smartphone options for business users, said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar WorldPanel. With Microsoft moving more to the cloud and pushing on enterprise solutions, Windows Phone starts to make more sense.

Milanesi also said the M8 on either Windows or Android might be a first step to more devices that run either OS.

Read more about windows phone in Computerworld's Windows Phone Topic Center.

Tags htcwireless carriersconsumer electronicsat&tNokiasmartphonesVerizon WirelessWindows Phone

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