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AT&T to carry Windows-based HTC One M8

TAIPEI -- AT&T Inc., the second-biggest U.S. wireless carrier, confirmed Wednesday it will sell the Windows version of the HTC One M8, a day after its bigger rival Verizon Wireless began selling the new flagship phone.

Further details on pricing and availability of the “HTC One M8 for Windows” through AT&T stores have yet to be announced, but the carrier has created a sign-up page for pre-orders, according to a statement from AT&T.

This new version of the One M8, which runs on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, was unveiled Tuesday at an HTC (宏達電) press conference in New York. The device's sales began on the same day exclusively through Verizon Wireless, the biggest U.S. carrier, for US$99.99 on a two-year contract.

The One M8 is the first HTC flagship device to offer multiple operating systems, and its Windows version has the same iconic features of the original Android based One M8, including a BlinkFeed live-streaming home screen and BoomSound dual front speakers.

It also comes equipped with the “Duo” camera that allows users to take pictures first and adjust the focus later.

“Consumers love the HTC One M8 and today's introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in their mobile experience,” Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas, said in an statement on Tuesday.

“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,” Mackenzie said.

Prior to the One M8 for Windows, HTC had not launched a Windows smartphone since September 2012, when it released the Windows Phone 8-based 8X and 8S.

Market research company comScore Inc. revealed the Windows platform accounted for only 3.4 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in the April-June quarter of this year, well below Google Android's 51.9 percent and Apple iOS's 42.1 percent.

Globally, the Windows market share fell by 9.4 percent year-on-year to 2.5 percent in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC. Most shipments came from Nokia's devices division, which was acquired by Microsoft in April this year.

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