HTC takes the wraps off Windows Phone 8.1 powered One M8

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HTC on Tuesday announced the launch of HTC One M8 for Windows, expanding the boundaries of its popular flagship beyond Android.

The HTC One M8 for Windows debuts with the same features as the Android variant released earlier this year, except that the former will run Windows Phone 8.1 in place of Android 4.4 as well as HTC’s Sense user interface. The two variants look identical, except for a Windows Phone logo.

Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, the M8 for Windows sports a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, Adreno 330 GPU, 2,600 mAh non-removable battery, HTC 4MP UltraPixel dual-camera setup, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and BoomSound stereo speakers.

The One M8 for Windows also comes with Microsoft’s voice-activated virtual assistant Cortana along with support for folders, more Start screen layout options and a notification tray as well.

HTC said Microsoft tweaked its software to include some of the original flagship’s features. For instance, Windows, which typically deals with a single rear camera, supports a second rear camera in M8 to capture depth information in order to allow users to refocus images or create 3D perspectives. The M8 Windows phone will also support HTC’s BlinkFeed hub for personalized content as a separate app.

HTC America President Jason Mackenzie said that it is the first time that a smartphone manufacturer has launched an iconic device in multiple operating systems without making any compromises.

The device is currently available on US carrier Verizon Wireless for either a promotional price of $100 with a two-year contract or $30 a month through the Verizon Edge financing plan. Customers can purchase the device from retail stores starting Wednesday.