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HTC One M8 is the last chance saloon for Windows Phone


HTC One M8 is the last chance saloon for Windows Phone

Opinion: Could HTC give Windows Phone the push it needs to compete with Android and iOS or is already too far behind?

Whichever way you slice it, this week will prove pivotal in the history of Windows Phone.

If Microsoft’s mobile operating system ever realises its huge potential, finds a way to resonate with mobile users and truly become the third major operating system, this week will go down as the turning point.

If it continues to drag along, picking up another per cent users each year (at best), people will look back at August 2014 and say, “well, Windows Phone, you gave it your best shot.”

This inciting incident I’m referring to is, of course, the arrival of a fully-specced HTC One M8 variant running the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

Thanks to an assist from HTC, Microsoft can put its best foot forward on a device widely regarded as the finest piece of mobile hardware on the market.

SEE ALSO: Best Smartphones 2014

This launch has levelled the playing field. It gives the firm the chance to say, “this is what we’ve got, and it’s pretty damn great.” Until now, consumers have been denied the opportunity to truly compare the Windows Phone and Android experiences on a single device, due to Nokia’s reluctance to embrace Android, and manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, LG and HTC giving WP a wide berth in recent years.

With the HTC One M8, it finally becomes a straight choice between the platforms.

If the launch proves successful, it can be a catalyst for much greater adoption of Windows Phone. It will convince other major manufacturers they need to reignite the enthusiasm for Windows Phone that drained away so soon after it arrived in the scene five years ago.

Back then the OS was basically a proof of concept, a vision of what it could become. In the years that followed, it has improved immeasurably with its (don’t call it Metro) Metro UI now underpinning the experience across Microsoft’s desktop, mobile and gaming platforms.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8.1 review

Once a barren wasteland, the Windows Phone app store has been also boosted by recent high profile launches like Instagram, Vine, Uber and BBM. The big boys are finally taking it seriously and it seems the days of developers overlooking Windows Phone are over.

Windows Phone has never been better equipped to take the fight to iOS and Android and HTC’s flagship device is the perfect vessel for success.

However, you get the feeling it’s now or never; do or die time for Microsoft.

The software giant has spent years turning Windows Phone into a competitive and credible operating system. We can’t keep talking about potential. It’s had long enough to prove its worth.

SEE ALSO: HTC One M8 vs iPhone 5S

If this crucial release proves a commercial flop, it may be time to just admit that, regardless of its critical merits, people just don’t want it.

From a personal perspective, I like Windows Phone. I always have. However, I’m nowhere near close to ditching iOS for it.

Many people appear to feel the same way. It’s rare you hear people say ‘Windows Phone is terrible,’ because it’s not. Microsoft has just failed to give enough users enough of a reason to say ‘the hell with it’ and toss aside their inhibitions.

If the revitalised app catalogue and superb user experience sat within a brilliant handset like the HTC One M8 fails to convince consumers to jump aboard, it’s difficult to imagine what will.

For the sake of improving choice and competitiveness and ending the iOS and Android mobile duopoly, we should all hope it succeeds.

MORE: Nokia Lumia 930 review


August 23, 2014, 11:25 am


A phone that had disappointing sales s on Android is Windows Phone's last chance? That's just moronic.


August 23, 2014, 1:02 pm

Except Windows Phone's problems are connected to the lack of apps, not the lack of fancy, expensive handsets.

Slightly naive device-centric analysis.

Tim Sutton

August 23, 2014, 2:37 pm

I'm rapidly losing all faith in Trusted Reviews.

This kind of sensationalist uninformed tripe only hurts your reputation.


August 23, 2014, 9:18 pm

More like the last chance saloon for HTC. Having pandered to the journos' whim for metal phones they don't have to own after the first scratch, HTC found their bijou creation largely ignored by the people who matter. Now in desperation they take Microsoft's shilling.


August 24, 2014, 5:46 am

I think this is a ridiculous article. While the HTC One M8 is great phone, its not exactly hitting the Android sales top charts. If it cant do that with Android, why blame it on WP8.1? I own the Android version, its a great piece of execution and love. I also own a L925 which I love to death because of the OS. Both are great ecosystems and one can survive well in either but I just prefer MS ecosystem and have setup both phones for that and works well. The assertion that you miss out on Google services with WP is a total lies as I receive my Gmail emails, contacts and calender appointments on WP with ease. Here Maps is just as good as Google Maps. Metrotube is a great app for YouTube access. Not exactly sure what people lose out on WP from Google services, G+? Doubt it! IF HTC One W8 fails to sell well should HTC's inability to distribute and market their hardware as has always been the case.

Jason Peters

August 24, 2014, 12:14 pm

I know it's provoked a great debate about WP, but websites typing articles like this certainly don't help and pushes more people towards TR's "preferred OS" iOS or Macbooks or Google's OS as well. I suspect bada or whatever it's called is next TR's line of sight. I still remember their articles about Blackberry 10.

Good luck WP, but if the media are against like here, then it's always going to be an uphill struggle especially if they like Apple so much.


August 24, 2014, 5:59 pm

Ummm no! It wont mean anything to me since I'm not on VZ and never will be.

If HTC/Microsoft just sold the damn phones unlocked and direct from the Microsoft Store I'd pick on up in a Heart Beat. But the days of switching carries for a phone are over.


August 24, 2014, 6:06 pm

Screw Google. Microsoft could pay developers to port their apps. Microsoft needs to get back to their strong arm roots and stop playing the nice guy.


August 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

HTC is hurting bad. Not sure if it is in a position to boost Microsoft as HTC itself holds a ridiculously small market share.

One, despite being awesome failed to stand up against Galaxy mainly due to the marketing onslaught of Samsung and google combined.

Despite that, it is a perfect combo and it should draw more attention than the android offer. Windows Phone is more professional than both android and ios in many ways. And there are many beautiful apps on Windows Phone, the problem is, with devices in general not being so radically different from previous models and failing to fulfill the promise of replacing laptops and PCs despite the growth to new users are more slowly replaced than before. The replacement cycle has increased to 2 years and when someone has invested on a huge library of apps which are now part of their everyday life it is hard to change since App licenses on iOS and android are not transferable like in the case of Windows.

Google and iOS have closed people in the barn and ballchained them too.

It takes strong will and good incentives to consider an ecosystem change. The incentives are now in place. All it takes is people to be able to see the difference in order to make the leap forward.


August 24, 2014, 7:16 pm

Windows Phone turned up very late to the smartphone party and at best only offers a platform as good as the existing ones. Why would anyone bother to switch now?

I would have thought the hardware wasn't really the issue, given that the Lumias have been well received generally, and WP's light hardware requirements make bleeding edge specs unnecessary.

No idea really why anyone would choose an S5 over an M8, but people seem to in droves.


August 24, 2014, 8:03 pm

I think convincing people to jump from Android over to WP 8.1 is easier than convincing them to move from iPhone to WP 8.1. You find fanatics in both camps but I think the iPhone crowd tends to be more zealous than the Android crowd. Having used both iPhone and Android for an extended period, I feel the iPhone is a more consistent and better experience with Android being more customizable.
With that said, my wife just moved from iPhone to WP 8.1 on the Nokia 1520 and in less than a day, she was convinced that WP 8.1 was the right phone for her. She loves it now more than she ever did her iPhone (which she really liked as well). The road to from iPhone to WinPhone was not immediate. When her iPhone started acting up, she was reluctant to move to anything else. However, at the same time, she needed a new PC/tablet so we ended up getting her the Asus T100 which had Win 8. Once she started playing with it, she realized it wasn't so bad and that she might be open to a WinPhone. After looking around, she decided to get it a try and after that, she was hooked. She loves Cortana and uses her daily. The WiFi sense, Data Sense, Wordflow keyboard are all great features.
Having played with it quite a bit myself, I plan on switching from Android over to the HTC once AT&T picks it up. I too was an iPhone user for the first 4 generations and it was a good phone. However, the screen was just too small, I hated the design of the Iphone 5, their lack of support for Miracast was a problem for me...so, I switched to the HTC One (M7). It was a harder transition and I really don't think Android has really delivered a strong user experience. Therefore, as stated, my next phone will be the HTC M8. There is just a very solid user experience and strong feature set so I eagerly await.
I would recommend that people give it serious consideration when they are looking for their next phone. I think Msft has finally stepped up with a strong contender.


August 24, 2014, 10:14 pm

I disagree. Google's model is all cloud based so any browser gets you to the content if you so choose. Apps are just a conduit to those services and does not require Google to release an app as any developer can leverage their published APIs and produce an app.

Your comment also presupposes that everyone using an Android phone is doing so because they are tied to Google services...I have an android phone but I am not tied to google services. I use google maps because that is what is on my phone but I don't particular care if it is google maps or some other mapping s/w with the phone, I just want the GPS functionality, regardless of the mapping s/w installed. As long as it works, I am fine with it.

I use an exchange account for my email so I could care less about gmail. I don' t use google calendar or google docs.

So, the world does not revolve around google and not every user of a smartphone is tied to the google environment.

I know most corp. environment types are tied into the Msft ecosystem. Until now, WP has been lacking a fully featured phone OS that was on par or better than competitive offerings. I think they remedied that with 8.1. They have been lacking up to date/current h/w across the board, that is getting better but they need more. They lack strong carrier support...while they are available on every carrier, the carriers are not providing equal representation (due to marketshare) so there is a bit of chicken vs. egg going on. That is where Msft needs to look right now.


August 26, 2014, 12:18 am

very late? Windows phone been there like a decade now! The thing is people don't want the (thing) running on their pc to be the same running on their mobile phones. Windows looks like a grandparent's thing to most of youths around the world. Windows lacks ergonomics even in pronounciation, we have iphone,android and ... windows phone 8. 3 words and the term "windows" kills them all it looks oldschool. So quit the who 's to blame game , the public just don't want windows phone


August 26, 2014, 2:17 am

True. Sheep are easier to control than other animals. They have a tendency to flock and follow. :) It seems like for the time being the market share of Microsoft is doomed to be aligned to the amount of smart people in the world. :)


August 26, 2014, 8:22 am

Actually, Windows Phone has only been around since the end of 2010, whereas the iPhone came out in mid-2007 (and Android a year later). Three years is a long time in smartphone development, especially as updates from Microsoft have been leisurely.

Obviously Windows Mobile was around a long time before that, but was a completely different OS, that as you say was like having Windows on your phone. If anything, it did them more harm than good in the long run.

I agree that the Windows Phone name is clunky, and shoehorns in an brand that is not seen as young or fun, but the problems go deeper than the name.


August 26, 2014, 2:45 pm

You are not serious are you? Windows phone been there for years. Don't mix up window phone and window phone 8 all are windows phone its like tryna say gingerbread is not the same android as kitkat


August 26, 2014, 4:48 pm

Windows Phone has been there for years - almost four, to be precise. I'm not getting anything mixed up - Windows Mobile had a completely different UI from WP7, and it's apps can't run on the latter. So WP7 was starting from scratch.

WM6 needed a stylus and had tiny text - it hardly counts as a modern smartphone OS, which essentially began with the iPhone. So yes, I am serious.

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