HTC One M8 for Windows debuts

The phone, available for purchase for $100 with a two-year contract starting Tuesday, is being sold exclusively through Verizon Wireless.

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Jeff Dietel, a Verizon executive, at Tuesday's HTC event. Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC on Tuesday debuted the new HTC One M8 for Windows smartphone, bringing an operating system option other than Android to the handset maker's flagship phone.

For now, the device is a Verizon Wireless exclusive and only available in the US. It's available 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 online starting at noon Tuesday and at retail stores starting Wednesday.

Verizon also sweetened the offer using its exclusive deal with NFL Mobile. Customers of its More Everything plan will get NFL Mobile for the entire 2014-15 pro football season, including access to live streaming games and NFL Network, on their smartphone at no additional cost.

HTC has been working to hold onto customers following many months of weakening sales. Despite offering critically acclaimed products, the Taiwan company has dropped out of the top rankings of smartphone makers, unable to match the much larger advertising budgets of powerhouses such as Samsung or Apple.

Adding a model using Microsoft's Windows Phone could open the HTC One M8 to that operating system's loyal fan base. However, that group of customers remains small, with Windows Phone capturing just 2.5 percent of the smartphone market as of the second quarter, according to market researcher IDC.

Prior reports had anticipated a Windows Phone version of the HTC One M8, which is already available with Google's Android operating system.

The only difference between the Android and Windows Phone versions is their operating systems. They both have the same hardware, including 1,920x1,080-pixel 5-inch displays, dual-lens rear camera, front-facing "BoomSound" stereo speakers, and an aluminum construction. CNET's Scott Stein got an early look at the device -- be sure to check out his hands-on with the HTC One M8 for Windows.

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