Verizon gets back on board with Windows Phone

With the HTC Windows Phone 8X, Verizon ends its Windows Phone dry spell.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
Steve Ballmer and HTC Windows Phone
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer holds aloft the HTC Windows Phone 8X at the New York launch event. Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon has never been a staunch supporter of Windows Phone OS, at least in deed. But now, after a long hiatus, the U.S.' largest carrier is offering its first Windows Phone device in over a year. Verizon's sale of the HTC Windows Phone 8X is a move that could give both Microsoft and HTC the dramatic bumps they both need.

The re-emergence of Verizon as a source for Windows Phone is a tremendous win for Microsoft, which has seen the spread of its OS limited by Verizon's wait-and-see attitude. The carrier's tremendous clout could help cement Microsoft's Windows Phone OS as the third alternative to iOS and Android platforms.

In taking on the HTC Windows Phone 8X, Verizon is also granting HTC a boon: a chance for its nearly 100 million subscribers to see, handle, and possibly buy a Windows Phone. With AT&T and T-Mobile also on board, HTC will be able to dramatically increase its exposure to customers. The company must struggle to rebound from slipping sales, especially of its Android phones.

HTC and Microsoft have a long history together; HTC made white-label Windows Mobile phones for a long time. In fact, HTC first became a U.S. brand name on the basis of that partnership. Likewise, HTC and Verizon have a robust history, unlike Nokia, whose Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 the HTC phones challenge.

The colorful, Lumia-like HTC Windows Phone 8X (pictures)

See all photos

In contrast, AT&T has offered 7 smartphones with Microsoft's rebooted OS since Windows Phone first launched in 2010. T-Mobile sold four phones over the last two years, and Sprint, like Verizon, offered a single Windows Phone.

HTC's Windows Phone 8X handset features high-end specs like a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and 1080p HD video. Of course, there's also NFC and 4G LTE speeds on board.

Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T are slated to get the Windows Phone 8X in November.