HTC's One M8 for Windows better not be a carrier exclusive

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| August 11, 2014

It has been one year, over one year actually, since I've been excited about a Windows Phone-based device. That was hard for me to admit when I sat here and thought about it, trying to go through the recently announced and released handsets that have made their way to the market. That isn't to say that it has been a year since a noteworthy device running Microsoft's mobile platform has launched, not at all. It's just been that long since I've cared about any of them beyond a cursory glance.

On July 11, 2013, Nokia announced the Lumia 1020. I'm a big fan of that phone, from its software to its hardware design, and especially with the camera. The only reason it didn't become my daily driver was Windows Phone in general, and my general misgivings with the applications present, and not present, on the platform. If I could have gotten around that, then the Lumia 1020 would easily be the phone I'm using today, more than a year later.

Instead, I've just thought about picking it up again from time-to-time, but never as a device used as my phone, or the device I use every day. I just wanted it for the camera. Eventually I talked myself out of this plan, though, because if I was going to buy a standalone camera, I better go with one that isn't a phone, too. More than that, I just didn't want another device to carry around.

So, ever since the end of September, 2013, I've been waiting for something new. Honestly, Windows Phone-based announcements are some of my favorite, because it's the one platform that I'm still waiting for that ridiculously great device to win me over. (And now that the platform has matured with Windows Phone 8.1, and has seen more developer support, that time is finally a possibility.) And I've been waiting, patiently, with the hopes that the device will come sooner, rather than later.

At the end of October, Nokia launched the Lumia 1520, and a lot of people love that device. There's a lot of good things working for it, like the internal hardware, the camera, and some other things, but for me none of that matters because it annoys me to use it thanks to that 6-inch display. It's one of the few Nokia-branded Lumia devices I actually dislike, because of the display's size.

And then the Lumia Icon showed up, a device that, by and large, would be something I'd want to use. The 5-inch display is just slightly larger than I like, but I could have gotten used to it. Everything else about it was just so good. It's a powerhouse of a device, and subscribers under the Verizon-branded umbrella really lucked out with it. Everyone else in the United States? Not so much.

Those are the big three here State-side, and that's why I'm still waiting.

HTC has a One M8 variant that's apparently running Windows Phone 8.1 set to be unveiled right around the corner, and yet I'm sitting here realizing that I'm probably going to have to temper my excitement, because it's going to be another exclusive. At least, that's what all the rumors suggest. Verizon has managed to grab the One M8 for Windows (still a terrible, confusing name) if you believe the leaks, and that means those under AT&T's, Sprint's or T-Mobile's network maps won't be able to enjoy the new flagship handset.

And then there's Microsoft's new event, scheduled for September 4. I thought that it might be a great time to get excited for Windows Phone all over again, but then that event's probably going to be focused on mid-range devices, like the Lumia 730 "selfie phone."

At this point, I just have to hope that HTC and Microsoft don't launch the One M8 for Windows as a carrier exclusive. It's been way too long as far as Windows Phone is concerned since a flagship device has launched for multiple carriers. And this is something that Windows Phone still needs.

If the One M8 for Windows launches as a non-carrier exclusive? I'll pick it up without a second thought. Still, I'm scared that that's not going to happen.

For everyone else, though, the HTC-branded flagship device may just work as an "in-between device," the handset that holds them over until Microsoft finally gets around to launching a Surface Phone. Which has to happen some day, right?

Are you anticipating the launch of the One M8 for Windows? Let me know.