From the Forums: Should HTC focus on Windows Phone and which Surface tablet would you buy?

It's that time of the week where we bring you the latest and greatest threads that have been hot on the Windows Phone Central forums the past couple of days. Our community accumulates posts at a steady rate and interesting discussions take place on a daily basis. So what has been happening over the weekend just gone?

kylej1050 has created a new thread asking the question, "Surface Pro vs RT?" Looking to replace a laptop, which Microsoft tablet would cater for his needs?

"I'm looking to replace my convertible laptop with a Surface, and I can't help but think that as nice as the Pro's functionality would be, I don't need the horsepower in my daily life and for the price difference I could program MCUs on a $300 Wal-mart special e-machine with Windows 8 next year. Only thing that's making me think otherwise is that I really really really want the full HD screen."

It's a burning question on many minds who are anticipating Microsoft's Windows 8 hardware. Should you go for more horsepower with the Pro, or sit back and relax with the cheaper RT version? Let us know in the comments what you'll be going for, as well as joining in the debate on our forums. 

What should HTC do?

With the recent news of HTC continuing to drop in profits, one has to ask if there's a stable future with Android. While the company is still making ends meet and is shipping enough handsets for a tidy sum left after expenditure, would it be wise for HTC to start pushing Windows Phone more too? 12Danny123 asks exactly that,

"Do you think that after what happened to HTC. do you think that they should come back and focus more on Wp8 now. because HTC simply can't compete with Samsung in the android space. though Samsung is now putting more into Wp8 as well. So what do you guys think?"

HTC's home is Android for the foreseeable future, and there's no way it could survive with Microsoft alone, but it seems odd that the manufacturer would continue to support a platform with new handsets without promoting and supporting them like Nokia with its Lumia family of Windows Phones. Do you believe HTC should get into bed more with Microsoft? Pop into the "Do you think that HTC should focus more on WP8 now for what happened before" thread for discussion.

Miscellaneous: Why is no one talking TITAN II? 

The HTC TITAN II, a Windows Phone we rate highly for its massive screen and solid camera performance. As we mentioned above, HTC hasn't been pushing its Windows Phone line-up, which has led to the slow decline in sales and exposure. Forum member cp2_4eva wonders why the recently purchased TITAN II isn't being talked about.

"HTC messed up I think by not pushing this and decreasing the price point as well. This phone may not have been as big as the Nokia Lumia, but still probably could have pushed more numbers. Oh, and I guess the sketchy support could be an issue as well. Nokia is being really really good with the support so far. I think I'd still get a Nokia device once WP8 drops. That was part of my reasoning for trying the titan, because I know I'm simply just going to get a WP8 device for Christmas if it's out by then."

This sits in nicely with our question about what HTC should do in the future. Would you like to see the manufacturer push harder, or do you believe it's down to carriers to take the smartphones and sell them? Voice your opinion in the "Why aren't folks talking about the TII?" thread.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I honestly don't think HTC will focus on any Windows Phone system in the long term, since Microsoft doesn't allow HTC to install HTC Sense as part of the Windows Phone UI, whihc is what HTC's proud of, with no Sense to install, HTC doesn't have any way to focus on, they don't even bother developing some more apps, like Nokia does.
    I've spoken with custom service personnel from HTC about this issue couple months ago, they just told me they would let the development department know about that, but no more new apps from HTC available in the marketplace ever since. In some way I think HTC gives up Windows Phone in some ways, we'll be grateful if HTC at least ships out one or two types of Windows Phone devices.....
  • What is the point of sense and other Android 'skins'? Does Joe blow consumer see the difference on screen? (I usually don't, through app list and app list.) Besides the Note, Nexus, Galaxy and Razor line could most users even name their phone? Just thinking out loud...
  • I applaud Microsoft for staying strong and setting a standard for the UI on WIndows Phone. Standards are what keep things in order and up to date. Look at Android and what they've become compared to Apple. Apple users regularly update their phones and it looks like Windows Phone users will do the same.
  • In my opinion HTC makes the best hardware but they really need to commit to wp8 or I'll be switching to Nokia :( I'll miss you HTC....
  • +1
  • I've had HTC for ages. Their HW is no match for Nokia.
  • I have owned a few HTC devices. The hardware was usually good, but the drivers they paired with it were consistently terrible. While hardware specs tell us what a device can achieve, how close a devices comes to realizing that potential is dependent on software.
    Realizing that potential is something HTC (and most other OEM's) couldn't care less about. Their attitude tends to be: "if the drivers don't crash then they are good enough". I have even owned a HTC device without accelerated support for 3D graphics, even thouth the SoC had a GPU! The reason was that HTC cheaped out and decided not to pay a few dollars per device to license the GPU drivers. As a result, my navigation software just barely stuttered along instead of being buttery smooth.
    I don't know why HTC has fallen so far behind Samsung. I'm sure it is not due to the complaints I have concerning low level OS software. But I will never again buy a HTC. Good ridance.
    For WP this is no longer an issue, as Microsoft does all the hard work of getting the OS to run optimally on the core hardware. OEM's only need to worry about display and camera drivers. In these two areas Nokia is king, paralleled only by Apple.
  • I think htc could really turn their fortunes around by pushing Windows Phone. They could start with wp8 and ride of the marketing buzz that Nokia started with smoked by Windows Phone. Perhaps MS could cut a similar deal that they have with Nokia for that commitment. I hope someone in the boardroom at HTC is thinking plan b......
  • I don't believe in that smoked by WP campaign. I think the real goal is not to convert people but to capture new smartphone and younger generation users. Like they say, its hard to teach an old dog new tricks. So don't even try. I think WP campaign or adds (if there is any) should be based on hey look we goy people hub with Facebook integration on the go. Hey look at word with OneNote! Hey look at SkyDrive and all the photos and music I saved! Hey look I don't have to mess around with so many settings! Hey i can Facebook chat in my messaging! These are features MS need to show to people, not hey i can send messages faster than your phone. Well so what! My android does it too, slow or not it gets the job done.
  • Yeah, most of the peoplw dont know about how well integrated social networjs are and they should know about that.
  • HTC is slowly losing market share with Android with their prehistoric design and short lasting appeal Sense Skin. They fixed one problem, over saturating the market. Now they've made another, braun over brain. They should continue WP working on design philosophy and further improving camera. Add beats audio and specialize in making their WP a better music device with intuitive music and video controls rather MS's own. MS's just doesn't work well. One design that works, take a look at the HTC Radar.
  • WP music app doesn't work? How so? My only gripe is that when in music, you click marketplace it doesn't take you to the music marketplace but the overall marketplace. Zune desktop is another story.
  • Sorry I mean the controls. Play your music saved on your SkyDrive. Try the forward and backward buttons. Doesn't work well! Lack of options, EQ, etc. Just not smooth. Its just my gripe.
  • Don't need an EQ of there's a sound enhancer which HTC provides
  • Uh, no problems with the forward and back buttons. Press once for a 30 second skip, hold down to fast forward and rewind. Never had a problem with it.
  • Beats audio is purely a marketing gimick! Good for bragging rights among the clueless but otherwise almost worthless.
  • Wouldn't be saying that if it was beats by Coldplay
  • First on the surface I would not settle for the RT it's a waist of money if I just wanted the tablet experience I would go for a transformer & as far as HTC I think they made a mistake by not putting as much attention to wp7 since it's early days. I remember the old windows mobile days when they owned the pocket PC world I would buy only HTC even my last Android was an HTC sensation 4g but now I own a Samsung focus S & because of the nice screen I don't plan on downgrading to HTC.
  • RT is not a waste of money
  • RT is more than adequate for 90%
  • That sounds a little high and I think it would Ned to be qualified as the private market, definitely not the business market
  • I am the 10%.
  • Good for you, no one cares
  • I wait for a Pro version with Intel's next gen Haswell processors and hopefully a screen with 2k resolution
  • I personally will be hoping to get the rt tablet if its price right.
  • Me too
  • Telstra have been pushing the 4G Titan (same as Titan II) quite heavily as a phone for businesses. It is also 1 of 4 choices with 4G / LTE. The other 3 are all Android. Telstra aren't even selling the Lumia 900!
  • If the price is right, I'll most probably get both Surfaces. One for at home and one for at work.
  • Here we go with another HTC bash fest
  • Get out;) htc don't support WP as they used to with wm... They should go bact to their roots...
  • Since the Titan 2 and Lumia 900 are so similar what's the key difference? Support. When's the last time HTC put out a new app. Meanwhile Nokia's publishing more apps than Microsoft.
  • Like beauty and the beast. Nokia has finesse and HTC has brute strength:)
  • Definitely Surface pro...RT is just not cutting it for me...
  • I would get an surface pro or x86 tablet for myself cuz of program backward compatability. I'll get the RT for my fiance as it suits her and most needs so far of the general consumer. On the Htc, well I just got a Lumia 900 cuz my good ole' first gen Sammy focus finally met its match (water caused connection issues and it reset randomly). I could of choose a Titan II, Focus 2, or Lumia 900. The focus just didn't impress me off the bat and I don't feel the love or support from HTC with the Titan II but the Lumia has that and was cheaper. I do love everything about my lumia except for the lack of memory storage space but that's a problem every model has.
  • Eu acho que se fosse comprar um Surface, compraria um RT por causa do preço.
    Mas a própria Microsoft já anunciou que com a chegada do Windows 8, juntamente com seus parceiros, vão lançar 20 tablets com Windows 8 até o fim deste ano...
    Ou seja, há muitas opções além do Surface.
    É esperar para ver o que virá.
  • I think htc still have a time to think about strategy and where to turn
  • Since the pro comes out only after 90 days after the surface RT is out...i'll prefer to wait and first use the RT during those 3 months...and if it gets my job done...then I'll buy an RT surface itself...but if I feel there's something missing...then the Pro surface is always an option...
  • I'm starting to think a RT would be great I'm going to use it as a tablet and replace my desktop. I no longer have a need for tablet desktop smartphone and laptop The question is what's going to be available with RT
  • I have a Titan 1 and imo, the camera is horrible. My original evo had a beter camera. That, and htc lack of support for windows phones, I will definately go Samsung or Nokia. HTC will have to have something great to woo me back. My dream phone:
    4.7 screen 720 or 1080p
    Dual core
    Memory card up to 64 gb
  • Well HTC and many others better hurry up and think about it, otherwise they will begin to flatline in the Android market, because Samsung is there Flagship handset maker. They need to put resource behind WP, that's the only way a third OS wil become relevant and profitable for them.
  • I personally wouldnt say id never get an htc because i was very close to getting a titan1, i do think that htc should focus more on pushing wp as a whole but i dont think they should stop producing androids because they still make money. i think they should just equally support both platforms they are building devices for is all. i also will personally be getting a surface :)
  • surface PRO :D
  • I'd only really buy the RT if it was a great deal cheaper than the Pro and at least $100 less than the cheapest iPad. I really wish they would have given it at least an Intel i3 dual-core or something, that would make it a little more appealing.
  • Screw HTC they missed their chance a while ago with Windows phone. That's was obvious when Lumia 900 outshined the Titan 2.
  • Nice article with food for thought!
    If I understand the trends in arguments correctly on the issue of htc and windows phone and the choice of a surface tablet, to start with, I think htc is doing fine with their android phones in the market. As an economic novice, but perhaps a bit of an enduser smartphone enthusiast I'm getting the impression that htc is strong. Sure there is profit loss, but many smartphone makers are in a similar situation one way or the other. There is an economic inbalance and with investment comes profit loss. There is perhaps a correlation, but it does not mean that loss is related to failing of some sort. This is hyped due to the phenomenon of fast and dirty stock market econmices of which much media attention has shown that no one really know what their doing. I'm not worried about HTC. I do believe that the investment of HTC in windows phone is a good choice. The HTC smartphones with microsoft OS may not have received the media attention they deserve, but they have shown to be a great investment for durabilty. Take the HTC HD2. A fantastic phone and has shown to be adoptable on many OS'es, even if not official. The Titan is showing similar results with the official and homebrew windows phone mango OS. I also have a Tian, it is a good phone, a solid phone and a reliable phone. I have so far had little issues with it. I've even seen youtube videos and read reviews that show and tell that the Titan makes better picutres and video than the Lumia series!!! Why I think less attention has been set on the Tian II is the fact that it is currently only available in the US and supports LTE. The rest of the world hasn't hardly touched it, let alone that non-US have LTE support.! I'm afraid to say that a niche market plainly means less exposure and thus less known. that's why the Lumia series are going well. An unfortunate strategic choice on HTCs part perhaps. The best way to learn is from your mistakes. I would certainly have been interested in the Titan II if it were available for Europe with the correct band and specification support.
    As for the surface I would choose the non-RT Surface tablet with pen support. The triad of Windows 8, tablet, and pen support, in my opinion is the correct investmentchoice. It makes the Surface-RT look, well, less complete.