HTC confirms 8X to get Windows Phone 8.1

Even though Microsoft has stated numerous times that all current Windows Phone 8 handsets should be eligible for ‘future OS upgrades’, referring presumably to Windows Phone 8.1, the question if OEMs are as committed is a concern. Specifically if HTC (or even Samsung) are still willing to support 8.1, expected to be announced in April.

Today, HTC took to Reddit for an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, where questions were fielded from the audience about Android. However, a member of the audience asked HTC directly if they were “done” with Windows Phone.

The USA Product Team for HTC were surprisingly forthright in their answer:

“To say "done with Windows Phone" is a pretty blanket statement. I don't think a company such as ourselves can ever say that point blank. As strong partners of Microsoft, we're working with Microsoft on the Blue update on Windows Phone 8X and will continue to take new products into consideration. Nothing concrete right now, but who knows!”

Of course there is no word about the forgotten – and less popular – HTC 8S, though users of the HTC 8X can take solace in knowing that HTC plans on bringing ‘Blue’ – AKA Windows Phone 8.1 – to users later this year.

The HTC 8X was heralded as the ‘premier’ Windows Phone 8 device, only to be overshadowed by Nokia and their Lumia 920. By the time Windows Phone 8.1 starts to hit hardware through updates, the 8X will be a year and half old. That shouldn’t impact the OS at all as 8.1 is optimized to run even on the Lumia 520.

HTC has been very quiet on the Windows Phone front and if there will be new hardware for 8.1

Users who don’t want to wait for HTC to deliver the update do have recourse to the Developer Preview program, which is expected to go live again during (or shortly after) the Build announcement. That program will allow users to update their OS to an early build of the 8.1 update, though any customized firmware from HTC will be omitted until the later update is finalized.

Source: Reddit; via Engadget

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • That's good to know. I don't really hold HTC in high esteem but it's good that they aren't completely abandoning their devices. It's such a shame about the 8S though. I think that's one of the best-looking WP devices out there. I wonder if they'll still support the 8XT as well?
  • 8XT will be heavily dependent on Sprint, who have to request and test new firmware that will go along with it. I honestly have no idea how that phone is doing on that carrier in terms of sales, which often translates into support. My guess is that since it's so new, they will do 8.1. But if the phone flopped, then no guarantee. 
  • Do you think Sprint will be involved when new WP 8.1 devices are announced?
  • This is exactly why Microsoft should take the update process completely away from the carriers, like Apple does, it should not matter how well a phone does to receive updates; even if only one 8XT sold it should still receive full support same as if 5 million or more sold.  
  • ^^^^^THIS
  • Wondered the same thing, but I think its pretty clear based on their support of the 8XT so far, that they'll support us too.
  • I have to give Sprint credit for fixing the problem with voicemail (although should have caught in testing) instead of just dumping windows phone. I really like my 8xt but would buy a HTC one max on windows phone in a heartbeat.
  • I don't love huge phones...but a WP HTC One v2 would be great.   Still a few issues to fix with their Voicemail system, hopefully 8.1 gives them the api's they need to fix it, so they're movtivated to bring our device up to 8.1.  With how quickly GDR3 came out, and the device being 10 mos. old, let's hope that we'll still continue to be supported.   I think we will.
  • I really love my 8X. Much better than the piece of trashed that was the HTC Trophy. Still miss my HTC Imagio, though. It just had so many little extras (stylus, zoom bar, kickstand antenna, customizable media button, etc) that put it over the top. Anyway, I think people need to realize that the 8X is the closest Windows Phone got to having one phone on all US carriers (sorry, Sprint users, although the 8XT was cool, albeit late). That didn't make it the success story that people keep concluding comes with one device on all carriers.
  • 8S is indeed best looking WP device. To bad it only had the look going for it. 4GB of memory if I remember correctly.
  • Ah my HTC 8X, I do miss that volume and quality boost that Beats gave me.
  • Meanwhile HTC One X hahaahh
  • I truly hope they make more handsets. There phones are rather nice. I just wish they were a little more into it all.
  • +1; I love the way the 8X looks, if HTC had better WP support and unique apps on the level of Nokia I would have gone with HTC instead of a Lumia, but as it stands Nokia has other OEMs beat and until they step up it does not matter how great their hardware might be if the support is not there as well.  
  • Great news! I went Nokia recently, but would consider HTC again in the future.
  • 8X user here...still envious of Nokia WPs, but this is great news.
  • Envious because of design? Or the exclusive apps.
  • Black, glance, double tap..
    8XDesign is great. But i want 5" with nokia features..
    - 8X
  • 8x design is awesome but exclusive apps & OS tweaks make me put Nokia in my top list next purchase whatever HTC releases. I'm considering 1520 for my wife and ICON for myself. Nothing better than having a phone from a company who cares alot about customers not abandoning them. I don't consider 8.1 upgrade confirmation as a good care to customers.
  • Out of curiosity, did you get GDR1 or 2 on the 8x?
  • Of course, GDR 3 too. I am in the developer preview, but this does not matter. My 8X receives MS updates regularry (maybe carriers delayed some variants). I am missing too these exclusive Nokia apss but I am not so disappointed, in the Store there are some equivalents, also I got Nokia Drive without a hack so I am satisfied. So I will hope 8X to continue to be supported at least with fast firmware updates on every MS update (8.1 and next) from HTC. (my 8X is unlocked but bought from the carrier - Vivacom Bulgaria and I am using it on MTel Bulgaria)
  • Yeah, but I wonder if the carriers have pushed it out to people outside of the preview
  • Everyone except T-mobile has for the 8x in the USA.
  • ...I have GDR3 on my HTC 8x
  • O.m.g.
  • We finally hear from HTC...
  • WOOT!!
  • 1 year and 2 months with my "Beats Windows Phone" 8X and stills runs like new, even with the 90% of my storage consumed and running with all updates still feels like a high end device.
  • Same here, except that I still have 7.3 GB free :p
  • Same here. It'll probably be the first time ever that I am passing over my upgrade because this phone is still up there with the best in speed and quality.
  • Almost a year here, and it still looks, feels, and performs like a first class device.
  • I feel the same way. My 8x is a champ. The only phone I would consider replacing it with would be a surface phone, if it ever exists.
  • I bought an 8X for my sister while I had the 920. I really liked the form factor and feel. I just already had the 920. Now with a 1520, it might feel like holding an iPhone. Im conflicted. :( I think a slightly smaller form factor would serve me best though I receive a lot of "you brought your tablet etc comments, people are surprised in a positive sense when they see it #thatswhathesaid
  • I remember when this phone was released it would sell much less compared to the 920 at that time. It was a cool phone that need support from HTC like NOKIA shows for their products. Anyone else in the audience when Ballmer gave one of these to the entire audience? I sold mine and bought a Surface with the money. :)
  • I was there and am still using mine
    I got it unlocked and put it on TMobile and it is still a favorite. Even today people notice it and comment on how slim it is.
  • Which event was it that they handed it out?
  • When WP 8 was revealed in San Francisco.
  • It's still a great device, and I'm glad to hear that it is to receive support. I actually prefer it's design over the nokia devices, just wish it's screen was just as vibrant.
  • I know what you mean about the vibrant screen. I ended up getting the Nokia 822 from Verizon instead. One of the reasons was the exceptionally clear screen. The other was the expandable memory which is going to come into play if (or when) we are able to load apps on the SD card.
  • Still rocking my 8X for over a year now and no problems at all. As for the updates...glad to get them within the first few weeks as opposed to 3 months.
  • I want 8.1 on my 8S so badly, I don't want to buy another phone!
  • Dev preview :)
  • Glad that they didn't completely forgot about us 8X owners!
    Hope we get it before Nokia guys *Evel Smile*
  • Nope.avi
  • Still have my 8x, glad to hear its coming. This is a great looking phone. I will be buying some replacement carbonate shells to change to give it a new look for wp8.1.
  • Still have my 8X as a backup phone. I'll definitely be sure to update it first chance so I have a good backup option should anything happen to my 920.
  • I hope HTC sticks with it.  I struggled with the choice between the L920 and the 8X and ultimately made the right choice for me by going with Nokia.  However, I like the look and feel of their One hardware and wish they would bring another competing product to WP. 
  • Hahaha HTC.. Forget it..
  • Least the 920 is supported. Ive had 925 and 1020. But i still prefer the quality build and feel of the 920 over them all
  • Thank goodness for WP sake
  • Nice!! I wanna see how the 8.1 perform on my 8x. Reason whybi have this? Nit much lumia here in canada.
  • I used to love this company :'(
  • I used HTC when their phones were still generic, without logo. E.g. Wizard 100 sold under the name Cingular 8125. I owned both 100 and 110. I still have one of them. This later became Touch Pro, then Touch Pro2 and then 7 Pro.
  • "I Used HTCs before they were cool" hahahahaha sorry I couldn't resist.
  • I LOVE my HTC 8XT on Sprint! Unlimited data AND we were the first Windows Phone to get official GDR3! (So we should get 8.1 too...)
  • My brother will go nuts.
  • Good news! Love my 8X .beats audio Is a must for me since I tried it
  • Does "all" phones really mean all? I mean, I don't think Huawai will update their phones, but that's just me.
  • Developer preview! I got GDR3 on my Huawei Ascend W1 :)
  • I meant officially.
  • Isn't developer preview official?
  • I'm glad because I own 2 and don't plan on upgrading until a surface phone is released
  • Man if I could have an 4.5 inch 8x with a Nokia 1520/icon camera, qi charging and SD slot I'd be a happy camper
  • Lol, i like the way you think my friend
  • Real good news!! I was afraid HTC won't consider to upgrade the 8X to blue, but apparently they do.. I'm still thinking about switching to Lumia 1020 though looool
  • Tmobile HTC 8X users still did not get GDR3 :/ anyone know if Tmobile would interfere with WP 8.1?
  • That's the question. Not if OEMs will update, but will carriers?? I'm still waiting on my 925???
  • We should all harass T-Mobile to give us some dang support
  • I'm surprised someone actually asked about it, I thought the entire session would be Raged One X\+ owners talking about kitkat . HTC Y U NO UPDATE ONE X ??? Anyway, HTC been doing well keeping the 8X up to date. I received 8 updates for my 8X since I got it a year ago. I also signed up for the Developer Preview to get GDR3 when Microsoft announced it, but I got the official one like a week later lol. Regarding them releasing a new phone, isn't HTC WP cycle tied to the major WP update cycle ? Aside from carrier specific phones (HD7S, Titan II & 8XT) , they only release new phones with major Windows Phone updates (7, 7.5 & 8) & so far we didn't get any major Windows Phone update since 8.0 came out.
  • That is a good point my friend, if they do bring a new one out i hope they are developing new apps else i can see them still being left behind for Nokia for a lot of people.
  • There will be no Nokia come April. Not the one that makes phones.
  • Yep yep, fingers crossed for a camera app.
  • Those must be old photos of the 8X when it was brand new, because the corners aren't worn off! smh
  • Mine still look the same :)
  • Oh, mine is awful.  I've started to pick at it, maybe one day I'll have a shiny red 8X instead of a matte red!
  • Ouch! That sucks.
    I have a black one. Wanted a yellow one, but it wasn't released here.
  • I really wanna see someone do that with their 8X case, then sandblast it.
  • I'm looking forward to it! I love the 8x despite it bricking on me 2 times in the past year. I hope HTC comes out with a HTC One type of windows phone.
  • attempted to switch to lumia soooo many times..but well my 8X is here to stay..thanks for the news.i really hope to get Glance-like feature from HTC as well.and equalizer coz beatsaudio means nothing only amplifies the sound volume.
  • Good to hear as the wife has, and really loves the 8X.
  • Yaaayy
  • My ATIV S got the GDR3 update last night. I highly doubt Samsung will stop short of getting the update of ALL updates.
  • Congrats! I still haven't gotten it. When the 8.1 finally arrives, I might have to resort to CSC switch. Otherwise I would only get it 4 months later than everyone else.
  • who's your provider??
  • Not in US. It's an international unbranded phone with XSE CSC.
  • All I want is a HTC One with that really too much to ask?
  • Yes. Why would you want a 2013 hardware for 2014 software?
  • Because we got support for 2013 hardware not too long ago.
  • T-Mobile can't even release gdr3 for 925, hard to believe it'll get 8.1.
  • ^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^ SERIOUSLY!!!
  • The 8X was the nicest looking device of the WP8 bunch, but I've purchased enough HTC phones to know they abandon their young pretty quickly. The HTC ONE in my pocket is the only exception. Nokia basically killed HTC in courtroom and in the Windows phone market. My 1020 is pretty close to the ONE but that's more of an apples to oranges comparison because of the different hardware generations. I hope HTC is back with new hardware for 8.1 because they have the best designers hands down.
  • Glad because my 8X is still my daily driver until a better option is available on Mobile. My worse choice in my Mobile experience has been getting a financed 925, this thing is nothing compared to the 8X... People still comment on how slim and professional looking my 8X is!
  • Have an 8X and a 925, still use 8X as my daily driver.
  • I'd love to see a HTC One Variant for the Windows Phone ecosystem!
  • Waiting for T-Mobile to update my 8x!
  • Don't hold your breath said the frustrated 925 owner.
  • Just sign up for the dev preview program. T-Mobile doesn't care about WP updates it seems.
  • Doesn't seem like much of a question if Samsung will support 8.1, with 1 or 2 models apparently on the way.
  • YES!!!!!!
  • Please, HTC, convince me away from Sony. May the best design win. That said, I probably won't upgrade my 8X anyway. It's just too beautiful and fast, even with only 4.5 GB of storage left.
  • I have 500 MB left man...
  • Still fast?
  • Not really surprised. The 8x has been getting updates before Nokia phones almost all the time, which is great.
  • Well that's good. Part of the reason I went with Windows Phone over an Android was because of the erratic updates across different devices, so I'm glad that perk about WP8 is still present. Though I wouldn't mind seeing some new hardware from HTC. Nokia might be the iconic Windows Phone, but HTC is no slouch, to be sure, and if the 8X is any indication, their design acumen is in top form on Windows Phone.
  • Great new.for me :)
  • Where's the HTC Harmony :-/
  • Used to love my 8X but had to switch to Lumia 925 after waiting for WP version of HTC One - HTC totally disappointed me. Would have bought HTC in a heartbeat. Lumia exclusive apps are a killer proposition though.
  • Why are HTC not making new phones quickly
  • Perfectly good news :):):):)
  • HTC is basically done with WP.
  • Because of the popularity of the Lumia's, the 8x has seem to be forgotten but let me tell you this, the 8x is still a great windows phone.
  • The most underrated phone ever. I have an iphone4s, a galaxy note 3, a Nokia lumia 800 and an HTC 8x. This is the only phone that has never frozen, never shut down abruptly and never behaved unexpectedly. It even endured a 5 minute full tap shower from my 2 years old. Wish HTC could give more than six half baked apps for its wp customers.
  • I have 8S and i'm going to walk away from wp if they don't upgrade my phone to 8.1 :/
  • Blame the OEM and the carrier not the ecosystem Microsoft updates all devices it's up to the OEM and carrier to push it to the device
  • ywah, i know. i'm very disappointed with HTC if this is true :\ i thought that wp will be different from android in meaning of updates
  • It doesn't matter if HTC don't push out the update, you'll still be able to get it via the Preview for Developers app. 
  • Have someone here come to know who are the big developers MS is inviting them for build?
  • This is great news, finally! I just wish I didn't crack the top left of my screen. I only have like 30mb of space left but will upgrade to 8.1 and when my upgrade is due or before, will get a NL 1520. But I am overjoyed HTC still have plans for WP and have not forgotten about us 8Xers, I've had mine for about 8/9 months and its still an amazing high end phone. Switching to Lumia is inevitability in motion though, there is something very enticing about the huge screen and power of the 1520.
  • Yay!, love my 8x.. Wish they Add exlusive app like nokia with 8.1 update..
  • Well considering the Huawei Ascend hasn't got ANY gdr updates this news from HTC isn't surprising
  • How are those related?
  • One reason to buy an HTC instead Samsung!! 
  • Do not forget that 8x and 8s are signature devices. They cannot abandon them so easily. After 17 months mine looks and works like a new one without a case.
  • Exactly 
  • That's great news! I love my HTC 8x which is the main reason I switched to windows phone. Looking forward to the 8.1 update! :D
  • It would be very surprising and disappointing if there is no update for WP this our fault that we have bought 8S    
  • What I want is a replacement for my Touch Pro 2.  When will HTC come out with a Windows Phone 8 device that has a slide out keyboard?
  • I have the 8x and I am happy to hear they are going to update this phone. At least I will get to experience the new update before I get a new phone in Nov. I just hope they Xbox one smart glass is integrated to the Xbox live app
  • Great news. Need yo keep support up Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • With this update of Windows 8.1. Does the HTC 8X will have bluetooth smart (BTLE/Blutooth 4.0) capability?   Lumia has this during the Lumia black update
  • Thank god I bought an 8X!
  • I updated my Sprint 8XT with 8.1update yesterday, it has been shutting down few times since then. I don't know if it is just my 8XT. Anyome else is experiencing this issue?
  • After updating my HTC 8x to 8.1 its been laggy, the power button does not lock the screen and it doesnt recognize my SIM so i dont have mobile service, does anyone have the same problem? Thanks
  • I would love to suffer only lag. I updated my 8x to WP 8.1 Via the Microsoft Developers Preview...
    Appeared to download and run all updates.
    Then BRICKED! .... so 8x owners beware....
    Its now in an endless Boot loop. Hard Reset actioned had no effect. 
    HTC dont provide a way to restore your firmware, which is pathetic. For a phone purchased 3 months ago, i am sorely disappointed. 
    I can only hope that after they realise just how many 8x owners are having this and other issues (even with 8.0), they will smarten up and provide tools to recover the damn device back to factory settings.   
  • It's almost 4 months later and I still haven't received 8.1? Maybe it isn't going to happen.
  • I'm so disappointed that I have a Windows Phone 8x from HTC.  Windows as a phone OS will never be at a percentage that will be of any relevance.  The web is filled with the SIM card issue examples for this model...which HTC refuses to acknowledge.  The engineers of this model should be fired.  Their managers should be fired.  The QA staff for this model should be fired.  To bad Verizon doesn't drop HTC entirely.  8.1... as if that could make any difference in any meaningful way.  Quite laughable really, only it's MY money.  Niether MIcrosoft nor HTC will get any money from my next phone purchase.  Wish I had never returned the iPhone 5, after only having it a week almost two years ago.  Will not let anyone suffer as I have.  Can't wait to upgrade in November and smash this phone.  Will send half of what remains to Remond, half to HTC.   RIP WP.
  • Hey ihave HTC wp 8x but i want to make update isn't be done, why?