Microsoft exec hints at new HTC Windows Phone work

A Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) executive indicated that HTC may soon be producing new smartphones running the software giant's Windows Phone operating system--but he declined to give any details.

Speaking at a press conference at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, Nick Parker, Microsoft corporate vice president responsible for OEM partnerships, indicated HTC is coming back into the fold, perhaps with new Windows Phone 8.1 devices. "I'd love to break some news here if I could," said Parker in response to a question about manufacturing partners, according to CNET. "But instead I'll just say that Microsoft will continue to have a great relationship with HTC. New things are coming, so get excited."

HTC has been one of the most consistent supporters of Windows Phone, and one of Microsoft's oldest mobile hardware partners in general, but it has been focusing much of its efforts lately on phones running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android platform. HTC's flagship phone, the One M8, runs Android, as do its more mid-range devices in its Desire line. HTC's last major Windows Phone debut was the high-end Windows Phone 8X released in late 2012.

According to the prolific leaker @evleaks, HTC is prepping a new Windows Phone for the third quarter with Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) that uses the Duo Camera and BoomSound audio technology found in HTC's new One.

Microsoft's Windows Phone roster includes Nokia, Huawei, Samsung Electronics, Foxconn, Gionee, Lava, Lenovo, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn, Micromax, Prestigio and ZTE. Microsoft earlier this year eliminated licensing fees for Windows device makers that are building smartphones and tablets with screens smaller than nine inches, which should make it more palatable for OEMs and ODMs to use Windows Phone even with Nokia now inside Microsoft.

However, so far there have been only a few new Windows Phone 8.1 device announcements. At the trade show, Parker did showcase new devices from InFocus Corp., Prestigio and Yezz. But Windows Phone still has a long way to go; research firm IDC thinks the platform will capture just 3.5 percent of the global smartphone market in 2014.

Meanwhile, Kabam, a leading mobile game company, announced a new, broad-reaching agreement to bring its top franchise games to Microsoft's Windows device ecosystem.

As part of the deal, Kabam will deliver its lineup of hit games to Windows tablets and phones over the next year, including "Fast & Furious 6: The Game," "Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon" and "The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth." Going forward, Kabam said, Windows users will be able to play future Kabam games in the same timeframe as other platforms.

For more:
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article
- see this IntoMobile article
- see this Microsoft release
- see this Kabam release 
- see this VentureBeat article

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