In mid-August, a few weeks before the impending Windows Phone 8 storm kicked off, we pleaded with HTC to truly take Windows Phone seriously this time. Evidently they listened, and HTC blew our minds with the reveal of the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S.
So, just how did HTC learn to love Windows Phone again? Bloomberg has just published a fascinating report about the renewed collaboration between the old partners, and it’s definitely worth reading if you are interested in learning about what occurred behind-the-scenes. Stitching together various accounts from anonymous sources as well as key public figures like current Windows Phone leader Terry Myerson and HTC sales president Jason Mackenzie.
Here is one of the more enlightening parts of the report, which reveals that Microsoft really wasn’t confident enough with Windows Phone 7.5 to market it and that Steve Ballmer wanted to see something ‘big’ from HTC for 2012:
The relationship between Microsoft and HTC goes back at least a decade. HTC made the first-ever smartphone with Windows in 2002. It also made the first phone showcasing the Android operating system, and for the past several years, HTC has devoted almost all of its marketing and its best designs to the software made by Microsoft rival Google, said Mackenzie.
“We just weren’t promoting it,” Mackenzie said of Windows Phone. “We just didn’t see the opportunity to get massive sales. What changed is with Windows Phone 8, we saw a massive opportunity.”
Ties between the companies got a restart in February, when Mackenzie and Chou met in Barcelona with Ballmer and Microsoft Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson. Ballmer urged HTC to “go big” on using Windows Phone, Mackenzie said. HTC came prepared, walking into the meeting with prototypes that, for the first time in years, reflected high-quality design work.
This report has also thrown in some new information, claiming that Peter Chou once again met with Ballmer to discuss about Windows Phone. This time around, Chou discussed Windows Phone’s limited display resolution support as the Taiwanese manufacturer attempts to push 1080p displays into its smartphones this year and next.
After news of HTC reportedly canceling a juggernaut of a Windows Phone 8 device to compete with the big boys, it’s unclear if their new found love affair with Microsoft will ‘stick’. However, if the Windows Phone 8X and 8S are anything to go by, Microsoft cannot and should not let HTC slip away again.