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Print 16 comment(s) - last by Ramstark.. on Aug 10 at 4:07 PM


Charlie Kindel, a Microsoft veteran of 21 years, has left Microsoft to start his own company, after doing his best to attract developers to the Windows Phone 7 platform.  (Source: Flickr/Charlie Kindel)
Executive was critical in selling developers on the WP7 platform

While Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 (WP7) smartphone operating system has posted relatively abysmal sales, it has a surprisingly decent applications catalog.  A lot of Microsoft's success in attracting WP7 developers is thanks to Microsoft veteran Charlie Kindel, who joined the WP7 division in 2010 prior to its launch.  

Now with Microsoft hoping for a turn-around with its Windows Phone 7.1 "Mango" software update and lineup refresh, it's been dealt a blow as Mr. Kindel has announced via his personal webpage that he will be leaving the company.

He writes:
21 years later I have finally decided I need to do something different: I'm leaving to start a new company here in the Seattle area. I'm sure you'll hear about it. I'm not yet ready to disclose details about the new venture but I can say I will be staying in the Seattle area to build it. It has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud. I'm insanely excited to get started.
While the loss isn't completely catastrophic for Microsoft, it does come at a very inopportune time.  Continued strong developer support is critical for the Mango launch to be a success.  With Mr. Kindel gone, all bets are off about exactly what Microsoft will be able to bring to the table, developer-wise.

As we've noted many times, Microsoft's WP7 project has been the ideal case study in a platform whose imagination is far ahead of the competition, but whose market execution is sorely lacking.  It's hard to say whether this will be another significant chapter in the platform's history of struggles, or just another footnote.

On a positive note WP7 did pick up Brandon Foy, the creator of a popular YouTube fan-made commercial for WP7.  Microsoft will be employing Mr. Foy, a graphics designer, as a key part of its UX (GUI) design team.


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Attention Microsoft
By Smilin on 8/9/2011 12:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
NOBODY is allowed to leave. If anyone spends 21 f'n years doing something and decides to retire and/or move on to something new then they are not allowed. It does not matter if they don't go to work for a competitor. It doesn't matter if their role is not crucial to product development.

**IF someone leaves we WILL report that it is catastrophic. We will report that it's rats fleeing a sinking ship. We will make a BIG deal out of it***

-Sincerely The press and blogosphere. And Jason Mick.




RE: Attention Microsoft
By Nekrik on 8/9/2011 2:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't matter who they replace him with, or the fact that he's going to leave behind a pretty solid legacy of processes, or that he even may have personally trained his successor on the long term plan, they're going to react as you stated. Of course, if the successor comes from apple or google the next article will read how MS has received a real boost in their fight for survival...

"With Mr. Kindel gone, all bets are off about exactly what Microsoft will be able to bring to the table, developer-wise." - From what most outside devs have said they already have a pretty strong infrastrucure in place, so I'm having a hard time seeing why 'all bets are off'.


RE: Attention Microsoft
By Labotomizer on 8/9/2011 8:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
There are tons of apps and the games are better than any other platform from what I've seen. I've had mine for about a week, figuring I'd deal with the shortcomings while I wait for Mango. I was very unhappy with my Droid 2, as much as I wanted to like it. WP7 has been flawless and in a week I haven't had to reboot it, there has been zero lag, it's been awesome. Fast app switching is all I really need. The only drawback so far is that if you exit an app to do something else you have to reload the app when you go in. It takes an extra second or two (unless it's a big game, then maybe 5 seconds) but they typically resume where they left off.

I couldn't be happier with the phone and with Mango it really looks like it'll be a sweet platform in the long run. I got the HTC Trophy and I would highly, highly recommend to anyone considering a new phone.


RE: Attention Microsoft
By slunkius on 8/10/2011 1:52:56 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like testimony on TV shop :)


RE: Attention Microsoft
By fishman on 8/10/2011 8:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
While WP7 fans are hoping that Mango will make it competitive, they seem to forget that IOS5 and Android "Ice Cream" will be out at around the same time.


RE: Attention Microsoft
By mcnabney on 8/10/2011 9:38:13 AM , Rating: 2
If WP7 will still have the 'cut-off' right hand side of the display in Mango I will still hate it. Nothing screams "I am holding a puny screen" as having additional screen content barely seen off to the side. Sorry, but inefficiently designing the layout of screens to require scrolling to the side is not good layout.


RE: Attention Microsoft
By Smilin on 8/10/2011 2:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
I've you've not really used one then don't comment.

And by the way... you ARE holding a puny screen. I'll take a UI designed for one before I'll take a UI designed to "look" big.

Metro as a whole is the best small screen UI available from anyone.


Any word on Hair cloning yet? lol
By Hafgrim on 8/9/2011 12:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
As those two pictures of Mr Kindel remind us men, Any new word on hair cloning yet?

Seriously tho him and Steve Ballmer both could ues some of their millions for something useful to all mankind hair cloning so old guys dont have to look so sickly & withered in their older ages and in the case of Ballmer alien. =p




RE: Any word on Hair cloning yet? lol
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/9/2011 12:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like this dude shaves his head....


By amanojaku on 8/9/2011 12:55:11 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah. The back and sides. :)


Uhh, excuse me
By name99 on 8/9/2011 2:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
whose imagination is far ahead of the competition


Please, oh Jason, do tell us how their imagination was FAR ahead of the competition.

Because when I follow that link, what I read about is a phone that does a bunch of things like RIM, Android and iPhone, on hardware that looks comparable to their hardware.




RE: Uhh, excuse me
By mcnabney on 8/10/2011 9:20:50 AM , Rating: 2
That is pretty much spot-on.

I don't think the market was clamoring for a home screen with animated icons. Otherwise, WP7 isn't really all that different from Android and iOS in the hands of the consumers. I stated, and was promptly rated down, many times that the mobile handset market was crowded enough as it is with Symbian, RIM, iOS, Android, and WebOS. The differences between them is already relatively minor. In addition, I also asserted that the public would really not like Windows to extend their monopoly into the mobile space. Personally, I still don't see any future for WP7. The market is pretty much clear on this. iOS is the walled garden, Android is the free-for-all, and RIM is aimed at business. Not too many niches left. Android secured the default not-Apple position with the help of being to market far earlier and taking advantage of distinctly superior hardware. WP7 does not have superior (or even different really) hardware than the competition. Much like Kin, this product line isn't going anywhere. And don't go talking about Mango. The jump from Android 1.6 to 2.0 was far greater, with a leap in hardware, and there was clear demand for something better. None of that is going to exist to help Mango.


RE: Uhh, excuse me
By Ramstark on 8/10/2011 4:07:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
None of that is going to exist to help Mango


Now you are just being "fanboyish" I support Android and WP7 as very good mobile systems, but, you know what? Next year, when windows 8 comes out and everybody go crazy on it, I will hear you say just the same "Microsoft crap" no arguments, no logical thinking just plain judgment.


Fantasy Crime League
By Mitch101 on 8/9/2011 12:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe hes doing my idea of a fantasy sports league except you choose players who are most likely to commit crimes because they feel they are above the law being a high profile sports player. Would work well for Hollywood too.

For example an arrest is 21 points, DUI is 14, rape charge is 10, having a firearm is 7 points, speeding is 3 points, and steroid charges are 3 but 10 for every other player you rat out, a shooting or boating accident which takes the lives of others is worth 50 points, involved in dog fighting is 30, texting pictures of ones parts, leaving an inappropriate message while being married, soliciting the announcer, etc etc etc the list goes on. Obviously the point system needs balancing but it can be done.

Copyright Mitch101 August 2011.




RE: Fantasy Crime League
By Lord 666 on 8/9/2011 12:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
Your point system is clearly out of whack for Hollywood use.


Should be noted...
By beefgyorki on 8/9/2011 3:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
he hasn't been doing that job for a number of months. As Mary Jo Foley notes:

In other Windows Phone news, 21-year Microsoft veteran Charlie Kindel – who most recently was Windows Phone General Manager in charge of the Developer Experience — is leaving Microsoft to found a Seattle area startup. Kindel’s replacement is Matt Bencke, who has been in that role for a number of months. Kindel said he had been working on special projects related to Windows Phone and the cloud (none of which he can talk about) over the past few months, while figuring out what he wanted to do next.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/windows-phone-...

He's one of the more vocal guys on the Windows Phone team so it does suck to lose him in that aspect but I don't know if it really impacts the developer experience/interaction.




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