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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.


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