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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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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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