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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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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.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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