Windows Phone manager quits

Posted by Mark Raby

The man who was at the top of Microsoft's new mobile operating system has resigned after working at the company for 21 years.

In a lengthy farewell post on his blog, Charlie Kindel, who held the title of Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem General Manager, said he is moving on to form his own company.

"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," he wrote.

Kindel has been at Microsoft since 1990 and has worked on such projects as Internet Explorer 3, Windows Millenium, and Windows NT 4.

But it was at his Windows Phone post that he arguably was making the biggest difference at the company, and without him it could lead to setbacks in the important transformation that's taking place right now.

With the all-important Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) update due out in months and the first Windows-powered Nokia phones not even in stores yet, this is a pivotal time in the Windows Phone legacy.

Kindel made it clear, though, that his leaving had nothing to do with a lack of enthusiasm for the platform. He wrote, "To the Windows Phone team: I may stop using some Microsoft products now that I’m out of here. But not Windows Phone. The BEST product Microsoft has ever built. Do not let up!"

It's unclear what the issues were, and whether or not Kindel was involved in any of them, but Windows Phone got off to a pretty rocky start. Due to an admittedly bungled marketing campaign and an embarrassingly delayed incidental software update within the first few months of Windows Phone, it has failed to gain much traction. Perhaps Kindel's departure could be a blessing in disguise as the entire company works to re-brand the operating system. A fresh set of eyes at the helm might do some good, although it will most definitely be a setback in the immediate future.

Kindel's final day at Microsoft will be September 2.