Charlie Kindel, a Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) executive in charge of selling the Windows Phone 7 story to mobile developers, is leaving the company to found his own startup, he announced Monday on his personal blog. His departure comes less than a year after the product was first released and amid tepid sales.
Kindel is a 21-year Microsoft veteran who previously ran the Windows Home Server project before turning his attention to Windows Phone 7. He “built and ran the engineering team that shipped the application platform” for the mobile operating system, according to his LinkedIn profile, and he’s leaving just after Microsoft announced that the next version of the OS, code-named Mango, has been released to hardware partners and developers.
Despite some unique features and (perhaps most surprisingly for Microsoft) an ad campaign that was memorable for the right reasons, Windows Phone 7 simply hasn’t made an impact in the mobile market since it was released late last year. Kindel told Geekwire that Microsoft still has a chance to succeed in mobile, and that Nokia (NYSE: NOK) wouldn’t have made the massive bet on the operating system that it has without the knowledge that Microsoft is “in the race to win long term.”
On his blog, Kindel thanked dozens of Microsoft employees and said he was leaving to work on a company that appears to be playing buzzword bingo: “It has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud,” he wrote.