Windows Phone GM Charlie Kindel exits Microsoft

Weeks ahead of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) releasing its Windows Phone 7.1 ("Mango") operating system update, Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem general manager Charlie Kindel said he is leaving the company after 21 years. Kindel announced the move on his blog, stating he will leave Microsoft on Sept. 1 to launch a new company based in the Seattle area. The venture will integrate "sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking and, of course, the cloud," Kindel writes. He also directly addressed the Windows Phone team in an email sent to Microsoft staffers, stating "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!"

Kindle co-founded Microsft's eHome division and led the launch of the Windows Home Server initiative before taking the reins of the Windows Phone team. Microsoft first rolled out Windows Phone 7 in late 2010--in February 2011, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) named Windows Phone its primary smartphone platform moving forward. Kindel shifted most of his Windows Phone responsibilities to Windows Phone and Marketplace GM Matt Bencke earlier this year. "I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished," Kindel tells GeekWire. "We have close to 27,000 apps in the [Windows Phone] Marketplace, the best toolset and amazingly high customer satisfaction. We would not have gotten to the table with Nokia if they didn't believe we were in the race to win long term."

Microsoft launched the release to manufacturing build of Windows Phone 7.1 in late July, enabling carrier and OEM partners to optimize the code according to their specific network and device configurations. The company is slated to begin accepting Windows Phone 7.1 application submissions later this month. Mango emphasizes tighter platform integration, improved Live Tiles to deliver more real-time information to the device's homescreen, app multitasking and Live Agents tools giving developers the flexibility to build app multitasking scenarios without compromising battery life and performance.

For more:
- read Kindel's blog entry

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