Microsoft's Windows Phone business is going to have to look for a new app developer evangelist. Today, the division's general manager, Charlie Kindel, announced on his personal web site that he has decided to leave Microsoft. He first joined the company in July 1990 and will officially leave on September 2. Kindel posted up his farewell email that was sent to thousands of his teammates and friends at Microsoft on his web site.
His email states, "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." On his main post he added, "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."
Kindel was moved into the Windows Phone division in 2010 to help attract third party app developers to create programs that would run on the Windows Phone 7 operating system. The first smartphones with the new OS launched last fall but so far the response from both phone developers and the general public to Windows Phone 7 has been slow. Kindel is now leaving the company just before Microsoft plans to launch a major update to Windows Phone 7, "Mango", along with new smartphones from several makers including the long awaited first Windows Phone products from Nokia.