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Windows Phone Exec Kindel Leaving Microsoft for Startup

Charlie Kindel, a 21-year Microsoft veteran and a key figure in Microsoft's Windows Phone business, is leaving the company to found his own startup.

Kindel announced his plans on Monday on his blog, where he posted the farewell letter he sent to "several thousand of old friends and colleagues at Microsoft."

"July 2, 1990 was my first day at Microsoft and September 2, 2011 will be my last," Kindel's letter read.

Charlie Kindel
Charlie Kindel. Source: Microsoft

Kindel was most recently the general manager of Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer Experience, where he was responsible for growing the third-party apps ecosystem for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft's smartphone OS currently has 28,133 apps worldwide in its marketplace, according to WP7applist. That number is still dwarfed by the avalanche of apps available for Android and iOS, though Windows Phone 7 had the distinction of being the fastest OS to reach the 10,000-app milestone in March.

"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," Kindel wrote in his letter.

Kindel began his career at Microsoft as part of a support team for third-party software developers. He held a variety of program manager positions before being named group manager of the Cosumer Windows Home Networking group in 1999. In that role, Kindel oversaw the design of the home networking features that were found in several consumer versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows ME and Windows "Neptune," which later shipped as Windows XP.

Kindel's Microsoft bio also also credits him with creating the Windows Media Center Edition while working within the eHome Platforms Group as group program manager. He subsequently became a technical assistant to then-Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia. Muglia himself left Microsoft early this year and has since joined Juniper Networks.

In 2004, Kindel was promoted to general manager of the Windows Home Server division, a position he held for five years before moving to the Windows Phone division.

Kindel kept mum about the nature of his new company on his blog post, only saying that it will be in the Seattle, Wash. area and "[i]t has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud. I'm insanely excited to get started."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.

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