Charlie Kindel, General Manager of the Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem, has announced his departure this morning from Microsoft after an astonishing 21 years with the company to start his own business. Charlie Kindel, known to most of us through Windows Home Server and later Windows Phone.
He says he'll be staying in the Seattle region building a new tech company. He's not saying much about the startup yet, but he notes that it will be focused on on advertising, mobile, cloud computing and youth athletics.
"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!" he wrote in his farewell message today.
A few of his accomplishments are listed below and they're nothing but amazing:
- Founded Premier support
- Built ActiveX and DCOM
- Shipped Internet Explorer 3.0
- Drove the development of the home networking features in Windows XP
- Founded eHome and shipped the first version of Windows Media Center
- Drove the invention of Windows Smart Displays and Windows Media Center Extenders
- Served Bob Muglia as executive technical assistant as he ran the Enterprise Storage business through to him running the Server and Tools Division.
- Was the driving force behind Windows Home Server.
- Led the design and development of the Windows Phone 7 Application Platform.
- Drove the Windows Phone 7 application platform ecosystem development and evangelism effort.
A list of Microsoft products that Kindel worked on:
- Windows 2.0 and 3.0 SDK Support
- Windows 2.0 and 3.0 DDK Support
- The Windows 8514A driver (smallfonts support FTW!)
- Premier Developer Support
- Vertical Developer Relations Group
- WOSA/XRT, WOSA/XSF
- OLE Industry Solutions
- The earliest HTML DOM
- W3C (<OBJECT> tag)
- ActiveX (Sweeper!)
- IE 3.0
- The Java/COM Bridge
- Windows NT 3.5
- Windows NT 3.51
- Windows NT 4.0
- DRG (again)
- IIS "Duct Tape"
- Project42; Application Model (oops)
- Consumer Windows Home Networking
- Triton (yet another home server)
- Windows Neptune
- Windows Millennium
- yBox (yet another home server)
- The Connected Home Business Unit
- Bedrock & bBox (yet another home server)
- Galaxy (yet another home server)
- ServiceBus (the original one)
- Bobsled (Media Center Extenders)
- Freestyle (Windows Media Center) (yet another home server)
- BobMu's TA
- Q (Windows Home Server) (the only home server that matters)
- Small Business Server
- Yamanote! (WP7 App Platform)
- WP7DEV (WP7 Developer Evangelism and Ecosystem)
A few quotes from Kindel's interview with Geekwire:
Why leave now? I realize that Mango has RTM'd, but it seems like the developer relations for it would be key right now.
Kindel: Like taking vacation or having a baby, there's never a good time. In reality, I stepped away from day to day Windows Phone work earlier this year to focus on what I wanted to do with my career next. I went into "learning mode". As I was looking at what would excite me next, serendipitously, the opportunity to do a startup outside of Microsoft came up. Every fiber of my body has told me "it's finally time".
Can you say more about your company (the name?), who else is involved, whether you're getting funding, etc?
Kindel: Not really. We will be in stealth mode for some time. We are angel funded but not ready to disclose from who. I can say that I'm giddy with excitement about it! Other than a great core team, a great idea, and funding we have nothing. I love that!
If you build an app for your new company, which mobile platform will you target first? 🙂
Kindel: Hypothetically, if my new company were to build mobile apps, we'd target WP7 first. You know the old saying "Code Talks": I know I can build a beautiful and functional WP7 app in a fraction of the time it would take to build an iOS or Android app. Startups are about executing quickly. But I'm sure we'd quickly take what we learned there and apply it on all the popular devices.
Right below Kindel's full text of his farewell message from his blog post: