Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 team has been dealt a blow after the general manager of its developer experience division announced that he is to step down after 21 years with the firm.
Charlie Kindel explained in an email sent to staff and posted on his blog that having worked on numerous projects at Microsoft he is leaving to start a new venture.
"In 1990 I assumed I'd work here for three or so years. I'm an entrepreneur at heart and every few years I'd lift up my head and look around. I never had to look outside Microsoft because I kept finding one challenging opportunity after another," he said.
"Twenty-one 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."
Kindel believes that the Windows Phone 7 platform will be a huge success, comparing it to Internet Explorer 3 as a product that will eventually dominant a market despite a slow start.
"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 said.
"Shipping IE3 was my first taste of what it really meant to build a product that changed the world. I would have never joined the Windows Phone team if I had not had that prior experience of an impossible, come-from-behind project."
Nevertheless, Windows Phone 7 faces a tough future as rivals Android and Apple dominate in the US, Europe and Asia, but Microsoft hopes that the tie up with Nokia and the much-vaunted Mango update will turn its fortunes round.
Windows Phone 7 has found some take-up in the private and public sector markets, however. Westminster City Council told V3 that around 250 staff are using the platform.
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