Ina Fried

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Windows Phone Exec Charlie Kindel Hanging It Up at Microsoft After 21 Years

Longtime Microsoft employee Charlie Kindel, who most recently served as general manager of Windows Phone, is leaving Microsoft to focus on a new start-up.

Kindel, a 21-year Microsoft employee, announced his departure on his personal blog and in an email to colleagues on Monday. Kindel had headed Microsoft’s effort to get developers to program for Windows Phone, efforts that have been shifted to Matt Bencke, general manager of platform development.

“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,” Kindel said in his blog post. “It has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud.”

Well, that narrows it down a bit.

In his lengthy email to colleagues (also posted on his blog), Kindel offered praise for Windows Phone. The next version of Windows Phone, code-named Mango, was finished late last month and is due to arrive this fall on new phones and as a free upgrade for existing models.

“I may stop using some Microsoft products now that I’m out of here,” Kindel said. “But not Windows Phone. The BEST product Microsoft has ever built. Do not let up!”

However, he told his kids that they still aren’t allowed to use Google.

“No, just because I don’t work at Microsoft anymore you many not use Google,” he said. “Remember, every time you use Google, a puppy dies.”

There’s more on Kindel’s thoughts as he leaves in a post from Seattle-area tech site GeekWire.

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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo