Another ex-Windows Phone exec lands at Amazon to work on 'something secret'

Another ex-Windows Phone exec lands at Amazon to work on 'something secret'

Summary: Amazon has hired at least three key former Microsoft execs that worked on Windows Phone in recent months.

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Charlie Kindel, a former Microsoft executive responsible for building Windows Phone 7, is joining Amazon to build a team of mobile developers to work on "something secret".

Kindel, who left Microsoft in 2011 after 21 years with the company, announced his move to Amazon in what turned out to be a partially true April Fool's Day press release stating that "Amazon presented me an opportunity to build a bold and audacious new business".

Exactly what Kindel is working on at Amazon is secret, but it's unlikely to be the "Amazon Kindle Charlie home server" he jokingly mentions in the press release, nodding to a former role he held as Microsoft's general manager for Windows Home Server.

Kindel updated his current Amazon title on LinkedIn as "Director, something secret". His profile on the social networking site notes he is hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers and product managers.

Kindel, who has acted as CEO of BizLogr, a startup he founded after leaving Microsoft, joins several former senior Windows Phone execs that have made the move to Microsoft's Seattle neighbour, including former Windows Phone director Robert Williams who joined Amazon in July last year amid rumours that it was to embark on a mission to challenge Google and Apple in smartphones.

Williams joined Amazon shortly after Brandon Watson, former head of the Windows Phone developer experience, joined the company. Williams is Amazon's Appstore director, while Watson is responsible for Kindle software product management.

Topics: Amazon, Mobility, Windows Phone

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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4 comments
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  • Surprising That There Are So Many Ex-Windows-Phone Execs Floating Around

    Rats deserting a sinking ship?
    ldo17
  • Is Amazon finally building its multi-touch multi-pressure surface device.

    Amazon bought out a company that was developing a multi-touch pressure sensitive surface, which promptly disappeared from sight. I'm looking forward to see if they are finally doing something with it. (I found out about it from a musical instrument designer). One theory was it bought it so another company wouldn't build a kindle-killer with it. I'm just upset it got locked away.
    RufusVS
  • Interesting

    Having responsibility for WP7, Williams must have seen what a disaster WP8 was going to be early on. KUDOS to him for standing-up to Ballmer's idiotic OS plans which have now been confirmed by the market not only dismissing WP8, but Win8 as well.

    Well done Mr. Williams, I'm sure you will enjoy working in an creative environment instead of the MS stodgy, rigid structure with no long-term vision. KUDOS!
    Gr8Music
  • The need to upgrade

    Having a Kindle Paper white, a kobo Arc, An HP Touchpad, Asus Transformer and my prized Surface RT, I can safely say that Amazon will have to upgrade the Kindle hard and software to stay competitive. It really doesn't matter how many people authoritatively claim that MSFT and Win8 are failures with retarded management, Win8 is representative of where Operating Systems are evolving into and no one can match the MSFT R&D initiatives in so many areas. Yes, there is a before and after Win 8 time frame and so far there is no competition.
    primartcloud