Brandon Watson

Brandon Watson, who oversaw Windows Phone’s work with third-party app developers, is leaving Microsoft to join’s Kindle team.

Watson confirmed the news on Twitter and said in a message that he’ll be working on the Kindle cross-platform team. As Mary Jo Foley notes at ZDNet, that group makes Kindle apps for a variety of platforms, including Windows Phone.

“I am really excited, but sad to go,” Watson says in a message, noting that leaving behind a strong team in good hands makes it easier. The Windows Phone Marketplace recently surpassed 60,000 apps.

No word from Microsoft yet on a replacement. Ryan Lowdermilk of the WPDev Podcast was first to note the news.

Charlie Kindel, a Microsoft general manager who previously led third-party app initiatives, left the company last year.

Previously: Windows and Windows Phone: Their worlds are colliding

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  • Thomas R.

    Going to pre-empt the trolls here…analogy about titanic, Hindenberg, etc. followed by comment about low adoption of windows phone, then someone paid by MS will jump in and say something about the exciting future of windows phone, upset shareholder will say something about canning Ballmer, then mandatory comparison to Apple, ending with a snarky comment about how Android has more users than iOS. There done.

    • FireBallmerYesterday

      You’re right, this is excellent news for MS. Who cares that a guy who seemed to be having a lot of success attracting developers to one of MS’s most critical platforms for the future is leaving to go to Amazon and work on their iPad competitor? I’d say Windows tablet competitor, but of course MS still isn’t in the game TWO YEARS post iPad 1. But again, that’s not a problem, right? 

      For the last decade a large and diverse group of people have been warning about MS’s direction and criticizing the leadership and decisions of Steve Ballmer. At the same time a small chorus of apologists like yourself have been branding all of them “trolls” and saying they’re wrong. Well, here we are a decade later. What’s happened to MS’s market cap, growth, relative influence in the industry, competitive position, reputation, etc., since?

  • Anonymous

    Any word on the number of chairs thrown or if anyone took an arrow to the knee?  XD

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Brandon on the new job!

  • Jane Venturini

    A prescient Amazon move. Windows phone/tablet is coming and coming big. Who better to run a Windows mobile segment at Amazon. Exxon doesn’t only sell gas to people that drive Chevys. Amazon will put digital content on Windows mobile devices and make $$ doing so.

  • Anonymous

    Amazon and Microsoft have had a pretty comfortable relationship over the years.  I believe Jeff Bezos has attended the Microsoft CEO Summit for many years, and Amazon has a lot of Microsoft DNA among its employee ranks.

    That said, it seems that Amazon and Microsoft are slowly, inexorably, becoming platform competitors: in the enterprise cloud (EC2 vs Azure), in digital content distribution (Amazon Video and Music vs. Zune Marketplace), and now finally in mobile operating systems (Amazon’s Kindle flavor of Android vs. Windows).

    I suppose this was invevitable, but for the benefit of customers I hope they can continue to support each other’s consumer platforms in the future.

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