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Charlie Kindel

Last week we published a thought-provoking guest commentary by Windows Phone loyalist (and former Microsoftie) David Aronchick explaining why he believes Microsoft needs to improve its hardware standards and developer support if it wants to prevail in the smartphone wars.

Today, former Windows Phone general manager Charlie Kindel weighed in with an alternative take on his blog, motivated by the problems surrounding the rollout of Android’s “Ice Cream Sandwich” update.

In short, Kindel says Microsoft’s maverick approach — mandating hardware specs and update terms — has put the company at odds with the carriers and manufacturers whose support is needed to make Windows Phone successful in the end. He continues …

This is why, despite being a superior PRODUCT to Android, Windows Phone has not sold as well.  Spending marketing dollars on advertising Android devices is and easy decision for the carriers. Pushing RSPs (retail sales professionals) to push Android is easy.

Spending marketing dollars advertising WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers. Getting RSPs to push WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers to incent their RSPs correctly.

I would like to believe that at the end of the day the superior end to end experience for the end user matters more than anything.

The question in my mind is whether Microsoft’s continued investment in WP and close partnership with device manufactures such as Nokia will eventually enable a breakthrough here. I know that MS can be very persistent & patient; it’s been so in the past. We will see.

Agree or disagree, the full post is worth reading, including Kindel’s thoughts on the long-term viability of Apple’s approach, and the mentality of end users, whom he contends “just do what they are told (by advertising and RSPs).”

Kindel left Microsoft in August after 21 years to enter the startup world. He was most recently general manager of the Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem, leading design and development of the Windows Phone 7 Application Platform.

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