Microsoft's senior director of Windows Phone development Brandon Watson has left to work on Amazon's Kindle platform. How that affects Windows Phone remains to be seen.
Watson, senior director of Windows Phone development at Microsoft, has left to
take a new job as director of Amazons Kindle Cross Platform team.
are true, Watson wrote in a Twitter posting Feb. 3. The team is in great
hands. Ill miss working on #wpdev. I will the community, but wont be a
In an email to ZDNets Mary Jo Foley, he described the
decision to leave as hard, adding that the opportunity placed in front of me
¦ was too big to pass up.
departure comes at an auspicious time. Microsoft has launched a renewed push
for Windows Phone, centered on the Mango software update and new devices from
Nokia and other manufacturers. The platform has so far struggled for adoption
in the broader smartphone marketplace, trailing Google, Apple and RIM.
research firm Nielsen suggests that Microsoft owned 7.3 percent of the U.S.
smartphone market in the third quarter of 2011, down from 9 percent earlier in
the year; much of that decline was due to users abandoning the antiquated
Windows Mobile platform, something that Microsoft executives say they
Microsoft regularly declines to provide Windows Phone sales figures, CEO Steve
Ballmer described the platforms market share as very small during a July 11
keynote speech at the companys Worldwide Partner Conference.
rumors have started bubbling about Windows Phone 8. According to the blog Pocketnow.com (and later confirmed in parts
by Paul Thurrott, on his Supersite for Windows), the upcoming platform
will support multicore processors and native BitLocker encryption, and
integrate in many ways with the upcoming Windows 8. (Pocketnow claimed its information came from a Microsoft-produced
video meant for Nokia executives, and hosted by Windows Phone manager Joe
paraphrases Belfiore as saying that Windows Phone 8 will use many of the same
components of Windows 8 and that areas of heavy overlap include kernel,
networking stacks, security, and multimedia support. Developers will
apparently have the ability to reuse massive chunks of code when porting an
app from desktop to phone.
In his own
Feb. 2 posting, Thurrott suggested that Windows Phone 8 will be based on the
Windows 8 kernel and not on Windows CE as are current versions. Nonetheless,
apps developed for Windows Phone Mango (the current version) will apparently
continue to play well on the upgraded platform.
Windows Phone evolves, itll have to do so without Watson, who was an energetic
advocate for the platform.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.