To the mobile community, Charlie Kindel may be best known for his headline role at Microsoft's MIX conference last year: as a general manager in the Windows Phone group, he was one of the more prominent and vocal developer evangelists out of Redmond prior to Windows Phone 7's release. Kindel left Microsoft to start his own company earlier this year, but he's still keeping on eye on the product he left behind, penning a piece today on why he believes Windows Phone has largely failed commercially so far (while still believing, as many of us do, that it's a great product).

The post comes in response to a comment on Hacker News regarding Ed Bott's earlier piece on Android's perpetually broken upgrade model, and it lays out a simple argument: by standing up to both manufacturers and carriers with rigid requirements around hardware specs and upgrades, Microsoft imperils Windows Phone's ability to succeed on the open market. By all accounts, the platform has a busy 2012 ahead between Nokia's involvement, Tango, and Apollo — and like Charlie, we'll be watching closely to see whether Microsoft's able to build the momentum it's been lacking so far.