Just as information about Windows Phone 8 leaked and the Windows Phone marketplace crossed 60,000 apps, Windows Phone developer evangelist, Brandon Watson, is leaving Microsoft.
For those who remember, Watson was behind the popular $1000 donation announcement if web-celebs did not find Windows Phone 7 a competent platform. Android users, Dilbert creator–Scott Adams and CNet editor Molly Wood were his participants. While Scott found WP7 to be a nice OS, Molly Wood disagreed (imho, her reasonings were flawed). Whatever the outcome, the spontaneous challenge was the first of the many that followed.
Probably Brandon Watson’s biggest contribution to the Windows Phone developer community was working with enthusiast developers Rafael Rivera, Long Zheng and Chris Walsh to release the homebrew tool–ChevronWP7. According to Ben Lower who works on the WP7 developer ecosystem, Cliff Simpkins and JC Cimetiere will be coordinating with the ChevronWP7 team and the homebrew community. (The future of ChevronWP7, as it stands now, is in the hands of the ChevronWP7 team.)
To attract developers working on competing platforms, he reached out to webOS developers left stranded post HP’s lack of direction for webOS. Brandon Watson used his influence on Twitter to his benefit, his methods would make for a good case study in social media.
According to Mary Jo Foley, Watson will now be working for Amazon and be the director Kindle’s Cross Platform team.