Microsoft in 2012: 20 Key Milestones for the Software Giant
For Microsoft, 2012 was a milestone, a year when the company refreshed practically all its major platforms—from Windows and Windows Phone to Office and a whole lot more. It was a banner year for Microsoft users and developers, both consumer and enterprise. As the company itself said, there's no question that it has been a momentous year at Microsoft. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, announced its family of Surface PCs, showcased a new version of Microsoft Office and released "Halo 4," keeping up a steady rhythm of advancements across its most popular products for individuals and businesses throughout the year. For developers, Microsoft launched the latest version of its flagship software development toolset, Visual Studio 2012, along with the Team Foundation Server (TFS). In addition, Microsoft delivered Windows Server 2012. Microsoft also introduced SQL Server 2012 and System Center 2012. And in addition to delivering Office 2013, Microsoft announced Dynamics GP 2013 and Dynamics AX 2013. For Linux lovers, the company announced Linux virtual machine support on Windows Azure. Microsoft also did a redesign of its Bing search engine with enhanced social networking capabilities baked in, and solidified its support for Hadoop in a partnership with Hortonworks to deliver new Hadoop-compatible solutions for Windows Azure and Windows Server. Meanwhile, Microsoft had a few acquisitions in 2012, including the $1.2 billion purchase of enterprise social networking concern Yammer. Microsoft also acquired PhoneFactor, StorSimple and Perceptive Pixel in 2012. This slide show takes a look at these and other 2012 highlights for the software giant.
Windows 8 Launches Around the World
In October, the world met Windows 8. The vibrant, reimagined new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system is off to a strong start. In late November, Tami Reller, chief marketing officer and chief financial officer of the Windows Division, announced, "We have sold 40 million licenses so far." "Bold," "powerful" and "fast" are just a few of the words reviewers used to describe Windows 8.