You'd be hard-pressed to find a tech company that had a busier year than Microsoft. Besides unveiling new versions of Windows, Windows Phone, and Office, the Redmond giant instituted a sweeping visual overhaul tying together the entire software product lineup. Microsoft also revitalized its cloud strategy (hello, SkyDrive!) and even launched Surface RT, a new take on the tablet category that steals a page from Apple’s we-can-make-better-hardware-than-any-of-our-OEM-partners-can playbook.
Regardless of whether Microsoft remains the most dominant software company in the so-called post-PC era, 2012 will be remembered as the year when Microsoft took its biggest gambles to challenge Apple and Google on mobility. Here's a look at the company’s biggest hits and misses for 2012.