In Pictures: Microsoft's 13 biggest wins and fails of 2012

It's been a busy year for Microsoft, including its challenges to Apple and Google on mobility

Win: Surprise! is actually quite nice

Microsoft had a floundering webmail service in Hotmail, but everything changed when the company reimagined Hotmail as Beyond adopting a UI that's consistent with the rest of Microsoft's "modern" style, introduced a contacts interface that mimics the People app on Windows 8. What's more, the far right panel in can switch between an instant messaging interface and an area displaying Facebook and Twitter status updates. also provides fast switching between other Microsoft online services, such as SkyDrive and Windows Live Calendar. will have a tough time battling Gmail, but it has all the features it needs to do so.

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