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

Fail: Bing sidebar gets it all wrong

In May, Microsoft came up with a way to integrate social networking with Bing through the Bing social sidebar. The new feature lets you see which of your friends are hip to topics that you're running searches on, and it also surfaces high-profile experts' tweets that ostensibly relate to your own search queries.

But unlike Google's Search Plus Your World (also introduced in 2012), Bing doesn't try to merge your life with search so much as it tries to insert search into your life. The result is a sidebar that looks nice but has limited utility.

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