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: Buh-bye, Mr. Sinofsky

Reports and commentaries following the departure (dismissal? summary execution?) of Steven Sinofsky suggest that the former president of Microsoft's Windows Division was shown the door because he was a stubborn political actor who didn't play nicely with others. The rough sailing prior to the shakeup surely didn't make Microsoft's greater goal of revamping its product lines into a single, self-contained, borgy expression of Windowsness any easier to achieve. Still, the timing of Sinofsky's exit was horrible for Microsoft. Windows 8 and Surface RT had just launched to middling reviews when -- bam! -- out went their main architect. Jettisoning Sinofsky may be a win for Microsoft in the long run, but its short-term impact was negative for a week's worth of news cycles.

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