As 2012 winds down, here’s a video and slideshow highlighting how Microsoft has built its devices and services foundation for the year ahead.
REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 13, 2012 — If our online searches reveal anything about us, then Bing’s top searches of 2012 show it’s been a pretty epic year. Take a look at what made the list and you’ll be reminded what a momentous 12 months it has been. We’ve cast our ballots in the presidential election. We’ve rallied together against Hurricane Sandy. And we’ve shared two weeks of inspiration with the world during the London Olympics.
There’s no question that it’s 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.
Read on for 12 milestone Microsoft moments from 2012.
Introducing Kinect for Windows. In February, Microsoft launched Kinect for Windows, extending the power of Kinect’s breakthrough natural user interface beyond gaming to real-world applications from kinder, gentler cancer treatment for kids to a smarter, simpler way to find the perfect pair of jeans. Check out the Kinect for Windows blog to see more exciting ways people are using the power of Kinect to change the world.
Zeus Botnet Cybercrime Bust. In a major victory against online fraud and identity theft, Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit partnered with the financial services industry to disrupt the massive Zeus cybercrime operation in March, striking back at botnets that experts believe are responsible for nearly half a billion dollars in damages.
SQL Server 2012 Launch. Worldwide, we’re creating more data than ever before – yet on average, firms actually use less than 5 percent of the data available to them. Released in April, SQL Server 2012 helps business put big data to work, delivering actionable insights and real impact.
Meet the ‘New’ Bing. Bing keeps getting bigger and better. Unveiled in May, the “new” Bing features a refreshed design, faster and more relevant results, and an innovative social sidebar that brings users advice from friends and experts.
Introducing Surface. Microsoft introduced consumers to a whole new way of computing with the June announcement of the Surface family of PCs. Continuing Microsoft’s 30-year history of hardware innovation, Surface is designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees.
Unveiling the new Office. First introduced in July, the new Office is touch- and keyboard-friendly, and features Windows 8-style apps, cloud support and social capabilities. Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer in June is bringing enterprise social networking to the new Office portfolio.
Launch of Windows Server 2012. In September, Microsoft released a new version of the world’s most popular server operating system. Windows Server 2012 puts new power under the hood of the modern datacenter, delivering major advances in productivity and cost savings.
Giving Back. Microsoft concluded its annual fall Employee Giving Campaign by reaching a major milestone: US$1 billion in employee cash gifts since 1983, benefiting about 31,000 non-profits and community organizations around the world. At the same time, Microsoft launched Youth Spark, a companywide initiative to create education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 300 million youth around the world over the next three years.
Xbox Delivers All-in-One Entertainment. Now reaching nearly 70 million consoles and more than 40 million Xbox LIVE members, Xbox continued a year of major advancements in its entertainment offerings with the October release of the Xbox Music service as well as the breakthrough new SmartGlass app, which seamlessly extends entertainment experiences across your TV, tablet and phone. Add these to Xbox’s new sports hub, Xbox Video service, and the 10th anniversary of Xbox LIVE, and it’s no wonder Forbes recently called Xbox “the strongest player in interactive television.”
Windows 8 Launches Around the World. Also 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 announced at a financial conference that “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.
Meet Windows Phone 8. The debut of Windows Phone 8 brought the power of Windows 8 to a uniquely personal new smartphone designed with real people in mind. Called “a delight to use” by the Wall Street Journal, Windows Phone 8 features a customizable Start screen and Live Tiles, and over 120,000 apps to choose from.
‘Halo 4’ Hits Stores. The latest installment in Microsoft’s iconic franchise was immediately hailed as one of the best video games of 2012, with USA calling it “a triumphant return for Master Chief.” Microsoft launched “Halo 4” in fittingly epic style around the world, flying a Glyph over London and transforming landmarks in the Principality of Liechtenstein into a recreation of the Halo universe.