As we move into the New Year and reflect on all of the great moments of 2012, I am honored and humbled to work for such an amazing company.  If you look back through 2012, month after month Microsoft delivered innovation and amazing new products for both consumers and enterprises.  I want to share this video of the 12 Microsoft Milestones of 2012 to highlight Microsoft’s momentous year.    


  1. 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.
  2. Zeus Botnet Cybercrime Bust: In a major victory against online fraud and identity theft, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit partnered with the financial services industry to disrupt the massive Zeus cybercrime operation in March.
  3. SQL Server 2012 Launch: We're creating more data than ever before—yet on average, firms actually use less than 5 percent of the data that is available to them. Released in April, SQL Server helps businesses put big data to work, delivering actionable insights and real impact.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, the Surface was designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 data center, delivering major advances in productivity and cost savings.
  8. Giving Back: Microsoft concluded its annual fall Employee Giving Campaign by reaching a major milestone: $1 billion in employee cash gifts since 1983, benefiting about 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations around the world.
  9. 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.
  10. Windows 8 Is Launched 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.
  11. 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. Windows Phone 8 features a customizable Start screen and Live Tiles and thousands of apps to choose from.
  12. 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 Today calling it "a triumphant return for Master Chief."


Cheers to 2012 and best wishes for another fantastic year of Microsoft helping people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. 


Allison L. Watson