Next year is one of those years that can’t come soon enough for Microsoft.
It’s not that 2011 was a particularly difficult year. The company posted record revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30. And its 2-year-old PC operating system, Windows 7, hit 500 million copies sold, further embedding it as the most widely used operating system in the world. But 2011 had few big product launches at the company, Office 365 and Internet Explored 9 notwithstanding.
Next year will be altogether different. Microsoft is prepping the big kahuna of its product arsenal, Windows 8. The company hasn’t set a date, though most analysts expect the flagship operating system to debut before the end of the year, and perhaps in time for back-to-school shopping. From that product, much else from Redmond flows.
So here are five things to look for from Microsoft in 2012:
1. Windows 8 tablet
2. Xbox moves farther into live TV
3. Windows Phone: We’re No. 3
4. Patent litigation aggressor
5. Growing search through social