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

Win: Surface RT shows that Microsoft can build compelling mobile hardware

Microsoft's first stab at designing, engineering, and manufacturing its own mobile gear may be off to a slow start, but the Surface RT is a fine piece of high-end hardware. The tablet offers a compelling alternative in a market that is dominated by Apple's iPads and muddied by a cattle call of "me too" Android devices.

The Surface’s industrial design is top-notch, and its integrated kickstand and Type Cover accessory turn a fairly traditional tablet design into a serviceable PC workstation. The tablet's display can't touch the new iPad for visual splendor, and its operating system is full of fail (see next slide). However, the Surface RT's build quality and overall differentness speak volumes about Microsoft's strengths as a fledgling tablet manufacturer.

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GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

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