2011: A Watershed Year for Microsoft, from Gaming to Phones to the Cloud and Beyond

REDMOND, Wash. – Dec. 27, 2011 – 2011 was a big year at Microsoft as the company gained traction in a variety of arenas. Microsoft introduced Office 365, which CRN Magazine named the best cloud application of the year. The company made major strides in mobile communications, through a new partnership with Nokia and the release of Windows Phone 7.5 (“Mango”) as well as the acquisition of Skype.

Xbox experienced the biggest year in its 10-year history in terms of both sales and excitement. Kinect for Xbox 360 was named the fastest-selling consumer electronics device ever by Guinness World Records, and was adapted in fields far beyond gaming in what became known as the “Kinect Effect.” Microsoft introduced several blockbuster Xbox games, and a major Xbox LIVE update with voice and hand gesture control as well as custom entertainment applications from leading content providers.

Here’s a selection of 2011 highlights.