Microsoft's greatest successes and biggest failures

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3. See you at the (Microsoft) Office

office.jpgREUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at the launch of the company's Microsoft 365 cloud service in New York, June 28, 2011.

It saw, it came, it conquered. Microsoft's suite of Office products dominates desktop productivity software the same way Windows dominates desktop operating systems. Of course, it didn't hurt that Microsoft may have deliberately crippled Windows 95 versions of competing suites, as Novell is now claiming. Or that Microsoft may have engaged in a bit of old-fashioned arm twisting to persuade hardware OEMs to bundle its suite with PCs, back in the day when that mattered. Still, Office wins on merit as much as on marketing muscle -- especially since it dumped Clippy in 2007. Now, spurred on by competition from Google Docs, Microsoft is taking it to the cloud with Office 365.

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