The year in tech: biggest fails, flops, and faux pas

2012 brought its fair share of mistakes, flops, and failures. Here are 20 of the biggest tech mishaps from the past year.

By Jared Newman, PCWorld |  IT Management, BlackBerry, Facebook

Microsoft’s 'Smoked by Windows Phone' campaign gets lit up by Android

Back in March, Microsoft was feeling confident enough about Windows Phone 7.5 to issue a challenge: Visitors to its retail stores could try to perform a basic function on their phones, and if they could beat a Microsoft employee who was using a Windows Phone, they’d get a $100 reward. Of course, a contest like this had to be stacked in Microsoft’s favor, but when one blogger managed to beat a Microsoft employee anyway, the contest blew up in the company's face when the store refused to reward the winning participant. Microsoft eventually apologized and made things right, but the incident ended up exposing just how rigged the game was from the start.

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