Adding to the drama, Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division, left the company just weeks after Windows 8's launch. Did he quit or was he fired? Neither party is telling. Though reports claim Sinofsky's exit had to do with his prickly management style than the success or failure of Windows 8, the departure didn't help public perception of Microsoft's fortunes so soon after the controversial operating system's launch.
Apple vs Samsung: Year two fallout
The Great Patent War between Apple and Samsung entered its second year in 2012, with a number of legal bombshells falling on either side. The biggest by far was the landmark ruling in September, which found largely in Apple's favor and fined Samsung an enormous $1.05 billion . Though Samsung alleged jury misconduct, its appeal was denied, and Judge Lucy Koh refused to grant the company a new trial.
Samsung won back a minor victory when the court denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction forbidding the sale of several Samsung devices. Apple took another major blow as the US Patent Office tentatively declared the "Steve Jobs patent," which covers--broadly--gesture control on a touch screen, invalid.
The Apple-Samsung lawsuits are ongoing in countries all across the globe, and we're sure there will be more bombshells to talk about at the end of 2013.
Megaupload gets shut down
In January, Megaupload was wiped off the face of the Internet, its domain names seized, assets confiscated, and founders imprisoned by New Zealand police acting on behalf of the US government. The popular filesharing site's closure started a firestorm on the internet, spurring the "hacktivist" group Anonymous to launch a successful denial-of-service attack against the Deparment of Justice, the RIAA and others. The site's closure had a domino effect , causing many other "cyberlocker" sites--including FileSonic, Uploaded.to, UploadBoc, FileJungle and FileServe, amongst scads of others--to either clamp down on file sharing or preemptively shut down their entire service, fearing similar government action.