3. Microsoft Bypasses Channel With Surface
Microsoft had other problems this year besides trying to jumpstart Windows 8 sales. This was supposed to be the year that Microsoft became competitive in the tablet market. Unfortunately, a curious and much-maligned sales strategy got in the way. This summer, the software giant finally made its Surface and Surface Pro tablets available to the channel -- but Microsoft only authorized 10 U.S. partners to sell the tablets under the new Microsoft Devices Program. Meanwhile, thousands of other Microsoft certified partners were left out in the cold, wondering when they'd get their chance to sell Surface. And they're still waiting.