The year is almost over and as the world gets ready to party and ring in the new year of 2012, it's always helpful to look back at the past 12 months to see where we have been and have a better idea of where we might be going in the future.

In the tech industry there were a ton of major developments in the PC, mobile and Internet markets. Neowin has come up with a list of the top 10 biggest tech news stories of the year. Actually, there was simply too much going on in 2011 that they couldn't resist making it a top 11 list. But as hard as it was to make the picks, the actual number one story was, sadly, not difficult.

11. Nokia's Windows Phone gamble - Nokia is still one of the biggest mobile phone makers in the world. However, the Finland-based company has lost some of its market share thanks to the rise of the smartphone from Apple and various Android-based makers. In February, Nokia announced a new partnership to produce new smartphones. However, its partner wasn't Android or even Blackberry. It was with Microsoft and its revamped Windows Phone operating system.

Many industry insiders wondered why Nokia was making such a move with Microsoft. The Windows Phone 7 operating system, which launched in late 2010, was not considered to be a big competitor to iOS, Android or even (at the time) Blackberry. However, Nokia seemed confident that its deal with Microsoft would result in smartphones that would make an impression.

In November, Nokia launched the Lumia 800, its first Windows Phone-based device, in parts of Europe. While the reviews have been mostly on the positive side, there's still a question on whether or not the general public has been picking up these new devices. We should learn a lot more in the beginning of 2012 as both Nokia and Microsoft will likely reveal sales figures for the Lumia 800 at CES 2012. The US should also get the first Nokia Windows Phone-based device, the Lumia 710, in mid-January.

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This article is brought to you in partnership with Neowin