Twenty-thirteen was an incredible year for Microsoft. A year ago, when we looked forward to what the company had in store, we could hardly have imagined just how many exciting developments were still to come.

The last twelve months have seen some major product launches from Microsoft, including the Xbox One and the second generation of its Surface tablets. Office 2013 was released at the beginning of the year, along with a new Office 365 subscription for home users. We also saw the launch of the greatly improved Windows 8.1, along with three updates for Windows Phone 8, as the mobile platform finally made significant gains in the market.

Perhaps the biggest changes were not on the product front, but rather to the organisation itself. 2013 was the year that Microsoft's 'devices and services' vision really began to redefine and reshape the company as a whole, and the announcement of its plan to buy Nokia's devices business was a huge and significant step in that direction. It was also the year that its larger-and-louder-than-life CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced his retirement plans, leading to endless speculation about who might take over at the top.

Yes, 2013 was an extraordinary year indeed for Microsoft - but there is so much more to come. Read on as we take a look at what we know for sure, along with the stuff of rumour and conjecture, to see just what Microsoft has in store for the year ahead.

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