Weekly #WhyMSFT Round-Up 12/30/2011

Each week, we round up industry news and articles you might have missed. Enjoy this week’s selections.

A look back at Microsoft's busy year, A to Z
The year 2011 has been eventful for Microsoft, from its partnership with Nokia to the purchase of Skype and the first peek at Windows 8. Here's Microsoft's year, from A to Z.

MasterCard and Microsoft Team Up to Empower Small Businesses
Through this new strategic initiative, MasterCard becomes a member of the partner program for Office 365. MasterCard will provide a 10 percent savings to eligible small business cardholders when they purchase Office 365 through the MasterCard Easy Savings(R) Program. The MasterCard Easy Savings Program provides eligible small business cardholders with savings on some of the most popular services that help them run their businesses. 
Free add-ins boost accessibility for Office 2010 users
Microsoft wants to make sure customers of all abilities can use Microsoft Office to get their work done. Last spring we released beta versions of two Office add-ins that make working with Office docs easier for people with hearing and print disabilities. We received lots of helpful feedback from people in the accessibility community, and made significant changes and improvements to them.

A look ahead: 2012 is Microsoft's turning point
Microsoft has talked of its "three screens and a cloud" strategy—the plan to have Microsoft software on the PC (which, in Redmond's view, includes the tablet), the TV, and the phone, with the Microsoft-powered cloud tying everything together. In 2012, this strategy is going to become visible in a way it hasn't been before.

Small Biz New Year’s Resolution: Utilizing the Cloud
These days, everyone is talking about “the cloud.” For the average consumer, it’s acceptable to still not be clear on what “the cloud” really is. But small businesses need to not only understand it, but learn ways to use it to save money and time.