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Stay Tuned to These Tech Stories at Microsoft, Google, Apple in 2013

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Every plot has an ending, even for these tech giants.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Every story has an ending, eventually. George R.R. Martin could probably tap out sequels to Game of Thrones almost forever, unless those damned dragons roast every one of his characters, or Queen Cersei gets them first.

Prediction: That won't happen in 2013. But in our Earth-bound world, some of the best continuing sagas really will get wrapped up in 2013.

You think that metaphor is a stretch? Fair enough, but we're all crawling on our hands and knees to the end of 2012, aren't we, so give us a break, eh?

Here are a few of the continuing sagas in Internet technology that should get resolved in 2013, some with cheers all around and others with a dull thud.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): Pop or Drop?

Early sales figures for Microsoft's all-important touch-friendly Windows 8 devices in the first quarter of its release failed to impress. This means precisely nothing.

The software is new and radically different. The high-end (business-oriented) version of the flagship Windows 8 device, Microsoft's own Surface Pro, doesn't arrive until January. There are safer, cheaper choices for consumers in tablets and laptops.

In short, this is not Christmas candy. Watch sales for at least the first two quarters of 2013 to see if Microsoft has successfully reinvented itself or smashed headlong into a brick wall.

Here's one menacing bit of news: A survey for USA Today shows that about one third of current Windows users are so wary of Windows 8 that they're considering switching to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Nokia (NYSE:NOK): Do or Die

While Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia was falling off the radar of the Western world, it was hanging in there as phone maker of the emerging world. That could work in its favor now, as it rolls out the Lumia line that will determine its future, or lack of one.

The Nokia Lumia 920T drew crowds, and sold out in two hours, when it was introduced at the company's Shanghai store earlier this week. It now appears at the top of the best-sellers list for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) China, above the Apple iPhone 5.

Here in the US, only a month after its introduction, Nokia is offering big discounts on Lumia devices - some customers can even get the phone for free - through carriers AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ). With no hard numbers, there's no telling whether that signals determination or desperation.

Nokia is certainly that eager to grab significant market share for its Lumia phone line. Since the devices run on Windows 8, Microsoft shares the enthusiasm.

Nokia is reported to be preparing to introduce its first Windows 8 tablet as early as February.
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Position in MSFT and NOK.
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