And now for some good news... How Satya Nadella turned Microsoft around in a year

The software giant's new chief executive is still fresh behind the ears at less than a year into the top job. But he's already accomplished more than most would in that time.

Image: Microsoft

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new chief executive, hasn't entirely avoided controversy during the nine months he's been at the company's helm.

But he's already managed to steer the company back onto a direction that's healthy for the company, after years of stagnation under his predecessor.

Nadella was not born a chief executive. He wasn't "meant" to be a leader, many have commented, but his turnaround efforts over the past year have nonetheless shown some smart moves from a man who, until recently, was about as far away from the executive suite as it gets.

One of his first acts as chief was to turn around the company's web search efforts. Microsoft's Bing may not have the pizazz of Google, but it powers a great deal of its services — and others, including Yahoo's sites.

If you thought that wasn't a big deal, think again. As ZDNet's Mary Branscombe put it , "understanding of the complex business models of ad-supported and freemium services in a highly competitive market, web search is an excellent place to do it."

As if that wasn't enough, he reshaped the company's vision to make cloud computing relevant again . Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform, underpins more of the services you use without you even knowing it — from NBC's Olympic streaming to Apple's iCloud.

Whether you're a friend of the company or a hater (everyone has their opinion), Nadella has probably done more to push the software giant back on track than in the years under its predecessor's reign.

And that's not easy to do in less than a year. 

Read more:  Six impossible things Satya Nadella has already done

What's the best news you've heard all year? We're counting down our favorite, uplifting, good news stories of 2014. Next one lands tomorrow, 8am ET (1pm GMT).