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The 13 biggest tech shockers of 2015

2015 rarely had a dull moment.

Apple introduced a product Steve Jobs famously hated, Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise announcement, and Microsoft revealed that the next version of Windows would have an unexpected name — just to name a few milestones that caught everyone off guard.

There are the biggest shockers of the year.

January: Microsoft skips a number with Windows

Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Just three weeks into 2015, Microsoft made the surprise announcement that it was skipping Windows 9 and going straight to Windows 10 — and that the new operating system would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users.

February: FCC supports net neutrality

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In February, the FCC voted to regulate the Internet as a public utility under Title II, supporting the important concept of net neutrality.

April: Amazon's Dash buttons

Amazon

When Amazon announced its 'Dash' buttons on March 31st, everyone assumed it was an early April Fool's Day joke. But it's a very real way to literally order products with the push of a button.

April and beyond: The Apple Watch's slow start

Stephen Lam/Getty Images

April 2015 saw the release of the long-rumored, long-awaited, much-hyped Apple Watch. But after some quietly brutal reviews, the Apple Watch failed to make a serious dent, surprising Apple's fans and analysts alike.

June: Apple opens up

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Apple announced in June that it would be making its Swift programming language open source, meaning any programmer could download it and modify it to their heart's content. It was a surprisingly big step for such a famously private company. In early December, Apple followed through.

July: Ellen Pao and the Reddit revolt

Getty Images

Ellen Pao had a two-fer in 2015: In March, Pao lost her high-profile gender-discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, top-tier tech investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. And in July, she stepped down from her role as the interim CEO of Reddit, following a user revolt against the firing of a popular employee of the link-sharing site.

August: Google becomes Alphabet

Fortune Global Forum

The tech world exploded in August when Google announced a total corporate reorganization of the company and the creation of its new parent company, Alphabet.

August: The New York Times blasts Amazon's workplace culture

David Ryder/Getty Images

In August, The New York Times dropped a bomb on Amazon with a report indicating that the e-retail giant is a pretty lousy place to work. The company publicly refuted the Times report, but the shockwaves were tremendous.

September: Apple supports ad blockers in iOS

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

An update to Apple's iOS mobile operating system in September caused a panic in the media and advertising industries by letting users install ad-blocking software on their iPhones and iPads. It didn't help that those ad blockers shot up the sales charts when they were first released.

September: Apple casts aside Steve Jobs' wisdom and releases an iPad stylus

Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

In September, Apple announced the iPad Pro, a gigantic tablet/laptop hybrid. But the really shocking part was the introduction of the $99 Apple Pencil stylus -- a concept that Steve Jobs famously hated.

October: Tesla brings auto-pilot to the masses

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped a bomb: thousands of Tesla Model S owners found that an overnight software update turned the high-end vehicle into a (mostly) self-driving car.

October: The Wall Street Journal takes aim at Theranos

JP Yim/Getty

$9 billion blood-testing startup Theranos and founder Elizabeth Holmes found themselves at the center of a huge controversy after an October report in the Wall Street Journal raised serious concerns over the effectiveness of its 'revolutionary' technology.

December: Mark Zuckerberg becomes a father -- and announces a surprise donation

In December, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their daughter Max Zuckerberg, which was news enough. But the news carried the additional stunner that Zuckerberg plans to donate 99% of his shares in Facebook to the newly-created Chan Zuckerberg Initiative over the course of his lifetime. Those shares are worth $45 billion today.

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