Report: As Microsoft CEO, Elop could kill Bing, sell Xbox business

The search for a new Microsoft CEO is still underway. According to Reuters, the top five candidates include current Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. Bloomberg also believes Elop is a contender—and the news agency has learned some juicy details about what Microsoft might look like under his leadership.

Before joining Nokia in 2010, Elop headed Microsoft's Business Division, where he reportedly "pushed the company to enhance and find new ways to sell [Office] software." Bloomberg says Elop would pursue that same strategy if named CEO. Quoting "three people with knowledge of his thinking," the news agency says Elop would "consider" making Office software "available on a broad variety of smartphones and tablets"—including iOS and Android devices.

Bloomberg also says Elop would "consider" shuttering Bing, Microsoft's search engine, and selling off "healthy businesses," including the Xbox, "if he determined they weren't critical to the company's strategy."

Well, isn't that interesting? As little as I care for Bing, I'm not sure killing the only viable rival to Google's search engine would be a good idea. The same goes for selling the Xbox business, which, in addition to being successful, has given Microsoft a pretty huge presence in the living room. Of course, a leaner and meaner Microsoft might do a better job with its core products—Windows and Office. Hmm.

Good thing this is all pure speculation. When asked by Bloomberg to comment, Microsoft replied, "We appreciate Bloomberg's foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes." (Thanks to The Verge for the tip.)

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