Microsoft is seeking a new CEO since the current CEO, Steve Ballmer, is on his way out. Reports claim former Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, is one of the frontrunners in the race to succeed Ballmer. If he should get the job, the company could go through a major change that might see a few of Microsoft's core businesses go out of the door.

Stephen Elop is reportedly prepared to get rid of Microsoft's Bing search engine along with Xbox.

According to Bloomberg, "three people with knowledge of his (Elop's) thinking" say that Elop would not hesitate to shut down Bing but also sell off the Xbox business "if he determined they weren't critical to the company's strategy."

This doesn't mean Elop would remove Bing and Xbox if he should get the job. The reasoning here is clear - he will only put those businesses aside if they are not in line with Microsoft's core business plan going forward.

Still, when it comes to Bing, we don't see the next CEO getting rid of it any time soon. The Microsoft-owned search engine is a key aspect behind the usefulness of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8, which means if it should go, Google would take the opportunity to have complete control of the search experience on both platforms. We doubt Microsoft would want to give Google more room to grow stronger in search and advertising.

Apart from the potential shutting down of Bing and Xbox, Elop said probably would make Microsoft's Office products available on other platforms rather than use the product to maximize sales of Windows-based products.

Office is already available on Android, but it is a far cry from the Windows Phone 8 version in functionality and design.

Elop  won't hesitate to implement cost cutting measures too. While he was CEO of Nokia, he slashed 40,000 jobs and guided the company to adopt Windows Phone after dropping Symbian.

Other candidates in the race to become Microsoft's next CEO are Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, Microsoft strategy chief Tony Bates, enterprise software chief Satya Nadella and chief operating officer Kevin Turner.

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