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Microsoft Could Abandon Bing, Xbox If …

Its future course could depend on its CEO choice


Microsoft sign 630As Microsoft (MSFT) looks for a new CEO, one candidate may be contemplating a sea change for the software giant.

Sources tell Bloomberg that former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop — who is rumored to be on the short list of possible successors to outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer — would refocus the company towards promoting its popular Office productivity suite on a wider range of mobile devices and away from using the programs to boost usage of its Windows operating system.

In order to reorient the company, Elop might consider shuttering Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which competes with Google (GOOG). He is also open to possibly selling its Xbox gaming console business.

A number of other candidates, including Ford’s (F) Alan Mulally are in the running to replace Ballmer.

Microsoft will launch the latest version of its Xbox console, which is geared as both a gaming platform and entertainment hub, this month.

Shares of Microsoft rose modestly in Friday morning trading.

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