Some believe, however, that it may be too late to make that transition. According to Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist: “Microsoft missed the boat, big time, on major shifts in the technological landscape. And now the very network externalities that solidified its former dominance probably stand in the way of any attempt to return to past glories.”
A number of obvious candidates for the chief executive role have departed in recent years, including Ray Ozzie, who was chief technical officer before leaving in 2010. However, Stephen Elop, who ran the enterprise division, also leaving in 2010 to run Nokia, has been tipped as a potential “prodigal son” candidate, despite the Finnish handset maker’s travails. Also in this category is Steven Sinofsky, the former head of the Windows division.