Peter Burrows & Dina Bass:
Stephen Elop, a candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive officer, would consider breaking with decades of tradition by focusing the company’s strategy around making the popular Office software programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint available on a broad variety of smartphones and tablets, including those made by Apple Inc. and Google Inc., said three people with knowledge of his thinking.
Elop would probably move away from Microsoft’s strategy of using these programs to drive demand for its flagship Windows operating system on personal computers and mobile devices, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the 49-year-old executive hasn’t finalized or publicly discussed his analysis of the business. Most of Microsoft’s software has been tied to running on Windows.
More fascinating than the story is the story behind it (and the reaction to it). Is this Elop (or his camp) leaking this information in an attempt to test the waters for some bold moves if he becomes CEO? Is it Elop (or his camp) leaking it to appeal to the hedge funds pressuring Microsoft to really shake things up? Or is it someone else leaking it in an attempt to torpedo Elop’s chances of becoming CEO?