It’s a merry-go-round alright. While insider reports up until now have rather accurately identified the people Microsoft has identified as potential candidates for the vacant CEO position, the question of who is leading the pack is rather perplexing.

Almost every week we hear a new name thrown around that has taken the pole position.

As things stand now, Satya Nadella, the boss of the cloud business at the company, is the new man in. Bloomberg is reporting that he could be the new Microsoft CEO as he not only possesses the necessary experience to lead the company, but has also expressed his desire to stay at Redmond long term.

In fact, Nadella is actually said to be carefully examining the products of various startups in the cloud businesses — no surprises then that making Microsoft a leader in cloud would be his immediate focus if he takes up the prestigious job.

In the words of James Staten, an analyst with Forrester Research:

“It’s still very much a work in progress, but he’s made a lot of improvement in the connection between private cloud and public.”

Microsoft has made some impressive strides in the past couple of years in the cloud arena, from Windows Azure to SkyDrive, all under the careful guidance of Satya Nadella.

Nevertheless he is competing against some other big names like Ford’s Alan Mulally, former Nokia chief Stephen Elop, Tony Bates and Kevin Turner.

It may well end up being a photo finish, the way things are shaping up.

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