The buyout of Nokia’s handset business, along with the return of Stephen Elop to Microsoft means that the dynamics of deciding on a new CEO have changed for the Redmond based technology giant.

And not that many people believed it to be case, but now we can finally seal up the speculation that Bill Gates could be planning a return to the company he co-founded all those decades ago. Gates is often considered to be one of the potential replacements for the outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer.

And while there were some recent rumors that suggested that he could be back at the helm, some analysts and industry leaders also advocated his comeback.

Gates, or his part, has always expressed his desire to continue focusing on his charity efforts around the globe, even as market analysts and industry experts believed that such a comeback would be beneficial for Redmond, even if on an interim basis.

Now according to a recent report over at AllThingsD Gates’ return to Microsoft on a fulltime basis is a move that his wife Melinda and other close friends do not agree with — meaning he will only help the board find a replacement for Steve Ballmer.

And according to people close to the matter, an announcement in this regard is expected to be made sooner rather than later. We could hear progress on this front in a couple of months.

Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO who is joining the company as part of the late Monday deal, is now said to be in prime position to take over from Ballmer. Word on the street is that an official announcement on this is heading our way soon.

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