Stephen Elop, ex-Nokia CEO and a candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as chief executive of Microsoft Corp, favours a shift in focus away from Windows and towards the Office application suite, Reuters reported.
Elop, once a Microsoft executive, moved to Nokia in 2010 and is known for phasing out its Symbian operating system, which had haemorrhaged market share during the rise of Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Microsoft similarly has had trouble competing with the emergent platforms.
Sources familiar with Elop's strategy say he would concentrate on making versions of Microsoft's popular productivity suite compatible with iOS and Android, an approach Microsoft has thus far resisted.
In September Microsoft agreed to shell out $7.2bn for Nokia's devices unit, which has since released its first tablet PC as part of its Lumia range. Prior to finding himself on the CEO shortlist, Elop was due to run the new devices unit at Microsoft, which would also have seen him take charge of hardware such as the Microsoft Surface tablet and the Xbox gaming console.
Other candidates on the CEO shortlist include Ford boss Alan Mulally and three internal executives.