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Stocks To Watch As Xbox One Goes Live And Microsoft Looks To Replace Steve Ballmer

James Dennin, Kapitall: As the Xbox One launches, we built a list stocks connected to potential replacements for the Microsoft CEO. 

The Xbox One is already sold out in many retail outlets. And last night to drum up hype (as if a ten year wait wasn't enough),  Microsoft (MSFT) took over Times Square in New York City. All the launch titles were available for avid gamers to sample before buying – and gladiators and zombies alike were on hand. 

Read more from Kapitall: Is Xbox One a Catalyst to Consider after Ballmer Retires from Microsoft?

So it seems, for now, that a successful launch of its new console is all but assured. Microsoft is trading up modestly at 0.35% as of 12:25; although the considerable build-up and the rarity of new console launches gave the market plenty of time to factor in the hype. 

Perhaps even more interesting to ponder than whether people will buy the new Xbox (they are); is what's next for the company. The gaming division in its own right isn't that profitable, and there are rumors that Microsoft is even in the market to sell it. A lot is riding on who Microsoft's board will choose as as the replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer – as it will be up to that person to choose a new direction for the company in an age where mobile seems to be the future. 

Rumors have been swirling about who is actually on the shortlist – which is said to have had as many as 40 names on it at one point. The names run from prominent insiders and alumni like Skype leader Tony Bates and the Nokia (NOK) chief Stephen Elop – to more surprising outsiders, like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook (FB) and even Alan Mulally of Ford (F)

Will Microsoft play it safe and promote from with in, or use an outsider to try and shake things up? And how will the decision impact these stocks?

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