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2. Nokia Corporation ( NOK): Provides Internet and digital mapping and navigation services worldwide. Market cap at $28.96B, most recent closing price at $7.80. Stephen Elop, the head of Nokia, has long been seen as a likely candidate.
3. Cisco Systems, Inc. ( CSCO): Designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to IT. Market cap at $115.2B, most recent closing price at $21.42. Tony Bates, who runs Skype and also worked at Cisco, is rumored to be one of the top candidates from inside Microsoft for the spot.
4. Google Inc. ( GOOG): The world's most popular search engine. Market cap at $342.02B, most recent closing price at $1025.20. Vic Gundotra irked Microsoft insiders when he left to go run Google Plus. However his name is rumored to be on the shortlist as well.
5. Hewlett-Packard Company ( HPQ): Hewlett-Packard Company offers various products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, businesses and government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Market cap at $48.21B, most recent closing price at $24.99. Another powerful alumni who left Microsoft to run HP, Bill Veghte is seen as a possibility as well.