It's been some time since news broke that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer would be leaving the helm of the company he's run for the last 13 years.

Although profits at Microsoft grew significantly during the Ballmer era, the company also missed out on several of the biggest megatrends in technology. This has left Microsoft dogged by the perception that it has lost its edge in an increasingly mobile world.

Microsoft's board of directors met this week in hopes of producing a working short list of candidates. According to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is considering both internal and external candidates. Among the external candidates are Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, and Stephen Elop, the former CEO and current EVP of Nokia's handset business. 

Few dispute that whoever fills Ballmer's shoes will be taking on a challenge. Each of the most commonly cited names brings a special skill set that could positively influence Microsoft as it attempts to establish itself in the post-PC world. In the video below, Fool contributor Andrew Tonner looks at several of the reported frontrunners in Microsoft's search for its next CEO.