With Microsoft planning to hire a CEO by the end of the year, the interview process for the final candidates is set to begin (or may be already underway.) One of the main candidates to take Steve Ballmer's place, ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, has some surprising plans if he gets the job.

Elop reportedly would consider selling off Microsoft's Xbox division, which has been considered a distraction among people inside the company. There have already been some shareholders who have already called on this, or splitting Xbox from the company, to happen. Another slowly rising Microsoft name, Bing, could also be getting axed. The search engine has been the point of many jokes (especially when it made that awkward cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man), and Bing still has a long way to go before it can catch up to Google and Yahoo. Many people within the company reportedly have the feeling that both Xbox and Bing are fat that can be trimmed off the company. Elop is also said to be considering a strategy to get Office on Android and iOS. His primary focus would to pushing hard to get Office on as many devices as possible, regardless of its operating system, instead of using it as a selling point for Windows PCs. Versions of Office are already available for these platforms, but Microsoft could do more to make the whole experience complete, instead it being watered down.

"My view is there are some parts of that operation they should probably spin out, get rid of," said Microsoft assets manager Paul Ghaffari, "to focus on the enterprise and focus on the cloud."

While selling Xbox and killing Bing seem to be unlikely, especially with Xbox One set to launch soon and Bing powering a lot of its features, it would be a dumb move—now. We'll see soon what the other guys have in mind for the company if Elop isn't chosen for the job.

[via BusinessWeek]