Dwindling candidate list
It seems as though several "front runners", whatever that means, have either taken themselves out of the running, or have been taken out by their companies, with promotions and more compensation.
Microsoft is moving down the list. What makes this guy a leading candidate? Is he really interested? If not, then no matter how Microsoft may want him, he's not a candidate at all. The is the first we've even heard his name mentioned.
As I've been saying for months, CEO's are vain and full of themselves, as to a certain extent, they must be. Either a major contender (from Microsoft's viewpoint) won't be interested because of the issues mentioned in this article (and numerous other articles), or will be interested, because they somehow think that they are important enough to bull their way through the Ballmer/Gates duopoly and company interia.
So far, most seem to be realistic enough to know they won't be able to, and so, are staying away.
Microsoft will end up with a person down on the list they wouldn't have seriously considered if the better candidates hadn't declined, and that won't be a good thing for Microsoft. But it may be the only thing they can hope for. I believe it was a big mistake to announce Ballmer'w firing, er that is, retirement, before they had a good idea of who was to succeed him. The way this is proceeding is embarrassing for Microsoft, for any candidate who does accept, as they will be pointed at as being a very secondary choice, and will limit the influence of whomever this person turns out to be, within the company.
Overall therefor, a major headache, and a major blunder.