While it's known that Stephen Elop of Nokia fame is being eyed by Microsoft to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO, and rumored that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is also a contender, it appears that both candidates are gaining steam. According to Reuters sources familiar with the matter, the company has narrowed its list of external candidates down to roughly five people, and the pair have made the cut. It's also said that a trio of internal folks are being considered, which includes former Skype honcho Tony Bates and enterprise head Satya Nadella. Although the pool of hopefuls has been pared down, the outlet's sources note that choosing that next chief could still take a few months. Considering Ballmer is happy to hang around Redmond for a while, don't expect the regime change to happen overnight.