Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been searching for its next CEO for months, and whoever it ends up being will take over the reins at a key time in the company’s history. Although key products Office and Windows continue to fuel the company’s bottom line, investors are worrying that those revenue streams are starting to dry up, and those worries are just the tip of the iceberg.


So what’s going to happen to Microsoft in 2014? It’s anyone’s guess, but there are certain things investors will be looking for.

Microsoft’s next CEO

The biggest question mark investors have right now is who Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will choose to be its next CEO. Whenever speculation heats up that someone who could be a major agent for change (like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally) will go to Microsoft, investors seem happy. Many analysts seem to agree that some sort of change is in order and that someone who probably will do nothing but stick with the status quo will be seen as a negative for the company’s stock.

But whoever the next CEO is, the person’s going to have their hands full. They’re going to have to please investors while convincing consumers that Microsoft’s other products—mainly its mobile devices—are the must-have items of 2014. We’re expecting to hear who the next CEO will be early in 2014.

Making Microsoft devices into winners

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will have to follow the status quo to a certain extent in that it will have to update its products. This is pretty much a given for every technology company. As a result, we can expect new Surface tablets, Windows 8.2 and new software for the newly launched Xbox One, which sadly is rather lacking in games at the moment. We also might finally see full versions of Office for iOS and Android in 2014.

And then there’s Windows Phone 8.1, which will be a natural product of the devices division Microsoft is buying from Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) in early 2014. Some speculate that Windows  8.1 will feature high-resolution screens, possibly up to 1080p, and Microsoft’s Cortana (yes, this is a nod to the Halo game series) digital assistant, which it’s hoped will more closely compete with Siri and Google Now.

Honing Microsoft’s app ecosystem

As an extension of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is going to have to boost the app ecosystem. At this point the company has managed to convince some of the biggest missing apps to design for the mobile operating system, but iOS and Android continue to be the two go-two operating systems for app developers. While progress has certainly been made in this direction, Microsoft has a ways to go.