Microsoft's board will almost certainly give serious consideration to Turner, the de facto No. 2, as Ballmer's successor. Much of the nuts and bolts of the company -- sales and support, for example -- are under his purview. Of anyone, Turner may know Microsoft's business and operations the best. But he may also be seen as too associated with the current problems at the company and lacking the vision and technical chops of some other potential candidates.
Investors cheered news that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire, but there is no obvious successor in line.