Now that Steve Ballmer is out, there's a ton of speculation about who will be taking the helm at Microsoft. While there are plenty of names being floated as potential candidates, odds are the company's next CEO is probably not anyone you would expect.
And that, Microsoft watchers say, is precisely what the company needs: fresh blood.
(Read more: Microsoft CEO Ballmer to step down within 12 months )
"Bill (Gates) would like the successor to be someone that he knows and someone that he is comfortable with. I don't think that person is necessarily an obvious person in the company," said Rick Sherlund, head of U.S. technology research at Nomura Securities, on CNBC's Squawk on the Street.
"I do not believe there is a successor in waiting. ... Unfortunately, at Microsoft there has been enormous turnover of senior people under Ballmer, so we are left with no obvious choices here."
But the fact that there is no obvious candidate within Microsoft may actually bode well for the company, because there are major changes needed that are only possible with someone from outside the company, analysts say.
"CEO changes are tough when you are in a business like this. Microsoft missed the transition to tablet, missed the transition to smartphones, those problems are all still there," said Dan Niles, CIO of AlphaOne Capital Partners. "The new CEO needs to be amazingly good because he is going to have his work cut out for him."
Ballmer's announcement comes just one month after the company's corporate shake-up. While Ballmer had probably hoped that the push to turn the company around would help ensure his position, shareholder activism proved that the shake-up wasn't enough and investors wanted Ballmer out, analysts said.
(Read more: Will Microsoft investors win from shake-up?)
"This validates that the shareholder activism agenda is likely to be accomplished one way or another," Sherlund said.