It's telling that Satya Nadella comes from a background of non-traditional Microsoft strengths. When Steve Ballmer said Microsoft was becoming a devices and services company, he meant it. Nadella led the teams that built Microsoft's most successful consumer service of the past ten years, with Xbox Live, then went on to build Azure - the thing that powers many of the cloud services you've heard of.
He's definitely going to have both Gates and Ballmer weighing in on his problems, but it seems as if by involving them in the decision making process, he won't then have anything vetoed when he takes it to the board. It's hard to think of a candidate better poised to lead Microsoft into the future - there's other candidates to turn it around, but none to move it forward.
Also announced today was a partnership between Microsoft and Foursquare - to integrate Foursquare data into Bing maps. As far as I know, this is the second significant time that a major tech company has worked with a startup for their data and expertise, rather than buying them outright. The first one was Primesense, who designed the technology behind the Kinect sensor. If Nadella manages to position Microsoft as a Google rival - not in the search space, but as a partner for startups, they'll be riding the next wave of data unification.