Technology research and advisory firm Gartner predicted in a recent report that shipments of devices using Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android will far exceed shipments of Windows personal computers and phones by 2017.Further, Gartner predicts that by 2017 the number of tablets, mobile phones and ultra-mobile devices will total 2.7 billion units, roughly 10 times the number of desktop and notebook personal computers. These expectations reflect the pervasive belief that the future in computing is clearly mobile.Should these expectations materialize, it would spell certain doom for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), whose software and other products depend heavily on the personal computer. The company was extremely late to the mobile game, and still doesn't have a pronounced footprint in mobile.With this in mind, could tech giant Microsoft really cease to exist only a few short years from now? Is it really on the brink of vanishing from the Earth, or are fears of the company’s impending irrelevance overblown?
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