Various comentators are asking the captioned question too. Consider Woody Leonhard's predictions on the next version of Windows:
If it isn't a total mess, Microsoft seems to be veering even farther off course. Don't they need a clean "Min-Win," comparable to a leaner Windows 7? As others put it Min-Win is a version of windows that has just the minimum basics, no more. It's designed for performance, not fluff. The idea was it would run on older hardware better than WinXP or Vista or Windows 7. So it should be fast. MS Marketing threw that option out away, wanting the fancy Aero graphical interface and a other junk. Welcome to the current Windows cobblers.
Compare Apple's OSX, which has been going on a diet the last few releases. Apple has been improving performance and battery life, importantly by closer integration of their software and their hardware. The good idea was to get better performance from OSX by re-writing key sections. It's working too. IBM's recent joint activities with Apple says evolution, don'y you think?
Meanwhile Microsoft is going in the opposite direction -- their traditional choice -- adding more layers to Windows. Usually that makes the code base bigger, harder to maintain and slower. I've heard it described as "just another coat of paint on an old building:" The coat of looks nice but hides the ill maintained and outdated architecture underneath.
Google wants to move all the processing to the web and have you do everything in their very ow browser. The logic is thin computing/computing as an unregulated, private common carrier. You get you water, natural gas, sewer, electric as services. Google wants you to get your computer processing the same way, but without rules about non-discriminatory access, privacy or affordable service. Is the aim to make Google the internet? And Google really likes to rummage around in your stuff, and sell the patterns they. We've individually have to decide whether we trust it not to be evil, though a lot of information is obviously being withheld.
Not clear how Microsoft sees the internet. Apple sees the web as a way to connect your various computer-ized tools: iPad, iPhone, Laptop, desktop, etc. Their new programming "kits," position Apple to be the intermediary for all kinds of third-party hardware, in an internet of [interconnected] things of indifferent levels of security and reliability. Apple's next OSX promises improve the ability to start an email, a movie or a work project on your iPhone then finish it on your iPad. Or your Mac if you are old fashioned. Or your iWatch if you've a good imagination. You may soon move mostly seamlessly between your different Apple computer, if you want to. Your computer processing is in a cloud accessed by your choice of compatible equipment with the web as a connectivity tool.
Microsoft's latest offerings look defensive more than principled: Office as a web based subscripton, depricating the desktop product. The former to counter Google Docs. Surface 1, 2 now 3 are tablet stand-ins for the laptops Microsoft understands, not really alternatives to Apple and Android tablets. Office for the iPad is testing whether big lumbering Office can made to operate the way a tablet works.
Google, Apple, and maybe Microsoft, are trying to create "walled gardens" to keep you in their eco-system and not let you move to another. How's it going do you think?