ARS Technica takes an indepth look at the past and future of Windows, you can read it over here.
To really understand where Microsoft is going with its operating system, we first have to understand where it has been: how Windows works today and how things got to be that way.
Operating systems exist to provide services to applications. The range of services an operating system is expected to provide has grown as computing power and user demands have grown. At the most basic level, operating systems provide file handling (creation, deletion, reading and writing of files) and simple I/O (reading from the keyboard, writing to the screen, and in modern operating systems, talking to the network).