Google achieved something others with more investment in relational database technology did not. They built what is described as a clever synchronization of their databases across the world. They call it Spanner. Wired Magazine has an article about Spanner that explains more.
Running multiple operating systems within a main operating system is a productive way to get work done. You can improve security in some cases and make it much easier to go through multiple scenarios versus dual booting. The security scenario is one where you run web browsers in such an isolated way that the spread of malware is greatly diminished. The idea is less convenient in practice however, but there are some cases where the inconvenience is worth it. Another secure scenario is where certain technical tools for building programs can weaken a system so running them in an isolated environment can improve things. Best of all, isolated compartments are easier to backup and put back into action. The downside is that some visual tools do not present quite as well in virtual environments and that can be a place where they fail.
People do not like Windows 8. I can see why. You get accustomed to using a software system like Windows over several years and all of a sudden, the way you get around and control Windows does not work like it used to. That does not bother me because I use keyboard shortcuts and alternate techniques to access functions in Windows directly but that is not the case for many. Windows 8 is a great, great idea. They tried to merge multiple design sensibilities. Egyptian heiroglyphics, IKEA, Swiss and German design tradition to create a modern user interface. It didn’t work. The problem was forcing it on hardware it was never design to enhance. Windows 8 does work well on Microsoft Surface though.