Yeah, I think Google is winning. Some of that's based on Google's viewpoint... they pretty much want to make the internet work for everyone, since that's where they live and mostly where their money comes from. That's pretty powerful.
Devices by themselves... that's pretty 20th Century. The internet by itself... very 90s. But hooking together is very cool. And the better that works, the better you're going to like devices that bring that particular vision.
So here's an example. Over the weekend, I bought a few CDs at a yard sale and ripped them on my PC. Today, I bought another couple of online discs. Ok, I know, album purchases are also so 20th century, but that's how I roll. I bought those albums on Amazon. Next I'm checking my Google Music Player for other stuff to play while I'm working... and both the CDs from the weekend and the brand new stuff I bought on Amazon is already in the Google player.
There are plenty of times my smartphone (Samsung/Google Nexus) or tablet (Samsung) are away from the internet -- going 100% "cloud" is not a good idea, and may never be. But making things work so transparently, syncing my whole music library without even worrying where I happen to be, or notes I write on my tablet, or my email, my web browser configuration, etc. The net isn't taking us "post-device" but it does promise to take us past the point that any specific device is all that important.
I agree Rick, Samsung without software is crippled...but Google has good chances...but it could be someone else winning it all at the end...IBM? artificial intelligence (or some other version of Watson) will take over in 10 years...I see little response from Google on that front
Amazon definitely isn't direct competition for Samsung, but they are in some ways competition for Apple & Google, and have an Apple-like concern for ease of use.
They sell media, have well regarded cloud services, an app store, and their own devices -- and a lot of integration. If you're in Amazon Prime, you get a lot of nice bonuses (I'm not, but I know several people who are). On the book side, I'm concerned with their dominance, but I have to give them credit -- they keep on improving the physical Kindle readers (both e-Ink & tablet), and seem to have their act together much more than their competition.
I'm not sure what "winning" means in this context. Android must cost Google a lot to design and maintain but they give it away for free. Even if Android becomes the de facto standard OS for all small devices in the future isn't that something of a pyrric victory? At least Microsoft made money on their monopoly. Google make money from advertising-supported web services. It's not clear why they need to produce an OS to do this.
Also, not all future devices may fit the ad-supported revenue model that Google uses. They make less money from mobile ads than PC ads. Will anyone want ads on a smart watch? How many "things" in the IoT will be capable of displaying ads?
Maybe Google will one day start charging a license fee for Android and become the new Microsoft? But Samsung will probably be their biggest customer and Apple will still be there. So I don't see a single winner here.