Google complements Apple but not Microsoft
Google complements Apple - on both desktop and mobile. Yes there are core Apple apps and some users prefer to stick with them but it is hard to beat free and more featured. I use a Nexus and a Macbook Air - I have my contacts, calendar, mail, drive, picasa synced via native applications on both platforms through Google services. On my Mac, I get the benefit of faster access, offline copy, and OS integration to those content.
On the other hand, Microsoft and Google do not really complement each other - Mail in Windows 8 does not support IMAP, the People app does not support CardDav, the Calendar app does not support CalDav. These are open source protocols that Microsoft refuses to support in order to sync with Google's services, and Google's support for ActiveSync a Microsoft technology is ending soon. Yes, you can use a third party apps like emClient on the desktop, but it won't be as integrated into the OS or provide as fast/easy access as the native core apps aforementioned. So as a Windows desktop user, you are forced to use Microsoft's services or settle for lesser workarounds.
In Microsoft's defense, it was Google that decided to kill ActiveSync, so it should be Google that restores back the syncing functionality.
I only see them doing this via Chrome. There is already an offline Gmail and Calendar app for Chrome, we are just missing offline contacts. Looking through the Chrome Flags, I see two flags related to contacts, the first one is only for Chrome OS but is the better of the two as your contacts are downloaded for local access. The second one is available on all platforms for online access contacts search, I tried it but it seems buggy.
Thus, if you are a Microsoft/Google user - you can't really have the best of both worlds as a result of the childish bickering of these two tech giants.