It’s well…it’s Microsoft.
Frequently I’ll hear people refer to the product of a company with a single product (or a single predominant product or range of closely related products) by the company name (for example Citrix of VMware). But (mostly non-technical) people also seem to refer to Microsoft products as just being Microsoft.
Not only does Microsoft not have a single product, Microsoft has a range of duplicative products–products which perform the same task but which do so in inconsistent and sometimes even incompatible manners: Outlook and Outlook Express/Windows Live Mail (mutually exclusive support for differing mail servers or services), Office and Works (differing file formats for the same task), Outlook and Windows Address Book/Windows Live Contacts.
But its all called Microsoft and I think its that confusion between products and what is in the Operating System and what is not that has benefited Microsoft and made it really difficult for Apple and the various Linux distributions to supplant it.
I know this is a rough idea, and I’ll return to it, but I just wanted to say that.