Re: What's Google afraid of?
Does your memmory allow you to read and remember more than one sentence? There is far less variety in phones hardware than PC. All of them are built more or less around the same ARM processors, and chipsets for mobile and wifi comm.
Sure, a lot of model with different shells, and little more. A phone firmware is specific to a given phone more for marketing reasons that technical ones. Guess most of the code is the same across a wide range of models but a few tweaks to avoid you can "upgrade" a phone just uploading a different one. Even the PC was a "closed" system until compatible "firmware" aka "BIOS" was created - and most BIOSes can be easily tweaked to work across a wide range of hardware.
There is far less hardware Android has to support compared to Windows or Linux itself, which runs on many more different devices, processors and architectures, and a much wider range of peripherals.
The fact is Google doesn't care about Android as on OS, it does care only it is cheap enough to be installed on as many phones as possible and funnel data to the Google black hole. If something bad happens, who cares? It's users data, not Google ones. Google makes money "stealing" and funneling data, not keeping OS updated and safe (unlike MS, which makes money selling software....)
And Google can blame the handset maker... but this policy means there are a lot of vulnerable Android devices around. It's not a technical problem, it's just a financial and marketing decision. Google don't want to spend much money in keeping Android secure.
Using Windows, usually it's the hardware evolution itself that makes older hardware unusable than Windows itself. My last PC has only PCIe slots, thereby I had to get rid of all the PIC cards. Windows would have supported them without issues. But I'm still using other devices several years old.
If there is something Windows does well, is legacy support. Sure, you have to choose some good hardware and not crappy cheap one with bad drivers available only from its producer that will vanish in a few months without ever submitting drivers to MS for WHQL certification....