Plasma Active is different to the contenders you mention in that we provide different UIs per device. The workspace and apps are not the same across devices, but adapt themselves to characteristics of a given device, such as screen space and input methods.
That means that on a desktop, you'll continue to use the "proven" workspace layout and features, on a tablet you'll be presented with a different interface (which still shares the large majority of its code with the desktop version). We achieve this with device profiles for widgets, layouts, for example, and different shell layouts and functionality per device.
I think presenting the same interface on different devices leads to dumbed down apps that only provide the lowest common denominator. Besides that, it only scales so far (what's a tablet anyway, 10", 7", 5" ... ?) -- so in the end will you run an app that is designed to also work down to 5" screens? I don't think this works at all, and it's not what the user wants. Devices are different for good reasons, the UI has to reflect that.
Plasma has been designed as a framework for UIs for different devices, and on our way, we improve the interoperability on the UI level across the device spectrum. You can compare this to the idea of the Linux kernel, which also adapts itself to a given device without sacrificing on the other end: Linux supporting big iron servers is not a problem for it also powering my phone, mediacenter, tablet, laptop or desktop.