Following in the footsteps of Apple and Microsoft in focusing on the user experience–the latter definitely is touting its Windows Phone 7 platform to be attentive to the overall experience rather than focusing on individual technologies–Google will be working on defining the user experience on its Gingerbread Android build. Gingerbread is expected to come after Android 2.2, and with Gingerbread Google is hoping to make third-party user interfaces as pointless as possible. While manufacturers like HTC and Motorola can still opt to put HTC Sense and MOTOBLUR on handsets, “Google’s goal is to make those “skins” as pointless as possible,” according to TechCrunch.
Google’s challenge here would be hardware fragmentation–it will be hard to standardize the software and user experience with various manufacturers choosing to run different hardware components. From screen resolutions, display technologies, CPUs and GPUs, RAM and ROM, we have a lot to choose from with the open-source Android community. In order to achieve its user experience goal, rival Microsoft had to set hardware guidelines and minimum specs for Windows Phone 7. It will be interesting to see how Google will handle its open-source initiative versus Microsoft’s proprietary Windows Phone 7 to achieve similar end goals.