Just catching up on my notes from SES last week.
I've often heard people complaining--especially marketing people--that Google's online applications look different from each other, like they're not part of the same suite. But one thing that CEO Eric Schmidt (Schmitty? Tall, dark and starchy? Eric-a-palooza?) said during a press briefing was that Google intentionally creates applications that don't have similar interfaces.
The reason? According to Schmidt, he did want everything to look the same. But Larry and Sergey convinced him that a unified interface was second in importance to establishing a passionate user base for each application.
Schmidt said that "unifying the interfaces is easy" after the apps--Calendar, Google Earth, Spreadsheets, etc.--have found their niche audiences. But there's no use holding up the release cycle just so things can look purty, and certainly less reason to make things purty if no one is using them.
Let Microsoft worry about branding. Google worries about code.