HTC’s Sense user interface will be available on smartphones running Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system, despite the OS exerting greater control over devices than its predecessors, according to a report in Forbes.
Drew Bamford, head of HTC’s user experience design team, told Forbes in a July 22 report that the Taiwan-based phone maker plans to include Sense-albeit a modified version-on the Windows Phone 7 handsets scheduled to launch in October.
“Microsoft has taken firmer control of the core experience [in Windows Phone 7], but we can still innovate,” Bamford told Forbes. “We won’t be able to replace as much of the core Windows Phone experience, but we will augment it.”
Microsoft has announced that, with Windows Phone 7, it’s pursuing an entirely new strategy centered on three tenets: smart design, integrated experiences and an optimized ecosystem. At a July 13 event for Windows Phone developers, Andy Lees, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business, told the audience that phones are facing a major problem with fragmentation, and so Microsoft is making sure its software is “fully optimized” to run with a phone manufacturers’ hardware.
HTC describes the Sense UI that it has paired with Windows Mobile 6.5, as well as Google’s Android, as an “intuitive, seamless experience built upon three fundamental principles – make it mine, stay close and discover the unexpected.” For users, it offers the ability to further customize a device to one’s tastes, along with features such as a single way to view data from multiple social-networking sites.
Phone manufacturers have designed theses interfaces to lay on top of the device’s operating system, complementing the OS while putting their brand front and center. Motorola, for example, includes its MotoBlur UI on devices including the Droid X and Flipout.
According to Forbes, Google also plans to add more user-friendly touches to version 3.0 of its Android OS, which Bamford likewise said won’t prevent HTC from also offering Sense-particularly an updated version of the UI, with features that could, for example, improve social-networking capabilities or the ability to share media files.
“Google may focus more on improving the user interface on the stock Android [software], but I don’t think they’ll preclude manufacturer customization,” Bamford told Forbes.