Last Updated: January 17th, 2011


I've had this article in mind for quite some time now, but haven't mustered up the courage to do it in fear of upsetting fanboys. But when the Fascinate shipped with Bing rather than Google as the default search engine, I could hold off no longer. For a Google Android phone to ship with a search engine other than Google, the search engine I know, love, and use on a daily basis (and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here) is unthinkable; not offering a way to change it is even more of an outrage. Of course, Verizon isn't the only one committing this crime; AT&T did essentially the same thing with the Motorola Backflip, T-Mobile bastardized Sense on the MyTouch 3G Slide, and Sprint's had its share of Android-related evilness too (Sprint NASCAR? Sprint NFL? Who needs that crap installed by default?). The manufacturers - HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and others - have all participated in this game as well, even more so than the carriers. Simply put, Sense, MotoBlur, TouchWiz, and other skins are ruining the Android experience and must be stopped immediately.

The Issue At Hand

What's so wrong with these custom skins on top of Android? Why not add a little bit of Sense to your day? Or how about some Blur? Don't these skins add additional features? Yes, they do. And that's part of the reason why they're a problem.

Additional features mean your device can do more things. They make it more powerful. They make it what it is: a computer in your pocket. They also mean more bugs, more areas open to potential failure, and bloatware you'll never actually use but will be slowed down by. Take Motorola's MotoBlur skin: the thought behind it was innocent, merely a hand extended to the social networking generation. What came out of it, however, was a nightmare: ugly widgets everywhere, social network updates screaming in users' faces, and a status bar copied right from the iPhone. Or Dell's custom UI which they loaded on top of Android 1.5 for the Aero: most people didn't even realize it was Android hiding under that horrid disaster of a skin.

Decent skins like Sense UI are, unfortunately, the exception rather than the rule. And even then, it would be hard to say I wouldn't prefer vanilla FroYo, without all the extras, lag, and memory bloat that HTC's customizations cause.

On a not completely unrelated note, we have another issue: bloatware. To be clear, bloatware isn't part of the skins which we've been talking about up to now, although it is useless and does detract from the overall Android experience, so it is part of the problem with what manufacturers are doing. In case you're not familiar with the term, bloatware consists of those useless apps that come pre-installed on your device (aka AT&T Navigator, VCast, City ID, Sprint NFL, and more). These apps usually cannot be uninstalled (without rooting and further hacking, that is) and tend to run in the background and update things on their own. That's right: part of the reason why your battery life is so bad and your performance isn't as good as it could be is bloatware. Ugh.

But the worst problem of all? Not bloatware, nor ugly skins, nor annoying social networks, nor anything of the sort; the #1 reason why custom skins have to go is fragmentation (fragmentation is why we're seeing 29.5% of devices still running Android 1.5 or 1.6). Obviously, custom skins aren't the same as vanilla Android, and therefore, every time an update to Android comes along, manufacturers have to modify their skins and work with the carriers before allowing any updates to hit their devices. The thing is, they're often reluctant to do so and sometimes end up not releasing the update at all, either because of running out of engineering resources due to complexities of merging their own code with the next version of Android or to force customers to upgrade to newer devices, or both.

And somehow, releasing a new device running Android 1.5 or 1.6 rather than the latest (currently 2.2) just because the manufacturer felt like adding custom branding on top of the OS (yes, that's you, Dell Aero, Dell, Streak, XPERIA X10, Garminfone, etc) just doesn't seem like it's in consumers' best interests.

Why Manufacturers Do This

So if it's bad for the end consumer, why are manufacturers doing this? Why would they want to ruin the Android experience? The answer is simple: branding.

Custom skins are like movies; which would you rather have: a movie that has obviously been produced purely for the purpose of commercializing a product, or one that has been made purely for the reason that someone wanted to make an enjoyable movie? Probably the second one. Which one is more likely to end up in theaters? The first one.

In other words, users don't necessarily want their Android devices to be skinned, but manufacturers do want those users to remember who made the device (and show off all its flashy - and branded - features to their friends, who may in turn buy the device for themselves), and custom skins are one form of doing so.

Additionally, adding bloatware apps into the mix makes the manufacturers and carriers much more money; how much do you think Microsoft paid Verizon to make Bing the default search engine on the Fascinate? It's a situation similar to what Dell does to its laptops: include a ton on apps (McAfee, anyone?) that most people will never use, simply because the developers of those apps gave huge monetary bonuses. It's less about the end user's experience with the product and more about the manufacturer's experience with the money made off that product.

What Can We Do?

So say you've already bought yourself an Epic 4G or a Droid 2, but you've decided you don't like Samsung's or Motorola's skin (I don't blame you). What can you do? If you're a tech-savvy user, it's no big deal: just root the phone and install a custom ROM.

The problem is, almost all Android users, American, European, Asian, and otherwise, are technically illiterate when it comes to hacking their phones. So instead, they can turn to a slightly less techie solution: installing a home replacement such as Launcher Pro or ADW.Launcher. This is great, since home replacements get rid of the crappy homescreen apps, like MotoBlur, but, unfortunately, don't eliminate bloatware or customizations made to existing Android apps.

Therefore, we must look to manufacturers and carriers themselves to change this. Now I'm not saying they shouldn't include one or two custom apps, or a couple of custom live wallpapers (though if they are going to be this bad or this boring, please don't), but when a brand new, top-of-the-line device comes pre-installed with widgets clogging up each and every homescreen (à la Droid 2 or Droid X), it's obvious something's gone wrong somewhere along the line. Likewise, we don't want you replacing Google with Bing or Yahoo!, Google Navigation with AT&T Navigator, or the stock camera app with some weird Samsung or HTC variant.

Please, manufacturers, carriers, and everyone else involved, just stop customizing the software on your devices and, most importantly of all, let Android be Android.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • jak2rocks

    I completely agree with you on that.

  • Luis Morice

    Great stuff!!! I'm with you 200%!! I have a Nexus One and almost eat my charger waiting for the 2.2 update...it came out and got it installed right away but what happened to the rest of the HTC phones with sense UI?! even when Google released the update they had to wait and some are still waiting!!! That sucks!!

    • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

      Actually, that's not entirely true anymore... I think the whole upgrade process has improved, though there's still more room for improvement... Take the EVO for example. It got the 2.2 update BEFORE the Droid got it.... that's an HTC Sense UI phone getting 2.2 before a stock Android phone.
      I think the biggest problem is still with the carriers and manufacturers not getting their priorities straight as far as updates go. Word has it that the Nexus One in Germany still hasn't gotten 2.2. How is that possible? Because it's not in Google's hands, unlike the Nexus One in the US, which I believe gets its updates straight from Google.

  • Michael

    Oh EXCELLENT article Jaroslav! When my tired old Blackberry Curve gave up the ghost I waited months -- MONTHS mind you -- for the Galaxy S to be released as the AT&T Captivate. I was getting a super phone. A SUPER PHONE! You know, 1 gig Hummingbird, lightening quick on Android 2.1, soon to be upgraded to FroYo?

    Only to find out that my brand new super phone is so bogged down with crap-ware, and so customized by Samsung to literally fly using their crap-ware -- and ONLY their crap-ware -- that my old Curve was actually faster than this thing. Hell, my wife's HTC Aria is faster!

    I mean, come on, should it really take K-9 mail 20 minutes (yes I said minutes, that's not a typo) with the CPU redlined to delete a half a dozen messages? Should it really take a whole 5 seconds to load an AP article on the native browser and 50 seconds to load the same article, in the same view mode, on SkyFire? Should I be able to really fly through (what few) news stories are in their silly little "daily briefing craplet" but be able to drink a cup of coffee while waiting for the mobile version of the LA Times to load in World News papers. (And all of this is on wifi!)

    Should I have to install task managers and memory monitors and everything else I can find JUST to get the phone to perform (almost) as well as my 6 year old Blackberry?

    I think not! It's ridiculous, as you said.

    I'm SO looking forward to the day there's a custom rom built on FroYo that does NOT use Samsung's TouchWiz kernel.

  • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

    One of the big concerns for developers is that the additions made by the various manufacturers actually is much worse for fragmentation than different versions of Android (which are actually handled fairly well by the development tools). I know I've had issues with motoblur devices not showing my app the same way htc devices do, and that makes it very hard to design proper layouts, etc. It get's much worse though... check out doubleTwist's website for this little nugget:
    "If you have an HTC Incredible (or other HTC phone with Sense UI) and get the error "The linked program is no longer installed on your phone" when trying to run the app after updating, you will need to reboot your phone. Blame HTC as it's their bug (and for your next phone, pick one running the standard Google Android UI :-)"

    That's a major developer asking people to stop buying phones with custom skins.

    Just a few weeks ago I had to explain to a friend, with some amount of embarrassment since I'm always pushing Android pretty hard, that the reason her contacts were all screwed up is because motoblur's version of facebook integration didn't jive with Android's implementation, and that she'd have to jump through a few hoops to get it to not break some of the base functionality of her phone.

    I think that the problem is that HTC did it right the first time... they added value to the platform. Everyone else has tried to copy and failed, and even Sense's value is starting to diminish... does anyone really prefer the sense ui picture gallery over the stock android one? I think manufacturers need to think of different ways to add value and differentiate themselves, without making changes 'just because they can'.

  • http://www.anivision.org xcom923

    As much as I agree with most of this article, BUT there are some problems you will have with being an open OS namely....being Open. While I do use Google and probably won't use Bing any time soon it's up to whoever makes the OS to decide what the default search engine will be on launch. Of course as long as we're able to change this by adjusting the settings I see no difference than Microsoft making Bing the default search engine on windows machines.

    Everything else about the UI is understandable but the branding issue and the fact that android is an open OS is causing this and I'm not sure that it will ever change, seems to be the nature of the beast. However, Google is making it easier to do this costumed changes to Android which could help with fragmentation, even if it's just a little bit.

    • Jaroslav Stekl

      The issue with Bing and the Samsung Fascinate I was talking about here is that they don't allow you to change the search engine. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind having Bing as the default search engine.

      • TomB

        You make no sense whining about the need for choice in a Search engine android.  The Samsung Fascinate has Bing exclusive because the OS itself is not open to have search options.  You're such a fanboy that you never even pondered it...  By the way, this exclusivity of search is not something designed by Verizon's, AT&T, or some evil OEMs mind you.  Google didn't want anyone else playing on Android their "open platform" and made it that way to lock fanboys like yourself into their search exclusively.  

        As for whining about custom skins and additional free apps and pay apps on device out of the box, you really know nothing about the phone industry and live quite disconnected bubble.  The reason that even Google don't sell their utterly bland basic phone, the Nexus One, to consumers anymore is that there is no market for them period.  Customers want the latest and greatest phone with whiz bang functionality and Google's base shell is a dry bland experience that doesn't entice anyone but alpha geeks and fanboys willing to buy an unsubsidized phone with zero support from the manufacturer.  Please do the rest of us a favor and read a little before you post the next rant...

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and say that when a company offers you a deal worth 100s of millions of dollars, you, as a publicly traded company, simply cannot walk away from it. Dell can't, and neither can Sprint, Verizon, T-Mo, or AT&T. It's revenue, really, really important revenue, and they can't afford not to do it.

    Yes, it sucks for us, but if it potentially translates into cheaper handset prices, I'd rather take that and root. Consumers will be upset, but they have to remember that carriers are ultimately in it for the money.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Now as far as custom UIs, I'm all for them, as long as they don't integrate into Android to the point that this integration delays new releases. Make every custom app modular, removable and installable from the Market, and we're right there with you.

      Otherwise, please keep your hands off our Android.

      • Jaroslav Stekl

        I guess I'll play the angel's advocate then ;)
        I totally agree with your first point, I just think it's unfortunate for end consumers, and, as you said, "it sucks for us."
        Ah, now as for your second point, rooting and installing CyanogenMod or some other ROM is not always an option: take the Epic 4G, which, despite being released almost a month ago, has yet to see a stock FroYo ROM. And I don't know about you, but I don't have the time or the energy to make one myself.
        Custom UIs... well, I think I said what I think about them in the article, but suffice to say, they can go either way: it can end up like MotoBlur or the skin Dell uses on the Aero, or it can go well and end up being a delight to use, like HTC's Sense UI. Either way, custom skins will delay updates by at least a few months, add bloatware, and make the device feel quite sluggish. And pardon me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen an Android phone ship with bloatware that users can easily uninstall.
        Finally, yea! Hands off is the way to go!

    • donnythebowler

      Artem, you make a valid point. It's a point I think the author of the article would probably agree with.
      I am, however, in agreement 100% with the author in that customization ruins Andriod. It's articles like this that point out that fact to people. The fear is that carrier and manufacturer customization is ruining Android, and it's getting worse. Once consumers start to realize that their phones are sucking, they might not know it's not Android's fault per se.
      The bottom line is that people need to know that the bad things they are experiencing don't have to be there as part of experiencing Android. If people are educated and start demanding a stock experience, they will vote with their wallets. As you rightly point out, revenue is something these corporations will follow.
      This is the reason I'm getting the G2.

      • Jaroslav Stekl

        High five!

  • Westy

    I love what Samsung did recently with the epic. You can turn off the TouchWiz and use Stock Android launcher. Thats really all i want. Allow me the option to choose which launcher i want and allow me to delete the bloatware. Whatever load the crap on there you make your money off of the companies but dont force me to root my phone to get rid of the crap. Load the phones up with your stuff but allow me to change/delete the crap. I think thats a fair trade.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      You can do that to any launcher - Sense, Motoblur, etc. It's not anything Samsung did - it's just how Android works.

      The problem is, customizations from TouchWiz, Sense, etc are present in other aspects of the system - menus, fonts, etc.

  • Westy

    Is there anywhere we can start following with Android users saying this to the Carriers and manufactures? I would sign and participate. I am sure it would have plenty of followers. Its really the only way we can get this point across to the Carriers and manufactures.

    • donnythebowler

      Yes! What would this movement be called? This is long overdue. We need to send the message that stock Android is preferred!

      Jaroslav, this is your moment. Step up and organize us!

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        You can start by tweeting to manufacturers, sending them emails, calling them, blogging, etc.

  • wesley rivera

    I have a mytouch slide 3g and I hate the custom sence its a pain in the butt and looks like 2.2 will never hit my new phone when at time of launch it was said to get the 2.2 update before a lot of other handsets that are now running the update. and not a word has been said since which as a paying comsumer really pissed me off for one I should not have to root my phonme or go and buy the newest phone for an updated rom! Step your game up people.

  • Nick

    I wouldn't hesitate on writing another article like this. You make some great points. Thank you.

  • onizukajwb

    Right on the mark.

  • elijahblake

    I don't think anyone could have said it better...

    Good read

  • Eric

    My guess is that the vast majority of Android users don't have a clue what stock Android really is nor do they care and that's why we keep getting bloat-ware on these high end phones. It seems like I read somewhere that over 70% of Android users don't even know their handsets can, should or will get OTA updates. If this is the case we never will see another stock Android phone unless Google decides to make another one. Anyone know what those stats are these days?

  • http://bostonandroid.org/ Mike Burns

    A major point of Android is that it's open. Where is the source to Sense, Motoblur, etc.? Why am I paying so much for a slower, worse experience that I can't even modify?

    True fact: I bought the MyTouch Slide, fiddled with it overnight to try to remove the customizations, then returned it the next day. Sticking with my G1 until the G2 comes out.

    Money matters a bunch to these companies so let's show them what it means to us when they make a stock Android release. Buy as many G2s, Nexus Ones, and so on as possible, and steer your friends away from buying Motoblurred knockoffs.

  • zy

    I actually prefer HTC Sense UI than vanilla Android... having used Motorola Milestone and HTC Desire, the Desire makes using a phone easy

  • BenR

    What to do in the case of the Droid X that has this eFuse bull****. I ran Bugless Beast the WHOLE time i used my Droid 1 but I thought the DX's UI was pretty cool and I could deal. WRONG. But now I can't change it and I'm stuck with the AS IS Droid X. Next phone will be an HTC as they don't seem to do the DX/Milestone lockdowns. :(

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    I agree with you 1000%. The problem is, this article is not going to do a thing about the situation. We need more than that. May be a grass root campaign to push the carriers and the handset makers to adopt a less disruptive way to customize their handsets (I don't think we should eliminate all customizations, after all, that's why we like Android in the first place.)

    Do we have enough people here to move forward to the next step?

  • TomB

    You make no sense whining about the need for choice in a Search engine android.  The Samsung Fascinate has Bing exclusive because the OS itself is not open to have search options.  You're such a fanboy that you never even pondered it...  By the way, this exclusivity of search is not something designed by Verizon's, AT&T, or some evil OEMs mind you.  Google didn't want anyone else playing on Android their "open platform" and made it that way to lock fanboys like yourself into their search exclusively.  

    As for whining about custom skins and additional free apps and pay apps on device out of the box, you really know nothing about the phone industry and live quite disconnected bubble.  The reason that even Google don't sell their utterly bland basic phone, the Nexus One, to consumers anymore is that there is no market for them period.  Customers want the latest and greatest phone with whiz bang functionality and Google's base shell is a dry bland experience that doesn't entice anyone but alpha geeks and fanboys willing to buy an unsubsidized phone with zero support from the manufacturer.  Please do the rest of us a favor and read a little before you post the next rant.  

    • matt L

      Tom: SHUT UP.........WE DON'T WANNA HEAR IT

    • andreas

      Actually you are wrong, just plain wrong! In UK the nexus one is selling quite well, the only issue with it is that they have a very limited stock so users will go with the desire instead. Infact Vodafone run out of it very soon after its been first released.


    • Jaroslav Stekl

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only tech journalist complaining about this issue (ever listened to the Engadget podcast?)
      Also, I struggle to see how stripping Google away from their own OS, installing Bing as a replacement, and not offering a way to change the search engine makes Android more open.
      There is indeed a market for stock phones, and, as many people have pointed out in the comments above, most consumers don't even know what Android is, even if their phones are running it. Why was the original Droid so popular? The reason is marketing. That is also the reason why the Nexus One failed: a lack of marketing. It wasn't because of a stock or skinned OS, it was because of marketing.
      Finally, I hate to break it to you, but if you're on this site and you read through that editorial, there's pretty much a 0% chance that you're not a tech geek yourself (no offense, I am too ;)

    • Jaroslav Stekl

      Oh yeah, and just for the record, double posting your comment usually results in banning.

  • ryan

    First, I agree with you 100%. I hate the bloatware more than I hate Sense (I have a DInc).

    The problem is that - if everyone were running vanilla Android - the phone manufacturers (HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc.) would be essentially producing a commodity product (no differentiation) while the carriers would be reduced to a toll collector (usage of the network). This is essentially what will eventually happen, and the carriers and the manufacturers will be reduced to competing on price, while the OS manufacturers (Google, Apple) will be able to compete on differentiation (basically earn more profit because the product is unique). This is where the biz is headed and has been headed since AT&T bent over for the iphone. The carriers and manufacturers are trying to resist the change (using tactics such as custom UI and bloatware that "add value" {detracts value}) but eventually, I think that there will be two OS's for consumers to choose from and everything else (the model and carrier) will be based on price.

    • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

      I disagree that there would be no differentiation. Compare the EVO and the Motorola Charm. They are totally different phones, and still would be if both ran vanilla android. Personally, I would LOVE it if manufacturers spent more time worrying about good and solid hardware, rather than working on ui stuff. Imagine if the Samsung Galaxy S phones came out WITHOUT a ton of bugs. Wouldn't that say more about them than TouchWiz does?

    • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

      Frankly, I see no reason why a handset vendor couldn't create a suite of customizations that can "decorate" their handsets without messing with the Android OS. For example, HTC can make a suite of applications that not only runs on HTC phones, but ALL OTHER comparable Android phones -- they can differentiate their own phones by waiving the fee of the applications. All other phone users will have to pay to buy it from the market. I don't know what HTC thinks, but personally, I think if they are so proud of their customizations, this is an even better way to introduce HTC's customizations to more people, and might actually convince more people to buy HTC phones.

  • jon3169

    I agree with you on the crapware, at least give the option to uninstall, but many times I have been very glad I have sense instead of stock froyo. I us launcher pro, but the UI are more than just launchers, the email app is a great example. I use both the sense and stock android email apps, not the gmail one, but the email app on my evo because the sense one does not play well with hotmail ActiveSync. But I wish I could use sense for that email and hope HTC fixes the bug soon because the stock app is lacking. You cannot copy and paste from the email, you can not auto download attachments, and attachments show up at the bottom instead of top which is annoying if you have a long email thread. It also gives you no indication that you have replied to an email. So yeah, even for just the other apps included since I don't use the launcher, I would take sense anyday over stock bland Android.

  • tobi512

    Awesome article!!!
    I agree 300%...
    I love Android since its beginning, but those customizations destroy everything, if you got a Galaxy S phone, you know what i mean:
    Samsung has even choosen a filesystem which sucked, the touchwiz-sh*t and replacement of all important apps, was just not enough!
    Hopefully Google will stop this crap in version 3.0 gingerbread, otherwise we (the community) have to take the initiative...

  • DK

    Atleast give us an easy option of uninstalling the bloatware (like on any new computer).

  • Simon Roberts

    I completely agree with the author. It's why I refused to go with Sprints EVO 4G and instead cancelled my contract ans switched to T-Mobile to get the Nexus One (yes, I was one of the few :)

  • George

    If there could just be a truce around choice. I don't care how many apps and widgets and whatever else they want to put on the phone as long as I can change it.

  • Mike

    i completely agree,I have the mytouch slide. Ill admit htc sense is pretty nice an has some cool features on it an widgets too. Honestly I just prefer android to be itself, I wanna see want the original android home screen,widgets an features have but I can't,an it sucks. I can see why the major companies did it,but in the end we lose out to it. Hopefully in the future they will relixe the misrake they made an change it.

  • Bill hates verizon

    can't stand to listen to the arrogance of the I AM RIGHT and WE MUST HAVE BLOATWARE CAUSE I DON"T LIKE THE BASIC INTERFACE...I can only say, typical American consumer-ignorant of value.
    I returned my fascinate b/c the pigs at verizon had to pile on the crap-non removable crap.And quite frankly , I am tired of spending countless hours managing my data b/c these POS want every single penny they can beg, borrow, steal,. mislead ,, and misrepresent from you ignorant consumers.
    I want a clean slate,I WANT TO set -up MY PHONE the I WANT MY PHONE w/o the constant issues with the carriers etc..so you set it up and then-update and all is lost including your phone service- better yet a MANDATORY update so Verizon can add yet another crap ware annoyance and a little more overhead for your proc -- the system is broke, the phones are as crappy as their ware and like I said I RETURNED MINE..Anyone who keeps one is a typical American ignorant idiot consumer and deserves what they have....
    for those who care- I have to finish my V contract or better yet they dare make any change so I can cancel early--Also FYI..I am a registered Dev and cannot finds ANY verizon Dev phones form Google, Samsung, or Moto- so good luck with all those Vanilla experiences you guys with all the answers keep touting, THERE ARE NONE FOR V
    V sucks the worst for crap ware, customer service etc..I am down to a voice only contract on an old 760 so I don't have to pay these idiots anything more for the crap experience they force on you , it's called rape... It's a shame they have the best coverage I think !!!!

  • Geometry is Golden

    Folks, many of you ( including the author ) have missed one important point which has led to the mobile OS fragmentation problem for Android and its Carriers/HW partners which will ultimately _NEVER_ Let Android be Android - H/W differences! Sure, I agree that the superficial face-lifts of a few partners leave a lot to be desired and introduce a few complexities, but they PALE in comparison to the issue introduced by yet another platform that does not adequately set strong guides in the h/w channels nor even utilize some of the virtualization methodologies that have been available for years now in this industry.
    Google will soon become a LOT more restrictive from many different aspects with Android because they must. Perhaps they might provide a better framework to save some developers from themselves too. Time will tell....

    • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

      We didn't forget about that, but it's a fixable problem.

      First of all, Microsoft has a similar problem. There are endless hardware combinations of desktop PC, but there's only 1 version of Windows. If Microsoft can do it, there's no reason to believe that Google can't.

      Secondly, someone from another discussion suggested a centralized driver repository requiring manufacturers to submit their drivers to the server.

      Thirdly, Google have a lot of people smarter than me and you (ok, may be not you, just me.) I can't believe that they cannot come up with a solution.

      No matter how I look at it. It's not that they can't fix it, but they don't see it as a problem and don't want to address it.