Android OS 4.0 May Go Down To Just One Hardware Button
According to this source, the Back, Search, and Menu buttons that have always been standard on Android-based smartphones are not part of this device. Instead, there is only a Home button.
In fairness, this is one guy who saw one device, not a policy. Personally, I like buttons -- actual physical buttons, not even the dedicated capacitive spaces.. I also hate wasting screen real estate when it isn't necessary.
My hope is that there's flexibility in the OS. That a manufacturer could choose to retain the normal OS buttons and still have them work, and that wherever the soft buttons are, they wouldn't have to crowd out the screen for folks who have buttons. And then for folks who prefer it, they can still have their all touchscreen interface if they like.