Now that Windows 10’s slick Action Center provides a home for system notifications, it seems like a no-brainer for Google to slip notifications pushed out by the Chrome browser in there, right? Wrong.
The Chrome team has no plans to support Windows 10’s Action Center functionality, as first reported by Neowin. A Chrome support moderator named “Ho” updated a feature request for Action Center support to “WontFix,” saying the following:
“Thanks for the input and ideas! We’ve discussed this quite a bit and decided not to integrate with the system level notification at this time. It would create a weird state where Chrome behaves differently on Win 10 than on Win 7/8 and developers of extensions/websites wouldn’t know what they design for. Maybe we can revisit it in a few years when most users are on Win 10 :)”
The story behind the story: While the explanation seems reasonable enough on the surface, Microsoft and Google have been locked in a war regarding feature support for their respective services—with users all-too-often caught in the crossfire.
“To be clear, this is not a matter of just piping notifications to the OS for free. All notification (systems) are not the same. Chrome notifications allow to take actions right from the notifications, they come directly from an extension/website, they can require active dismissal, and so on.
On Win 10, using the native notification system would mean that all notifications could show briefly before disappearing but they could also not show, depending on a user setting. All notifications would show as coming from Chrome. They would not be actionable, and so on. As a developer, it makes quite a difference if I design something that allows users to take an action or something that merely informs them and whether it will be a pop up or a silent addition to the notification center.”
Well, when you put it that way, delaying support for Action Center sort of makes sense—though it’ll no doubt sit poorly with users already grumpy about the Microsoft/Google pissing match. Refusing to support a central system notification system that every other app uses seems pretty anti-user as well, sure to sow some confusion.
Google does have a point, though: Chrome’s notification system is more fully-featured than Windows 10’s. Though Microsoft’s OS does support actionable notifications, they would all appear as Chrome notifications in the Action Center, and Chrome developers would indeed need to put in extra work to support both Windows 10’s notifications and Chrome’s Windows 7 and 8 notifications. Here’s hoping Microsoft adds more granular notification options in the future so Chrome ditches its reluctance to Action Center—or reveals its hesitance as truly being pettiness.
Editors note: The last paragraph was tweaked to include mention of Windows 10’s actionable notifications.
Brad Chacos spends his days digging through desktop PCs and tweeting too much. He specializes in graphics cards and gaming, but covers everything from security to Windows tips and all manner of PC hardware.