Why it’s too early to get excited about unified messaging on Chrome OS
Today I’ve read headline after headline on lots of other tech blogs about how the new Chrome OS notification center reveals Google’s new unified messaging service. The source of the excitement comes from François Beaufort’s Google+ page (in case you don’t know, Beaufort is a French man who’s made a name for himself on Google+ by constantly pouring through Chromium source code and posting his discoveries of what Google is currently working on behind the scenes).
However, it’s a little too early to get excited about this quite yet. I hate talking bad about my colleagues at other sites, but it looks like almost everyone jumped the gun here.
Yes, the image you see above is of Google Chrome’s new notification center. However, most of Google’s web apps are not yet compatible with this new service. It is, however, quite possible to modify Chromium source code to create your own custom, artificial notifications in order to illustrate what is possible with this new notification center. That’s precisely what Beaufort has done here.
He hasn’t activated any special, unannounced features in Google Voice, Google+, Google Talk, Gmail, or any other Google service. He hasn’t stumbled upon a brand new, unified message service. He simply created a demonstration of what is possible with the new system that Google is working on implementing.
That being said, many have long speculated that Google will indeed eventually merge Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, Google Voice, and Gmail into a unified messaging service. It’s very likely that, when this happens, Google will make use of the new notification center in Chrome. However, as of right now, it’s a little too early to get excited about this. It hasn’t happened yet. These notifications are artificial.
So, while it’s OK to get excited about what might come in the future, I think it’s more appropriate to adopt a “wait and see” approach here.