Google's getting rid of the desktop notification center it brought to Chrome for Windows and OS X in 2013. In a post on its Chromium blog, the company today admitted that "in practice, few users visit the notification center," which bundled rich notifications from Google Now and Google's other apps and made them easily accessible with a shortcut on the Windows taskbar and OS X menu bar. But some users found the added icon to be a bit annoying and disabled it, defeating the whole purpose of what Google was trying to do.
Since then, the company has reworked its approach to desktop (and mobile) Chrome notifications by adopting what it described last spring as "the new emerging web standard for push notifications." Users now grant websites permission to deliver push notifications on an individual basis, and at least on Android, they appear alongside alerts from native apps installed on your phone. On desktop, Google notifications can always be accessed from the Google.com homepage by clicking the bell icon. But this puts Google Now on Windows and Mac in a bit of a weird spot, at least for the "few" people who enjoyed having it a click away at all times. We've reached out to Google for more details on that subject. Google says the notification center on ChromeOS will remain unchanged.