Microsoft "ran out of time" on WP8 notification center

During a session on notifications at BUILD 2012, Microsoft has revealed exactly why Windows Phone 8 doesn't include a notification center like Android and iOS. Thomas Fennel, a member of the Application Platform team for Windows Phone, was questioned about the lack of a notification center and conceded that they "ran out of time" including it in the final version of Windows Phone 8.

However, there is hope for the feature to be included in a future version of Windows Phone as it looks like the team does want to include such a feature. "It's very very important to me… we get tons of feedback from developers that they want something like that as well. I promise we're thinking very very hard on that one."

The lack of notification center presents a problem in Windows Phone, as toast notifications simply disappear after they are shown, and the only way to know you have something to attend to is a Live Tile that you have to set up on your phone's Start Screen. A notification center would collate all these notifications in the one area, allowing you to check which ones you need to attend to after they have disappeared from your screen.

Chances are Microsoft will bundle a notification center with the next Windows Phone feature update.

Source: The Verge

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They ran out of time again? Wasn't the whole rationale of rebooting the rebooted Windows 7 Phone that they ran out of time creating Windows 8 Phone?

Two OSes that need a notification center:
Android
BB OS10 (in fact that's the very nature of navigation).

WP8 does not need notification center.

neonspark said,
late to the game again. It is not as if the platform has been out for two years right?

Let's ignore all of the things that it does that no one else does, or that WP did first...

You can't be first in the game for everything.

NeoPogo said,
"ran out of time" is the new "We forgot to add it in, but it is really coming, really." haha

Well, in fairness, unlike other releases, this one very much had a time schedule with trying to align it's release with Windows 8 and everything.

Well, notification is a no no on WP8 since everything is tiled. Why not just press the 'start' button and check it.

I hope developers are not getting the chance by putting ads like android did.

It is very true that if u have lots of apps, you have to scroll down. But at least if they make one, please make it a bit different.

I wonder why on earth someone would want a notification center in WP having Live Tiles. If someone can enlighten me I am going to be very thankful for the rest of my life xD

GabotrilHB said,
I wonder why on earth someone would want a notification center in WP having Live Tiles. If someone can enlighten me I am going to be very thankful for the rest of my life xD

It's stuck in many peoples heads that they need one even though most people are fine with what the live tiles will show and also the new additions to the lock screen as well.

The only time a notification center will be helpful is if, and I think this is an edge case, someone has so many apps installed that they miss notifications from the ones they don't have pinned to the start screen. There's no other reason to have on in WP, other phones have it because the others don't have live tiles, there's only so many widgets you can slap on the Androids home screens, unless they keep upping the number of them.

GabotrilHB said,
I wonder why on earth someone would want a notification center in WP having Live Tiles. If someone can enlighten me I am going to be very thankful for the rest of my life xD

Well, I do want a notification center in WP. Live tiles is great, but like others said. It's limited to pinned apps. And you have to scroll through all live teals to see whats up. With WP8 this problem is mostly fixed with the lock screen icons, but it's limited to just a few apps.

See it as file manager looking at the picture folder. You want to see thumbs most of the time, but it's sometimes usefull to switch to details. Cleaner list, quicker view of everything.


With that being said, the current way CAN be improved even more. The program lists could have overlay icons and can be displayed on top of the list so you notice them.

i don't see it as an important feature we already have live tiles but if that's what the developers and people want then they should add it on the next update

subcld said,
i don't see it as an important feature we already have live tiles but if that's what the developers and people want then they should add it on the next update

Yeah, Live Tiles do much of the job. But if the app isn't pinned you won't see that and once the toast disappears it's gone. So, a singular Notifications Area is important... I'm just hoping for the next release. it's not a HUGE deal by any means, but it would be nice and I can understand why people would like it to be included on the platform.

Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! That is all we ever here for Microsoft being incompetent when it comes to creating a smartphone.

I don't even want a notification centre. One reason why I love WP7 is that it simplified unneccery phone design. The startscreen on WP is a launcher, notification centre and widgets in one. Just like the startscreen on windows 8 is the desktop, startmen and side bar in one.

Its an honest thing to say of this MS employee but also a stupid thing. Haters will continue to use this to make WP8 seem incompleet. Ijterested customers might decide to not purchasea WP device. While us WP owners know the intuitive startscreen makes a notification centre redundent.

Ronnet said,
I don't even want a notification centre. One reason why I love WP7 is that it simplified unneccery phone design. The startscreen on WP is a launcher, notification centre and widgets in one. Just like the startscreen on windows 8 is the desktop, startmen and side bar in one.

True, I do agree with your point here, but maybe one thing Microsoft can do is make a Live Tile that collects a bunch of notifications and when clicked will open up a Metro/WinStore app that shows all the collected notifications over a range of time. That can serve as a useful notification center.

Ran out of time? Maybe they should stop rebooting the platform... There really isn't enough new stuff in WP8 to justify considering the OS at this point. Very disappointing release from MS.

LogicalApex said,
Ran out of time? Maybe they should stop rebooting the platform... There really isn't enough new stuff in WP8 to justify considering the OS at this point. Very disappointing release from MS.

Compared to 7/7.5/7.8? Isn't WP8 a complete re-build?

LogicalApex said,
Ran out of time? Maybe they should stop rebooting the platform... There really isn't enough new stuff in WP8 to justify considering the OS at this point. Very disappointing release from MS.

You judge WP8 by the looks. This version of WP8 is totally different under the hood. First you had 4 cylinder 1.6Liter motor and now twin turbo 6 liter V8.

One of the biggest change was to move to Windows NT kernel. NT kernel is also the hart of Windows 7/8 etc. Also WP8 contains tons of DEVELOPER needed features so that YOU can get great apps with more possibility's.. The phone will be a lot faster then compared to WP7. Notification center is not the feature that would complete WP8. It's not so important as the other features.

From now on the WP team can focus on simple things and bug fixes. Expect great things.

Oguz said,

You judge WP8 by the looks. This version of WP8 is totally different under the hood. First you had 4 cylinder 1.6Liter motor and now twin turbo 6 liter V8.

One of the biggest change was to move to Windows NT kernel. NT kernel is also the hart of Windows 7/8 etc. Also WP8 contains tons of DEVELOPER needed features so that YOU can get great apps with more possibility's.. The phone will be a lot faster then compared to WP7. Notification center is not the feature that would complete WP8. It's not so important as the other features.

From now on the WP team can focus on simple things and bug fixes. Expect great things.

I hope they include little red and green lines under words you type.

LogicalApex said,
Ran out of time? Maybe they should stop rebooting the platform... There really isn't enough new stuff in WP8 to justify considering the OS at this point. Very disappointing release from MS.

Adding 90% of the most requested developer features to the OS isn't big?

LogicalApex said,
Ran out of time? Maybe they should stop rebooting the platform... There really isn't enough new stuff in WP8 to justify considering the OS at this point. Very disappointing release from MS.

I think I'll wait till WP9. Hopefully by then it will be up to snuff and have a lot of great apps.

Xilo said,
I think I'll wait till WP9. Hopefully by then it will be up to snuff and have a lot of great apps.

don't think so they can add it in the next update or 8.5 update

What is a notification centre, and can someone explain what it is. Does my Android have it? Is it going to make me hate my Lumia when I finally get my hands on one?

Nashy said,
What is a notification centre, and can someone explain what it is. Does my Android have it? Is it going to make me hate my Lumia when I finally get my hands on one?

The pull down window on Android is the notification center.

Xilo said,

The pull down window on Android is the notification center.

Oh, well, not a massive deal then I guess.

Xilo said,

The pull down window on Android is the notification center.

Ohhh, I thought it was something important. I've had tons of Android phones but never even thought of that thing. I don't even like it.
I would think MS would get suid anyways if they added that, but I'm sure there's something better for that on Windows Phone 8, like I think there was mention of it showing on a livetile, which would make way more sence to me.

LUTZIFER said,

Ohhh, I thought it was something important. I've had tons of Android phones but never even thought of that thing. I don't even like it.

I find it usually just ends up cluttered with stupid crap I don't care about. There are maybe 3 apps on my phone I want putting notifications there. The rest is BS.

Mordkanin said,

I find it usually just ends up cluttered with stupid crap I don't care about. There are maybe 3 apps on my phone I want putting notifications there. The rest is BS.


Sounds like you don't know how to use your phone.

Xilo said,

Sounds like you don't know how to use your phone.

Sound like they know how to use their phone, but don't have time to be bothered with STUPID crap and poor UI elements of Android.

When Windows Phone 7 came out, it lacked a lot of "basic" features. No copy and paste, etc. Microsoft was good about including these features plus a lot more in NoDo/7.5. (Free software update).

theyarecomingforyou said,
Another rushed release by Microsoft? Quelle surprise!
Every release of Firefox and Chrome is rushed to, that's why they have a fast release cycle, remember?

Studio384 said,
Every release of Firefox and Chrome is rushed to, that's why they have a fast release cycle, remember?

So we can expect Windows Phone 8.1 in six weeks, and 8.2 in six weeks after that one, and so on? This comparison isn't that good. There's less of a problem with hurried releases if the next release will also be hurried, and all releases after that one. However, Windows Phone isn't on a _that_ fast update cycle.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Another rushed release by Microsoft? Quelle surprise!

I'd rather have a few perfect features on my phone, than a myriad of mediocre or broken ones (like Android)

They also need one for windows 8 infact I would like it if they could tie Windows 8 and windows Phone 8 together so that notifications on your windows phone could also show up in windows 8.

They need to have more unique features that are only available in Windows 8 and Windows phone.

FoxieFoxie said,

Dude, they had to rewrite the freaking Kernel

Actually it is the WP7/WP8 Application platform layer that they had to rewrite, including migrating the existing WP7 frameworks. This is where the time and work went as they had to add a lot of new features that NT offered to the application platform layer.

Porting NT is fairly easy, and the kernel is the same that Windows RT is using. They are probably even the same binaries with a slightly modified HAL.

NT was designed for rather simple portability and even as complex as the whole OS is now, it is still far easier and more portable than Linux and other OSes. The resulting port is also highly optimized for the platform due to the why NT was designed. To get the same level of performance from an OS like Linux would require extensive recoding that often is skipped, leaving various portions of code running unoptimized for the hardware.

Moving NT to any new hardware consists of just a couple of things:
Write a hardware specific HAL, change the few pieces of assembly code in NT and recompile for the architecture. This also includes the upper layers of the OS that only have to be recompiled, as few things have assembly code. (Note that even though you don't see Win32 it is in WP8.)

With NT 4.0, Microsoft released a version for EVERY major hardware platform. If it had been 'hard' or 'work' they would only have released it for x86 and Alpha.


Anyone criticizing WP8 for not having notifications is rather silly, as the nature of the UI, they are just not needed. It would be like criticizing an iPhone for not having a good command prompt CLI.

nekkidtruth said,

With no backwards compatibility with WP8 hardware

Windows 8 phones will get updates for AT least 18 months. If Windows phone 8 follows the same path as v7 then that should be one tweaking update and one big update. Then there is nothing to say how a next really big update would go. It might not be like Windows 7.5 > 8 where it's just not possible. It could be like Android 3 > 4 where an old device might not support all of the new software features but still be able to run the operating system. Like first generation Windows 7 devices not having front facing camera supported in 7.5.

Edited by Gaffney, Nov 2 2012, 2:30am :

nekkidtruth said,

With no backwards compatibility with WP8 hardware

Proof? Or are you just making things up again?

nohone said,

Proof? Or are you just making things up again?

I think someone needs to try their hand at this little thing called "reading comprehension". I'd gladly sit down hand in hand with you to spell out the meaning of every single thing I say on the Internets, but I don't have that kind of time. Learn to comprehend sarcasm/joking/jabbing.

Also, it's unnecessary to follow me around Neowin simply because I called you a drama queen in another news article. You're so over-dramatic.

P.S. Not sure what I made up. You're welcome to enlighten me.

nekkidtruth said,

I think someone needs to try their hand at this little thing called "reading comprehension". I'd gladly sit down hand in hand with you to spell out the meaning of every single thing I say on the Internets, but I don't have that kind of time. Learn to comprehend sarcasm/joking/jabbing.

Also, it's unnecessary to follow me around Neowin simply because I called you a drama queen in another news article. You're so over-dramatic.

P.S. Not sure what I made up. You're welcome to enlighten me.

1) I understood you quite well. You made a troll comment and I called you out on it.
2) not following you around. Does not matter if you made the comment now or later, when you make a troll statement, I was calling you out on it.
3) not upset you called me a "drama queen," you were acting like a child when you used death, destruction, and human suffering in order to show your hatred towards Microsoft. You were upset that someone dare question you, and had a temper tantrum.

Where is the proof that a hardware upgrade is necessary to add a notification? You have none, therefore your statement was made up.

nohone said,

1) I understood you quite well. You made a troll comment and I called you out on it.

You called me out on a clearly sarcastic remark made as a joke. The only troll I see here, is you. Let's continue...

nohone said,
2) not following you around. Does not matter if you made the comment now or later, when you make a troll statement, I was calling you out on it.

If you say so? I didn't realize you were the troll police. It's kind of like a wolf in sheep's clothing, no?

nohone said,
3) not upset you called me a "drama queen," you were acting like a child when you used death, destruction, and human suffering in order to show your hatred towards Microsoft. You were upset that someone dare question you, and had a temper tantrum.

I'm pretty sure I said nothing about "hating" Microsoft. Nor at any time did I say "Screw all the people who just went through hell! DOWN WITH MICROSOFT!". I simply asked a question which you not only couldn't answer, but clearly didn't understand. Instead you attempted to guilt me (not sure why, as at no point did I say anything disrespectful with regards to those who have suffered). I'm thinking the crown fits and fits you well.

nohone said,
Where is the proof that a hardware upgrade is necessary to add a notification? You have none, therefore your statement was made up.

My statement wasn't made as fact. So no, you don't understand. Learn to read. In the mean time, you continue to act like the troll police, a drama queen and butthurt that I called you a name....and I'll continue doing what I do. Toodles!

nekkidtruth said,

With no backwards compatibility with WP8 hardware


This wont happen again, because MS has now switched to using minwin in WP8 aka the kernel windows 8 has in it

Iridium said,

This wont happen again, because MS has now switched to using minwin in WP8 aka the kernel windows 8 has in it

Still makes for a good joke. Realistically though, companies like Microsoft don't learn their lessons too quickly haha.

nekkidtruth said,

Still makes for a good joke. Realistically though, companies like Microsoft don't learn their lessons too quickly haha.


Jokes on you, you're the only one laughing. The guy was just asking proof, and you acted like a drama queen .

Word of advice, if you want to make a joke, just insert a joke in the end, so people won't mistake it otherwise. This is the internet after all. How convenient of you of just saying "it was a joke", when you someone questions you and you don't have anything to back up what you just said.

... /joke

kunejo said,

Jokes on you, you're the only one laughing. The guy was just asking proof, and you acted like a drama queen .

Word of advice, if you want to make a joke, just insert a joke in the end, so people won't mistake it otherwise. This is the internet after all. How convenient of you of just saying "it was a joke", when you someone questions you and you don't have anything to back up what you just said.

... /joke

Pretty sure the little wink on the end of my comment signifies humor/sarcasm. I'm sorry but I don't have the time nor do I care enough to hand hold while people read through my comments/posts. To put it bluntly, learn to read. Anyone with half a brain can clearly see it was sarcasm considering Microsoft's recent decision to pretty much abandon the WP7 hardware. If your deduction skills aren't working and you aren't able to put 2 and 2 together, I'm sure there is a night class or 2 in your local area that might be able to assist with that. It's not my job to teach you.

Edit: Oh sorry..../joke

nekkidtruth said,

With no backwards compatibility with WP8 hardware

I totally agree with you. This is the same crap over again just like Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7.5. Microsoft is too stupid in the technology department to come out with a phone that is capable of handling updates. Their solution is to dump an entire platform with current customers on it and try to force people to buy a whole new phone to get the new features. What Microsoft fails to realize is that they are alienating their customers who are getting tired of spending money because of Microsoft's incompetence

Gaffney said,

Windows 8 phones will get updates for AT least 18 months. If Windows phone 8 follows the same path as v7 then that should be one tweaking update and one big update. Then there is nothing to say how a next really big update would go. It might not be like Windows 7.5 > 8 where it's just not possible. It could be like Android 3 > 4 where an old device might not support all of the new software features but still be able to run the operating system. Like first generation Windows 7 devices not having front facing camera supported in 7.5.

It's sad how Microsoft is still giving out blow pops and customers are still believing in them.

Gaffney said,

Windows 8 phones will get updates for AT least 18 months.

Did Microsoft say what kind of updates? I mean Windows Phone 7.8 is an update too...

nekkidtruth said,

snips

It's OK. I thought the joke was kind of funny because, you know, Windows Phone 8 isn't compatible with Windows Phone 7 hardware. Some people just don't like it when you poke fun at their institution.

But I found this to be really funny.

nohone said,

3) not upset you called me a "drama queen," you were acting like a child when you used death, destruction, and human suffering in order to show your hatred towards Microsoft. You were upset that someone dare question you, and had a temper tantrum.

I think it's funny because I always see nohone getting upset about being labeled an Apple hater for expressing dislike for the company, but then turns around and labels someone a Microsoft hater.

Pot.Kettle.Black.

nekkidtruth said,

With no backwards compatibility with WP8 hardware

That seems unlikely, given the technical reasons behind the 7/8 split. We're dealing with NT now, going forward for at least the next several versions. Backwards compatibility should not be an issue. 7 to 8 would have been a HUGE deal, likely requiring updates not possible without rewriting bootstrap code, which can't be changed in the field.

Iridium said,
This wont happen again, because MS has now switched to using minwin in WP8 aka the kernel windows 8 has in it

Oh stop, they did not.
Minwin was only a research project which became prescriptive guidance on how to modify the NT kernel and break dependancies which should never have existed between the different layers. Just ask thenetavenger. He'll write novels for you on just how wrong you are.

nekkidtruth said,

Pretty sure the little wink on the end of my comment signifies humor/sarcasm. I'm sorry but I don't have the time nor do I care enough to hand hold while people read through my comments/posts. To put it bluntly, learn to read. Anyone with half a brain can clearly see it was sarcasm considering Microsoft's recent decision to pretty much abandon the WP7 hardware. If your deduction skills aren't working and you aren't able to put 2 and 2 together, I'm sure there is a night class or 2 in your local area that might be able to assist with that. It's not my job to teach you.

Edit: Oh sorry..../joke

That's more like it, I even liked your comment

nekkidtruth said,

Pretty sure the little wink on the end of my comment signifies humor/sarcasm. I'm sorry but I don't have the time nor do I care enough to hand hold while people read through my comments/posts. To put it bluntly, learn to read. Anyone with half a brain can clearly see it was sarcasm considering Microsoft's recent decision to pretty much abandon the WP7 hardware. If your deduction skills aren't working and you aren't able to put 2 and 2 together, I'm sure there is a night class or 2 in your local area that might be able to assist with that. It's not my job to teach you.

Edit: Oh sorry..../joke

Not everyone 'obviously' see that humor/sarcasm. You could have just said, 'you meant it as a joke'. Rather than attacking nohone. And now you are attacking me because I'm defending nohone? Argumentum ad hominem.

JSYOUNG571 said,

I totally agree with you. This is the same crap over again just like Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7.5. Microsoft is too stupid in the technology department to come out with a phone that is capable of handling updates. Their solution is to dump an entire platform with current customers on it and try to force people to buy a whole new phone to get the new features. What Microsoft fails to realize is that they are alienating their customers who are getting tired of spending money because of Microsoft's incompetence

If you knew more about the underpinnings of the OS, you'd realize that it's _not possible_ to run WP8 on WP7 devices. WP8, like Windows 8, uses UEFI for its Secure Boot and sandboxing features, along with other features that aren't supported on the older Snapdragon chipsets that WP7 devices run on. And unlike Windows 8, WP8 requires UEFI and a Trusted Platform Module chip. Also, even though WP8 now runs on the newest NT core ("MinWin"), it still requires more memory than WP7 did. WP7 devices were designed specifically for the Windows CE core, which required significantly fewer resources. This is why even the first generation of WP7 devices were able to run Mango, and then the Tango update, even though they only had 256 MB of memory. WP8 requires at least 512 MB of memory. And this is the spec that is used on low-end WP8 devices. Not to mention that it takes a lot to write a board support package for just one chipset, let alone all of the previous chipsets. And with a new kernel, they would have to rewrite board support packages for all of the chipsets and that were used in WP7 devices. Finally, OEMs will have to rewrite firmware for EVERY WP7 device specifically for the new kernel, which would take a significant amount of time and money, when they aren't even up to date. Why spend the time and money doing that when they could simply update the old platform with some new features and release new devices that DON'T need new firmware? This move was a business decision. It's unfortunate, yes. But from a business standpoint, it doesn't make sense to spend money on something that is outdated. It's the same reason why OEMs leave older handsets with older versions of Android, and why the older iPhones and iPads aren't updated beyond a certain point. There is only so much you can do for older equipment before it no longer makes sense to maintain it.

kunejo said,

Not everyone 'obviously' see that humor/sarcasm. You could have just said, 'you meant it as a joke'. Rather than attacking nohone. And now you are attacking me because I'm defending nohone? Argumentum ad hominem.

The fact of the matter is, it was a sarcastic joke. An extremely obvious one. nohone was bitter because of separate conversation we had earlier. If you can't see the sarcasm in the comment, especially due to what just happened with WP7 and the move to WP8.

If you can't see that, it's because like nohone, you're choosing to. Nowhere in my statement did I say "Microsoft said..." nor "I read..." or "I heard...". I made a sarcastic statement with a wink on the end of the sentence.

PmRd said,
Meh, If I want notifications I'll pin the app

Exactly.. Not the big deal people are making it out to be....

R3DL1N3 said,

Exactly.. Not the big deal people are making it out to be....


Would be quite nice though, guess it will be one of the next features to be added in 8.1/2 or 8.5.

PmRd said,
Meh, If I want notifications I'll pin the app

My wifes Windows 7.5 phone though fails to show WhatsApp messages if it hasn't been opened after a reboot. Kinda annoying when I send her something and she doesn't see it. Is this just a WhatsApp issue or a general notification issue with WP7?

SK[ said,]
My wifes Windows 7.5 phone though fails to show WhatsApp messages if it hasn't been opened after a reboot. Kinda annoying when I send her something and she doesn't see it. Is this just a WhatsApp issue or a general notification issue with WP7?
WhatsApp

PmRd said,
Meh, If I want notifications I'll pin the app

It's up to app developers to actually use live tiles to their potential and tell users what is going on. That being said, most do not, or they use their live tile for showing one thing and then toast notifications for another.