MICROSOFT HAS LAUNCHED a Chrome extension to enable its Windows Timeline feature for the browser.
Timeline, which is designed to make it easier to switch between computers and keep all your notifications together, was launched last year and has been rolling out to various key apps.
Gmail users can already opt to have notifications delivered via Timeline, though when we tested it, we found it was quite slow at delivering them.
Now "Web Activities" for Google Chrome adds the functionality for all websites and activities in the browser, as well as syncing your history so you can pick up where you left off on a different device.
Although syncing already exists natively between Chrome browsers, the new extension will make your tabs pop up in the Task View menu - the updated version of using the Tab key to switch between active apps.
Because of Chrome's open source nature, several unofficial extensions already exist to enable Timeline, as well as a few for Firefox, but this is the real deal though it's not without controversy.
As with other aspects of Timeline, it's enabled by sending your data via Microsoft's cloud servers, which some have questioned the privacy aspects of, although Microsoft will always be adamant that such information is secure and anonymous.
There's no indication of when Web Activities will arrive for Firefox or for that matter any other browser, but it does represent a first hint of what's to come as Microsoft works to convert its hugely unpopular Edge browser, native to Windows 10, to run on Google's Chromium engine, thus giving it access to a huge library of existing extensions.
Given the browser wars of recent years, this represents an unusual show of cooperation for Microsoft, but one that represents it's more "OK, we're not the only game in town anymore" ethos. μ
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