Windows 10 Sets Is How Windows Always Should Have Been

SEATTLE — Sets in Windows 10 is available only to some Windows Insiders, but we know now a little bit more about the tabbed app interface feature after Microsoft gave some new details about it during the company's Build developer conference today (May 7). 

On the Build show floor, program manager Andy Hurley walked me through the new feature and discussed what Insiders have been vocal about. Sets lets you use a single window to switch between programs in separate tabs. For example, Hurley had a PowerPoint project, but needed to grab a photo from Mail. He opened up a new tab, and the photo was added to the set. He then did the same thing with a Wikipedia page. 

In another set, Hurley had the Command Line and the File Explorer. The projects were separate and organized in a logical way without having to navigate through a hundred windows and separate applications to see what you need. Honestly, it feels like Windows should have always worked this way.

What is less clear to me, at the moment, is how the taskbar works with Sets. While I would have liked to see a unique icon for each set, at the moment you pick the icon for the app you're opening. That could be confusing when you have the same apps open within multiple sets. Additionally, the Sets feature doesn't take advantage of splitscreen mode just yet.

Hurley assured me that Microsoft has heard concerns form Insiders, and that it's actively working on addressing any issues. In the meantime, there is no set date for when Sets will be available to all Windows 10 users, except that Microsoft will hold off until the feature is completely ready. That may be in the next big update, slated for this fall (likely September or October), but Hurley wouldn't make any promises.

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