Microsoft

Windows 10 new Sets feature will bring tabbed windows to the desktop

Within weeks, Microsoft will begin testing what it calls Sets, which will allow users to group together related apps, documents, files and websites into separate tabs in a single desktop window.

Microsoft has revealed two new features heading to early builds of Windows 10—which promise to overhaul the traditional Windows desktop.

Within weeks, Microsoft will begin testing what it calls Sets, which will allow users to group together related apps, documents, files and websites into separate tabs in a single desktop window.

The idea is apparently to allow users to group together everything related to a specific task in one window, regardless of whether that content is an Office document or a website.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley says Sets is similar to the recently introduced Stardock application called Groupy, and will work with a wide variety of apps—including Microsoft Office—and websites.

Foley says Sets will initially only work with Universal Windows Platform Apps (UWP) but that Microsoft plans to make the feature work with legacy apps too, by adding support for Win32 software.

Sets will be rolled out in phases to people testing early builds of Windows 10 as part of the Windows Insider program, and refined based on their feedback.

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The next major update to Windows 10 for most users will take place in April next year, but there's no word when the Sets feature will be added to full release of Windows 10.

The other major new feature heading to Windows 10 Insider builds on the Fast Ring is Windows Timeline.

The Timeline feature will basically provide the equivalent of a browser history for your desktop, allowing you to search through files, apps and sites you've previously had open.

This ability to jump back and pick up what you were doing will extend beyond PCs, with the feature also able to track what you're doing on Android handsets and iPhones running Microsoft's Cortana. Combined with Sets, the new features are designed to make cross-device working easier.

In July this year, Microsoft revealed that Timeline wouldn't make the Fall Creators Update as originally promised. However, Microsoft has also not committed to when the Timeline feature will be added to Windows 10 for all users.

At Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting today, CEO Satya Nadella also announced that Windows 10 is now being used on more than 600 million devices worldwide, up from 500 million earlier this year.

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The Windows 10 Timeline feature shown off at Build 2017.

Image: Microsoft

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About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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