Sets marks “the biggest change” to Windows UI since Windows 95 (video)

by Surur
November 28, 2017

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Microsoft has revealed some more information about Sets, their new tab-based multi-window interface for Windows 10.

Strongly reminiscent of ChromeOS, the browser-like user interface would initially offer a home for UWP apps, but Microsoft expects to expand it to simpler apps such as Notepad and then special versions of Office before ultimately supporting complex multi-window apps such as Photoshop. Microsoft will allow users to turn it off for specific apps.

Users will be able to dock windows in the tab bar, and when they click the + button have a launch pad (above) with their most frequently used apps, recent documents and a search bar for local files and the web. The feature will work hand in hand with Time Line, which lets users move their work environment easily from one computer to another and from one productivity session to another. Sets would let users keep a set of apps for a particular project, and I assume users will be able to set aside applications just like they can currently a set of apps. Some documents would also be associated with a particular set of apps which can then be opened automatically.

Microsoft says:

The concept behind this experience is to make sure that everything related to your task: relevant webpages, research documents, necessary files and applications, is connected and available to you in one click. As Office, Windows and Edge become more integrated to create a seamless experience, so you can get back to what’s important and be productive, recapturing that moment, saving time — we believe that’s the true value of Sets. And with Timeline, it’ll be even easier to go back and find the Set you were working on.

The feature will initially only be available to selected Insiders, with Microsoft expected to take careful note of their feedback, before rolling it out to all Insiders.

Significantly Microsoft will offer a way to disable the user interface in Settings.

See it demonstrated in the video below:

YouTube player

Given that since Windows 3.1 we have been used to overlapping application windows the move is very significant, but it is, of course, notable that these days a huge amount of work is being done in web pages, and like the Office Ribbon this may be a feature we come to love in the end.

Read more about it at Microsoft here.


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