Over the weekend, a Microsoft employee on Twitter made mention that "the shell-provided tab experience" coming to Windows 10 is "no more." While there's been some debate as to what exactly the tweet is referring to, many had concluded that the "shell-provided tab experience" is Windows 10's Sets feature. The tweet has since been clarified as being unrelated to Sets, but now people are asking where Sets is, as the last time we heard about it was back in 2018.
Announced back in 2017, Sets was an idea that grouped apps and websites under a tabbed interface, just like your web browser. Clicking on the new tab button would take you to the Edge start page, which would then let you launch other apps or websites.
Because of this, the Sets feature itself was heavily dependant on the UWP version of Edge, but now Edge is moving to Chromium meaning all the work Microsoft had put into Sets so far is no longer compatible. Microsoft plans to outright remove the old Edge from Windows 10 once the Chromium version of Edge is ready, which raises questions as to what is going to happen to Sets.
Microsoft could have decided to restart work on Sets under the Chromium browser, but according to Mary-Jo Foley, Microsoft has decided against this. I was initially told that Sets were a present feature on Windows Lite. However, it's likely that's no longer the case as well. Microsoft could find another way of implementing tabs, but it appears the entire idea has been shelved for now.
When the move to Chromium for Edge was first announced, we asked Microsoft what the plan was for Sets. Microsoft told us at the time that Sets was still something they were working on, but that they were evaluating how best to implement it. Perhaps Microsoft is going to rebuild Sets without tieing it to the browser?
We've asked Microsoft for comment and will update when they respond. In the meantime, were you looking forward to Sets? Let us know in the comments.
Updated April 22nd at 18:03: A Microsoft spokesperson has provided us with an official comment:
We've taken Sets offline from WIP to continue to evaluate long term while also needing to prioritize other work tied to Microsoft Edge.
So Microsoft continues to say that Sets is something Microsoft is working on, but that work regarding Edge is being prioritized at the moment.
Updated article with clarification tweet regarding Sets.