Why Microsoft's new tabbed 'Sets' in Windows could be a genuine game changer

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update brought a lot of new changes and a few banner features, but as I noted earlier the update seemed to lack a killer, must-have feature – at least for my daily use case.

Microsoft's recently announced "Sets" (a placeholder name, for now) is something altogether different. I was able to see Microsoft's plans a few weeks back for the tabbed app experience in Windows, with the company's Corporate Vice President of Windows 10, Joe Belfiore, explaining its vision for the project.

Conceptually, Sets is where people are going with modern computing, and while it may not be sexy to talk about, productivity and streamlining the user experience are crucial for Microsoft to stay relevant.

Why Sets is important

During my demo and walkthrough of the Sets feature – including long-term ideas behind it – a few usage scenarios were given to make the argument for the experience.

One example, very common to people who use a PC daily for work or school, is starting any project like a research paper or presentation. Users will fire up Microsoft Word, open a few tabs in their web browser, maybe Microsoft OneNote for records, for example. The user then spends the next few hours jumping between apps – and if they're savvy, snapped apps for working between two documents.

With Sets, all of this becomes modernized. Having multiple browser tabs, a quick search for your PC (and web) with a new Start page, and other Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, all within a single project experience, is significantly more efficient. Being able to close that Word document and have all your tabs with research and references saved with it is outstanding.

I haven't been this excited about something related to productivity in a long time.

And opening that document with all your tabs on any other Windows 10 PC lets you work anywhere, anytime.

Even simple things like using the Mail inbox app for Windows 10 can leverage Sets. When clicking a photo, address, or web link, instead of popping open a new app that shoots across the screen having it open in another tab is more controlled, familiar, and organized.

But here is why this is such a big deal. It's not just effectiveness, but the model that is important.

Webification of Windows

I recently wrote about the importance of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to the future of Google and Microsoft. Related to that is the web-browser model of user behavior.

Many modern PC users simply live in the web browser, whether it's Chrome (by far the most popular), Firefox, or Microsoft's Edge. They run services like Netflix, Spotify, increasingly Microsoft Office, email, and more all within the browser.

The web browser computing method is why Microsoft's UWP platform is not as robust on PC without a mobile counterpart. The fact is, people are just more comfortable using a web browser for computing compared to installing dedicated apps for everything. Google implicitly knows this, which is why it keeps pushing Chrome OS and Chromebooks as a consumer proposition. While it bucks the history of PC computing Chromebooks – and by extension, browser computing – are the future model for many average users.

Adding tabs to apps in Windows 10 is merely riding this wave. However, instead of making the web browser the centerpiece of computing, Microsoft is leveraging its entire OS and app model to put tabbed computing everywhere. It is putting the web into existing apps.

Users will be able to turn off Sets for all apps, or just some of them through Settings.

And that is super smart. Not only can this potentially outperform what Google is trying to achieve with Chrome OS, but the learning curve for users should also be extremely low. After all, the simple "+" icon to start a new tab is a very familiar concept to anyone who uses a web browser on a PC or phone. Having that launch a new Start page with quick links to universal apps, websites, and global search is like second nature for kids and adults.

Of course, being Windows, all of this is optional, too. Users will be able to turn off Sets for all apps, or just some of them through Settings, giving users control over the experience. I have a hunch though that most will keep it on because this method of user interaction and multitasking is so ingrained in our browsing habits already.

A more cautious approach to development

Interestingly, however, while I think Sets is a slam dunk for user productivity and the current trend in computing, Microsoft is more hesitant. The company is taking a unique approach to developing Sets for Windows 10.

First, it is doing more aggressive A/B testing, where some Windows Insiders will get the feature right away, while others will not. While this may aggravate some Insider devotees, Microsoft wants to collect real data to see if people are benefitting, using and enjoying Sets, versus just assuming they will. Microsoft is relying heavily on data analysis for the implementation of Sets.

From the original announcement via the head of Windows, Terry Myerson:

With Sets specifically, we'll introduce a controlled study into WIP so that we can more accurately assess what's working and what's not. That means a smaller percentage of you will initially get Sets in a build. It also means that some of you won't get it at all for a while, as we compare the usage and satisfaction of task switching in Windows for people who have sets versus people who don't. Eventually, everyone will get Sets — but it could be awhile.

Additionally, Microsoft is not committing to a specific release cycle for the feature. While the Spring 2018 "Redstone 4" update is plausible for Sets, the feature could very well not ship until "Redstone 5" presumably in the fall of 2018. This cautious approach is for good reason, as Microsoft has been burned in the past by announcing features for a release only to have them slip into later OS builds, much to the dismay of Windows Insiders.

Finally, Sets will be rougher than previous features released through the Windows Insider program. In the past, features shipped to the Fast Ring were closer to 75 percent complete, but with Sets, the process of Insider testing is starting much earlier, resulting in a less polished experience. That change is because Microsoft is relying more on Insider testing and feedback for development of Sets than previous features that assumed certain design principals.

Sets, tabs and productivity

I think the Sets model for Windows 10 is potentially huge. While it's not particularly exciting to talk about – and even harder to convey without seeing it action – Sets could be one of those features like Start, search, and notifications that just becomes ingrained in our everyday computing habits going forward.

Personally, every time I write a lengthy product review or an editorial, I have Word open, Twitter, multiple websites (of which only some pertain to my current project), and more. Having Sets will significantly streamline and improve that process. Just as important, I think this is a feature that regular people can get behind.

Of course, trends in computing can be difficult to predict, so we'll have to wait and see how well Microsoft executes on delivering tabbed apps.

Still, I haven't been this excited about something related to productivity in a long time.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

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  • I think tabbed sets would be ideal for a small folding tablet form factor, no? 
  • Yeah, I really likes this feature, looking forward to it. More of these kind of features.
  • I'm equally excited. Just installed Groupy last week to get some of this goodness, and I'm pretty much sold on it. Of course, I may have to uninstall it before it's even gotten off the ground (it's Beta still), but that's okay with me. I just want this functionality...tabbed interface and eventually "Sets".
  • I guess I'm just not the target for this and other features. I use my desktop for work and home, and have never run into issues where simply having the various programs open as windows was problematic. Yes, some of my browser tabs might be research, while others might be entertainment, but that mix doesn't confuse or make things difficult at all. Then again, unlike the magical world MS envisions, I actually use desktop programs. I don't care about 'browser computing' and almsot never use UWP apps anyway, so I guess this is targeted at the younger generation.
  • That something isn't problematic now, doesn't mean a refinement for can be a wonderful improvement
  • Same here really, if I edit video, i start using hitfilm, if I need to edit audio, open up sound forge, need to find a file, open explorer, I do not need tabs to do that and I do not think it will make it any easier.  
  • Well part of the supposed convenience is that if you stop and close all those things. You can open all of them again by only opening one of the files and then it will ask if you want to open those previously used programs too.
  • So it would be using some sort of history, another security hazard.  
  • I agree with XSIKAL. After using Windows for 30 years, I kind of use it the way I use it. Not that I'm not trainable, but I don't see this really helping my workflow. Multiple monitors, as someone else said, is more useful for me that tabs of apps.
  • I'm still dying to know how virtual desktops will differ. What will be a scenario in which we will need virtual desktops AND sets? Are virtual desktops going to be removed?
  • Virtual desktops still exist, but as someone who multitasks a lot I NEVER use them; the whole model to me for that is just weird and I don't know anyone who does use it. That's why I like Sets; it's waaaay more intuitive for people who use web browsers with many tabs open. Virtual desktops will continue to exist for power users, but Sets I see as for regular people e.g. kids to adults. No kids are using Virtual Desktops. It's also just app behavior. In Mail, when you click a photo instead of opening Photos app as a sep app, it will open in Mail as a tab. That has nothing to do with virtual desktop behavior.
  • I'll be turning this off, to be sure.  I want the actual app open so, if I actually want to interact with it, it's right in the open, immediately visible and useful. Grinding through tabs is less efficient to me.
  • To be honest, I am a Alt+Tab person, and that's why virtual desktops work a LOT better for me. I switch to the desktop I am currently using and start to using Alt+Tab which only shows the current desktop apps, and it even shows a preview. That's the reason why I think this "feature" will be another non-sense made by Microsoft that will be forgotten before its release, I mean, another DOA. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • That's the reason why I think this "feature" will be another non-sense made by Microsoft that will be forgotten before its release, I mean, another DOA.
    The WHOLE point of this soft rollout to Insiders is to test exactly that idea. So, who cares? They'll find out if people use it. But hey, if people use Virtual Desktops and they KEEP that thing despite being non-consumer friendly, then I think Tabs, which is very familiar even to kids, should work. Otherwise, burn virtual desktops to the ground, but that is super niche.
  • And the fact that Virtual Desktops dont work in the cloud like Sets will.  Maybe I am wrong, but the way I saw this is: "hey this makes Virtual Desktops easy and seamless to use.  I won't have to go out of my way to set up or organize it (or even learn how to use it if I am a newbie to the concept)" This is a feature I can really get excited about.
  • Try using Ctrl+Tab in your browser, that does the same thing Alt+Tab does in your OS. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Ctrl tab should do it in sets i suppose, just like in any current tabbed application
  • Nol, it isn't "non-sense" because it doesnt work for you. Virtual desktops are vastly underused, and this is in many ways trying to offer the benefit in a different form. A tabbed window, which some may find a more familliar model. It does not work for you, abslutely fine. But deciding it doesnt work for others, because it does not for you. That is very wrong.
  • I really like your perspective of it and I agree. You know I never use virtual desktops much unless I have way too many different things going on. So like if I was browsing the Internet and listening to music while running a virtual machine and debugging program, I would have the music and web browsing in one desktop and the technical stuff on the other. But that doesn't happen often. With these sets, I can organize my programs in one desktop and if I want I can create another. However, I feel as if virtual desktops are going to phase out kinda like screensavers did.
  •  then they should have figured out how to improve the virtual desktop experience instead of trying to invent something new that forces you into a browser-based Resource. I know I'm in the minority, but i really don't understand how people can be productive by having all their apps in browser tabs. How do you view multiple things at the same time? You have to split the tab out into it's own window. How do you keep track of dozens of tabs within the same window? What happens when you accidentally close the browser window along with a dozen tabs?  what does people's taskbars look like in this situation? Only one icon for their browser, with a dozen tabs that pop out of it?   i hate the direction that "apps" are taking, in that they're moving into the browser instead of a dedicated app (win32, uwp or whatever). Just because Google has an interest in making everything run on the web in a browser doesn't make it right, and doesn't mean that everyone should run to copy them.     I've tried using virtual desktops and they're clunky, but I'd rather use that or nothing at all, than tabbed everything, because if I'm working on a doc and referencing browser tabs and email, i actually want to see then side by side, not constantly switching between tabs.
  • i do the normal styuff inside the browser, facebook, watch You tube, browse and that sort of thing, but eveything else I use software to do it. Video editing in a browser would not be great to be honest :) Strange, when I am using Linux, I use the Virtual desktop, but I have never used it on Windows. Maybe I should have a look, but I have two monitors, so virtual desktops are more or less useless to me.        
  • "I've tried using virtual desktops and they're clunky, but I'd rather use that or nothing at all, than tabbed everything, because if I'm working on a doc and referencing browser tabs and email, i actually want to see then side by side, not constantly switching between tabs."   You do know that you can grab a tab off a browser window, put it side by side, and snap it don't you?
  • "i hate the direction that "apps" are taking, in that they're moving into the browser instead of a dedicated app (win32, uwp or whatever). Just because Google has an interest in making everything run on the web in a browser doesn't make it right, and doesn't mean that everyone should run to copy them. " I'd rather have it browser based which lets you access your apps from any platform as long as you have access to a browser.  If you were a windows mobile user you would understand.
  • Daniel, just a single data point, but I use the Virtual Desktop for system windows. To be fair, this is really to address some of what I consider bugginess in Windows. When I run Citrix Receiver, for example, sometimes (not always), Windows turns off "Show window contents while dragging" so moving a window just shows the rectangular outline. Some other times my mic volume changes. I want to be able to make changes to correct these random unrequested changes very fast. With Virtual Desktops, I just hit Ctrl-Windows-Right and I'm my second desktop where I leave the System and Recording Volume adjusters open. Make the fixes, hit Ctrl-Windows-Left and I'm back. Because both of these are two windows deep with modal windows, leaving them open on my my desktop would be annoying. This cuts the time to fix these things by 2/3 or more (from probably 10-15s to 2-5s). Not a huge savings in terms of total time, but definitely a notable improvement over the alternative and quick enough that the problems themselves become less of an issue for me. Like you though, I do not use Virtual Desktops for any actual work multitasking. My brain doesn't seem to think that way -- I want everything I'm doing on my desktop (I use two large monitors -- a 40" 4k and a 30" cinema in portrait mode (so 1600x2560) and generally have dozens of windows open). On the other hand, addressing Windows system issues (like the Show Windows and Mic Volume problems noted above) occurs because Windows is effectively not working correctly, which triggers that mindset shift where I just jump over to my "Fix Windows" desktop, and ensuring I can return to my work after the fix is done. At least for me.
  • In terms of differing, I don't think they do a lot. And that may be intentional, in trying to "sell" that method of working in a way that virtual desktops perhaps never conveyed well.
  • You really need to watch the video.  If you cannot distinguish the difference between virtual desktops and tab sets then you aren't really paying attention.  These features are NOT trying to solve the same problem.  Very different uses, indeed.
  • Yes.. This is a nice feature. Although, I would like them to extend this concept to a more tmux type implementation, where in each 'set', you can place these 'set members' side by side or one below the other (similar to how the current window snapping is done). This would be beneficial when, lets say you're trying to write something in Word, while as the same time referring to the web or OneNote. This way you don't have to keep switching between the tabs. For large screens that would be a proper utilization scenario. For smaller and low dpi screens, I guess the tab switching will be less cluttered than a side-by-side placement.
  • I never use Universal apps, so unless they do something real with it, I'll never see it.
  • It's going to Win32 and Centennial apps too, so there's that. It's also going to File Explorer. UWP is just first.
  • Why not? There are many great apps in the store, and they install and uninstall very cleanly. Just curious why you won't try them.
  • Also a load of rubbish in the store and the apps  for say facebook, better off using a browser.  i did try the facebook messenger one once and it just annoyed me. Some need a MS account, even if they have reallyt nothing to do with MS, but for some reason theyt still want one. Others are not as good as the win32 version, look at VLC  and even MS own Skype.  Like the Google store, 99% is pure rubbish.  
  • Yep, same here.  
  • @Lee Keels, the real problem with Store is lack of apps. When the same app is available in the Store, it's better than the non-Store version because they are kept up to date automatically without those super-annoying (at least to me) intrusions "An update is available. Would you like to download it?" followed by a request to close the app so that the update can be installed. Grr.... If you have many third party applications, it seems almost every day one of them is breaking workflow by asking you to update. Store Apps NEVER do that, but they still stay up to date. UWP apps also benefit from a more reliable installation model and better memory management, but much of the good stuff in the Store is not UWP (e.g., Slack).
  • Am not excited at all.  I want windows on mobile. Nothing more, nothing less. Tabs is just a more fine grained way of managing ui components.  even worse, the title picture of this article shows a windows mobile device that hardly anyone has today functioning.  my battery of my 950xl gave up. I'll just stick with Android for now.
  • This isn't a very useful comment.  Of course we all want Windows Mobile. But it isn't happening right now.  This article is about the evolution of Windows and a specific feature Daniel thought was useful/ differentiating.     
  • As long as my Office Notebook runs Windows 7, this will not be very usefull.
  • I think the secret here is this enables productivity on a smaller ultra mobile PC.
  • If so, then why be cautious with it?
  • Brilliant! Now bring back Windows 10 Mobile.
  • There are lots of references to Android. How does it compare to what's available or prepared for macOS?
  • Why show a Windows phone, you know it won't get sets.
  • I like to torture some of you.
  • LOL.  Jonah's right.  But I'm holding onto mine until the bitter end.
  • :)
  • My main concern is how will I bookmark with this? I would like to keep using Bookmark OS
  • I find tabbed functions to be less efficient.  These days I have at least two large monitors.  And, if the VR promise is realized (better than the stupid cliff house Microsoft has right now) there will virtually limitless screens.  If I'm actually working a project where I need multiple apps/windows going, I want them all immediately visible.  Flitting across tabs slows me down.  And, personally, I do NOT want my browser doing anything but browsing.  Dedicated apps for certain things almost always outperform jack-of-all-trades apps.  This is particularly true where Edge is concerned, which is not a great browser.  I find myself jumping back to IE quite frequently because it just works. And the most tabs I've ever had going on a browser has been 2, and then not for long.
  • They are visually apparent, you can see the tabs and move between them easily. Today, I usually have 5+ folders open and several Office docs. Even with multiple monitors, I still struggle to arrange the folders so each is always visible and close so it is easy to move around them. Giving then tabs would make this very easy. You could have a set of tabs you want together and I assume it is like Chrome where you can easily grab a tab and make it a separate window or move it to another set. I love this idea. So much choice for the user to adopt it and increase their efficiency.
  • Sounds great in theory. But first you have to be on windows 10, so that doesn't help. And even if you are, what happens when apps start crashing, or you uninstall programs. There's too many scenarios where having linked apps to a task can fail. Don't see any fallbacks for those. In a browser you can close a tab that fails or doesn't load. Unless they do something like that, it could break the functionality. later -1
  • The Sets feature is just a shell that wraps around exising apps, there is no change to the apps themselves; if an app crashes, it'd blink out of the set, or it'd restart in place in the set. It's not all that different from virtual desktops, except that it has a more familiar UX and it plays nicer with features like Timeline.
  • Sort of like how lotus notes works with multiple purposed tabs all in the application. I like it
  • Also seems like a moveable taskbar :)
  • While I'm not using my home PC for work or school, I do find myself at times multi-tasking where I do find myself at times a bit lost/swamped with the various open windows, and see myself alt-tabbing back and forth between apps and programs. Having all relevant not just windows of a browser, but tabbed apps and programs neatly together, keeps focus on the things at hand. When I tab too far, I'm not immediately going to be lost, as I am still within the same set, which can help me re-focus much more quickly.
  • Wasn't this a thing in Windows years ago. There was a 3rd party program called Rooms for Windows that gathered related windows into seys, and then you could do something similar in a subsequent version of Windows. Sorry, vague I know, just throwing it out there to see if anyone else can remember better 
  • I think the current task bar how it shows different windows as you hover over them is better than this tabs thing.
  • So the next version of Windows will not be Windows 11 but Tabs 1?
  • There is no “next version of Windows”.  10 is it.
  • I'm unsure how I feel about the whole thing. I see the taskbar as doing a similar job. I guess this is another option to manually group applications. However, I would rather see the taskbar evolve as opposed to something like this.
  • Problem is the taskbar is becoming very crowded, in fact, too crowded for many.
  • The big issue there is getting the resume and cross device sync to work well in a taskbar paradigm; it's really really easy to take the Set container state and save it to Timeline in a way that makes sense and doesn't flood the taskbar with pins. It's harder to get a decent UX around saving state without an easy way to determine user intent; you'll have lots of windows open on the taskbar, so it's harder to come up with a good way to signal user intention that these apps are all part of the same task that doesn't end up looking like a virtual desktop or a set, and virtual desktops are definitely uncomfortable for most users.
  • I've got my browser open - four tabs at the top (double figures when I'm researching). At the bottom of my screen - taskbar - I'm one click away from 19 apps. and if there are multiple windows open in any one app a quick hover displays a thumbnail of each. I look forward to seeing how sets can better this experience. Or not.
  • The biggest advantage of Sets is that they're Timeline aware, and will save the entire container state when closed. You can then pick up exactly where you left off. This is not even remotely trivial to accomplish if you need to switch between projects, even with virtual desktops as they currently are (though it wouldn't be hard to extend virtual desktops to support something similar).  So, for instance, if you're working on a word document that requires supporting documents be open, you can have them all open and close together. This is a really big win if you have multiple projects like this and need to be able to switch between them. Say, multiple school papers.
  • I think I really need to use it before know whether it's really useful. Some questions that I'm not sure: how the taskbar handle them? Will it be easy to find the set from taskbar or alt+tab? What will happen if one of the app in the set crash? What will happen after restart? If I close the whole set and there are multiple apps asking me to whehter save the document, what will happen? If one app have a message box, what will happen? What about the apps that already have tabs? What about if I have multiple untitled notepad open in one set and want to find one of them? What if you want to complete one task but need to have several apps side by side for comparision or copy / paste (while still keep their relaionship)? What if I want to use the app for different sets but it only supports single instance? I could think of lots of different scenarios, and if any of them not handled properly, it may be a blocking issue for the user who need that and make the new concept useless. Don't misunderstand me. I think the concept is interesting and useful, but it's all about details, which is a weak point of current Windows system. Btw, I don't think the webification of Windows really helps. The reason why user don't use UWP on PC is not because user want to use website more. It's more because the UWP app can't do the same thing as their website, or not as efficient. It's not users' fault, so it can't be solved from user side.
  • I suspect that's a large part of the reason they're opening this up to insiders so early in the process.  And I don't think you're right about the UWP app situation, though app quality absolutely plays a role, it would be wrong to underplay how much habit and the familiarity of existing usage patterns play a role. People get angry when settings are moved around or changes are made to basic functions or aesthetics just because they're different, even if, after time, they're viewed as improvements. People are really used to using websites, and the websites still work, so that's going to have it's own kind of inertia. Apps have to be dramatically better to displace websites, or be part of a usage pattern that's predominantly app based, so that there's inertia in that direction. Mobile webbrowsing has improved a lot, but it still isn't displacing apps on phones, because people are used to apps there.
  • I could see it being useful in SOME situations. But it feels like a really limited set of use cases. I'm not on WIP so I can't tell, but is there good hotkey support for it? If I can ctrl-tab between them like I do in my browser then yeah, could be somewhat useful. Certainly won't HURT anything as far as I can tell, especially if it can just be disabled or ignored ala virtual desktops. But today, I live my life with ctrl-tab inside apps (most of my daily-use apps either support that or I can configure them to) and alt-tab between apps. If I lose that ability or it's not robust then this feature would be completely useless. It's that fast switching that makes it all work... ctrl-tabbing between browser tabs or source files in my IDE, then jumping from browser to IDE with alt-tab... if Sets doesn't make that any easier then it doesn't help me, the BEST it can do is not hurt me. I've certainly got zero problem with them trying this, especially since it sounds like they're doing a right and proper UX study on it, and I never take issue with having features available in software that I don't HAVE to use because options are a Very Good Thing(tm) IMO... but I'm just not seeing this as revelatory like Daniel apparently does.
  • Maybe it's just me, but using "productivity" or "streamlined user experience" turns me on daaaaamn 😳 those butterflies in my stomach 😵 
  • Virtual desktops & multi-monitor setups all have their uses. Those uses aren't going to go away (why would they). Tab sets - per the feature announcement - just adds to the pantheon. And it's a very, very welcome addition to the mix. Especially if Sets dupes the recent "set aside" feature of Edge (the more I use set aside, the more uses I find for it ...even if it's just to expedite the always inconvenient restart, it's proven a godsend). And unexpected: I was a bit excited, too, although a) I'll believe it when I see it, and b) see how well it integrates with my work-flow before deciding exactly how useful it is. (But, of course lol.). But neither multi-displays nor virtual desktops are going anywhere soon ...hmm ...although I wouldn't mind an efficient excuse at reclaiming some physical desktop space lol.  
  • I really wonder which taskbar icon should be used for a set... The one of the app you started with? That might be confusing. Because if you have onenote pinned to your task bar and then click on it because you want to switch to onenote, and then realize you wanted to switch to the onenote that's inside the set of which you cannot see the icon... Every sense goes to hell...
  • If it works with non-microsoft applications, then that is great. I don't use Microsoft Office for documents, instead LibreOffice. I don't use Edge as a Browser, I use Chrome currently. Let me drag a window onto the bar or something similar to place it in the "set", supporting dragging out an individual tab from a browser even. And I could see that then being useful.
  • When I first heard about this feature I assumed it would be more of a Folder situation.  Where I could have a folder for DAILY WORK in that I could have a few Excel Sheets, Word Docs, PDF's, etc. to select from.  This sounds pretty cool though.   
  • honestly i can see this being extremely useful for a lot of people. but in a way i think this should supercede just being a set of mere "tabs" and it should be transformed into a sort of "project assistant". i work in adobe cc and tend to have to switch between multiple projects in a day. it'd be awesome to be able to make each project into a set that has the main project file (say premiere), associated project files (after effects, photoshop, illustrator...), various file explorer asset-, output- & shared folders and project correspondence all ready to go within a few clicks. the way i see it there should be multiple identifiers to name the set (regular name, project serial number, nickname...). these sets are archiveable and in communication apps like outlook you can associate emails and even senders with sets and make them available from there. if a group of people share the same set-name through communications, each person can open their personal set straight from there. (say creative has their adobe sets, accounting has their spreadsheets, consulting has their docs and client communication... what have you) this would take away a lot of headache i'm facing on a daily basis... but it's all a pipe dream because i'm forced to use mac os at work :(  
  • I like the idea.  It's a nice complement to tabification behavior we're learning anyway.
  • To me this sounds a bit like a modern take on the Windows-within-Windows structure of Windows 1.x - 98.   perhaps MS have finally realised that it is not productive to have everlything plastered on your desktop.  
  • Cool stuff. This is similar in concept to console emulators like ConEmu that can open different tabs for cmd, PowerShell, PuTTY, etc. I use them daily like this and would be great to spread that to GUI apps
  • Daniel, since you mention split screen as part of normal workflow, do you know if you can pull tabs out into separate Windows and still have them register as the set when you close and resume?
  • similar (or maybe same) question here, is how a Set works across multiple monitors.
  • KDE has been doing this for years and it's really very nice.
  • great, Windows 10 will become ChromeOS eventually huh
  • Any advancement is good in that it offers options to people. However, organisations face other considerations. I work in government, and it goes to great lengths to secure information and avoid cloud based solutions other than on its network.  Even if I have access to this, it wouldn't be a huge biggie in terms of time saved. It isn't unusual for me to have 4 Word docs open, a PDF or two, and a browser. I can open those in about 30 seconds. 
  • Sounds to me like a clever but relatively useless wheeze to stop you escaping from Microsoft software into third-party software.
  • They have virtual desktop now...why not just Sync the virtual desktop instead of introducing set?
  • Exactly what game is this going to change?  The game where Android has the most users?   Or the game where Microsoft has no mobile presence?  
  • Hopefully the gane where droidbots go awat
  • I think it looks great for a single screen setup. Not an advantange when using extended desktop, when you want to see documents all open at the same time. 
  • I don't know. A lot of my work revolves around cutting and pasting between apps and browsers so I need them all open and separate. I usually end up with more tabs than I can fit across the browser because I'm gathering info from all of them. So I don't think this would help me personally at all.
  • "The fact is, people are just more comfortable using a web browser for computing compared to installing dedicated apps for everything." Err... Nope... Sorry.
  • I don't really get that statement as well... If people really were more comfortable using web browsers instead of dedicated apps, then why is everybody complaining about the app gap? 
  • Nice feature.
  • It seems similar to Office Binder but expanded to more programs; depending how it will be implemented there could be some usefulness especially with mobile devices where multi-monitors is not an option.
  • I like the ideas of sets been waiting for tabs to windows forever, hopefully its quick and has more features like traditional tabs in browsers as the future progressed