Windows Central Podcast 85: Why do Sets exist?

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Surface logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

We're back with another exciting episode of the Window Central Podcast. This week, Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden talk about new Redstone builds, the Surface Pro with LTE, Surface Hub 2 announcement, our thoughts on Windows 10 Sets, and more!

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Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • About the note on the store being used to simplify updating Apps for Windows in the older Win32 paradigm. I see this as being beneficial for Users because this means their apps will stay up to date and they will always have the latest and greatest, but the biggest gripe against Windows 10 is that it as an OS has too many updates... I don't get it.
  • The thing about having the latest and greates app version is that sometimes you need to be able to roll back to an earlier version because of a bug or a hardware incompatibility. I don't think this is currently possible.
  • There is a way to only manually install updates for apps. So if you are afraid of such things happening to you, you could keep yourself on the safe side by not updating apps, if you are just fine with current version.
  • I DON'T want to have to buy-as-you-go data.  I prefer the subscription model.  We pay one monthly price for home internet and we just USE it.  My wife and I typically use a LOT of data.  We routinely busted our limit with AT&T, so we have the absolute maximum.  I don't want to add another device and pay that cost.  Yes, yes, yes, I KNOW that the speed is slower tethering.  But for what we use data on our slaved tablet, the speed is less the issue.  I don't care what people consider "normal".  I'm not a lemming.  As I've said, I'm NOT against LTE on tablets, or whatever.  I'm saying we already have all the devices we need to do what we need to do at costs that are a value to us.  And, quite honestly, Windows On Arm is crap by comparison right now.  Maybe in a couple of years our Surface Pro devices will have died and we'll be in the market for a new device.  If AT&T stops charging extra for another LTE line and WOA actually is CHEAPER than Intel-based tablets and performs as well, then count me in.  You have not made a decent case for us the change what we have right now.
  • I could have said the same thing 20 years ago making a phone call from inside a phone booth. I have all the devices I need.
  • "MSFT could build the best browser" well, they didn't, so they have to resort to tricking ppl into Edge. "MSFT has to get sets right from the very first try" that is definitely The Thruth. Also, don't most ppl want a polished OS experience instead of a heap of new buggy stuff each time. I mean that joke Dan made about shipping it and fixing it later, this is so true and so sad. Like the touch keyboard is still awefull on RS4. Cortana and Groove keep getting worse and keep loosing usable functions - why is that, what purpose does it have?
  • "Sets" seems more and more like a bad idea. The one thing everyone wanted were tabs in the File Explorer and now it seems like Microsoft seems like they are trying to get more out of that than people wanted. It only duplicates the functions that should be in the taskbar. This is a poorly thought out feature. Shouldn't tabs be on a per app basis? It being tied to all the apps, instead of, a per app basis hinders it's utility. Now, it's tied to this "feature." I just wanted tabs in the File Explorer. This seems like a big problem for Microsoft. There is something people want and Microsoft does what they want anyway.
  • No, it shouldn't. You have taskbar features for that already. So as opposed to what you suggested, no, Sets is not trying to and should not be a simple extended taskbar feature. That is not what it is meant to be. Also, File Explorer currently is a legacy app and should sooner or later be replaced by something that is fully Fluent Design and maybe UWP with deep OS integration. What suits best for that purpose than Edge, even if it is a mode of it. So expanding File Explorer with such new features on its own is an already dead idea. "Duplicates the functions that should be in the taskbar." :) Loved this phrase. Duplicating something that does not exist. But imagine this; clicking on the plus button at the end of your Sets tabs, brings you a new Edge tab to run any app. What effort would it be to implement something that will just open a new instance of the current running app by clicking on it with the middle button? Not much. Only you are given more features while also providing what you just mentioned. And since taskbar provides features for grouping the same apps and sets to group different apps, they should co-exist and on a different UI to make it clean without confusing users.
  • np
  • Sorry, Gregorius, but Sean makes more sense here, and I agree with him.
  • "Europe has pretty expensive data"...? Whoa there, Captain Generalisation! Just because the Brits have ridiculous data prices (75£ for 20 gb, wtf?!?), it doesn't mean the rest of us necessarily have to be the same... Here are some sample monthly prices (no initial setup fee) from my provider here in Denmark: 6 gb for 7£ / 10$
    40 gb for 14£ / 20$
    80 gb for 19£ / 27$
    160 gb for 23£ / 33$
  • Unlimited 300kbit/s for 30€ in Hungary.
  • That line when Zac said: Windows 10 with Sets makes windows like a browser vaguely - my brain went "ding! ding! ding! Chrome"
  • Daniel, I simply don't follow your logic in regards to Sets... Here's an analogy: Imagine we're back in the 70's, working with books, paper and typewriters. What you're basically saying is that it's easier and more efficient to work at a tiny table, and stacking all the necessary books, papers and reports underneath the typewriter, having to dig each piece out of the pile every time you need some info, instead of having a large desk with room for each book, paper and report, visible and accessible all the time.
  • Whilst I generally appreciate your podcasts, on this occasion I found myself thoroughly resenting being talked down to by Mr Rubino as though I was some sort of technophobe because I was the sort of person who would not necessarily agree with his take on the desirability of LTE. If I were, then I would hardly be subscribing to the podcast. Nor do I appreciate his utterly US orientated slant. Europe has perfectly good and affordable data plans. As for any of this being in any way new, I had a Samsung Slate more than 4 years ago with a SIM slot. My original iPad had a slot. As does my current one. Ripped off by Apple, but without it there is no GPS and I need that for sailing apps. The separate SIM costs me £13 a month for 20GB of data. More than I need but I was offered that for the price of 5. There is nothing wrong with tethering. It is not somehow antediluvian as the podcast arrogantly suggests. It works well. It avoids yet another financial commitment to manage. An additional 4GB of data on my phone costs me all of £2.50 a month. Taking my total to 6 and invariably more than I use even when on a boat with no WiFi. There is no mention of tethering using MiFi which is really useful, allows multiple users and overcomes any battery issues. The additional cost of an LTE modem in a Surface Pro probably represents something like 3 to 4 years of tethered data. With that sort of cost/benefit analysis I am more than happy to sit opposite Mr Rubino and for him to consider me catastrophically out of date. BTW, I would not buy any new Surface, with or without LTE, as it has a proprietary charging port. I want USB-C so that I can use the same cable as my phone. At least my Surface 3 (non Pro) uses Micro USB.
  • "Whilst I generally appreciate your podcasts, on this occasion I found myself thoroughly resenting being talked down to by Mr Rubino as though I was some sort of technophobe because I was the sort of person who would not necessarily agree with his take on the desirability of LTE."
    You sometimes need it.
  • Apologies for a second irritated comment about this podcast. Windows S might have advantages but to suggest that only power users need x32 compatibility is wide off the mark. Neither, I nor my wife, need a complex, powerful PC. We do not play games. Or video edit. We basically work using O365. Yet both of us could not begin to do without the ability to run a program nowhere to be found in the Microsoft Store. What is that killer app? Oddly enough a Microsoft one. Microsoft Money. Despite having looked for alternatives, and the last version of Money being 2005, nothing else comes remotely close in terms of functionality. We would be delighted if Microsoft put Money in the Store. Even more delighted if they produced an Android and iOS app that linked with it. Or, indeed, if somebody else took it on and resumed development. However, modern Microsoft seems to have no qualms about breaking faith with the consumer. With the result being that, whilst running a cleaner OS would be desirable, people like us are left with no option but to run a bloated OS simply in order to use what is a lightweight but very sophisticated program.