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  • Is “Sets” coming back in Win10 version 2003 (er, 20H1)?

    Posted on September 23rd, 2019 at 07:47 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Apparently the “Sets” feature (which adds mixed-use tabs to every Windows window) appears in parts of the latest beta test version of the early-2020 version of Win10, build 19481.

    It now appears that the reappearance of “Sets” is a bug, not a feature:

    Or at least that’s the official party line.

    I see why some folks like Sets, but I’d be happy with a simple tabbed File Explorer.  And anything that makes Win10 less stable is a most definitely not welcome here!

  • The demise of Windows 10 “Sets” – the part you won’t read about

    Posted on April 23rd, 2019 at 05:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The Windows blogosphere was all alight yesterday about the announcement that Microsoft has given up on a feature called “Sets.”

    The feature showed up in one of the Win10 beta builds, didn’t work worth squat, got pulled, and isn’t coming back. “Sets” basically turned any Windows window into a tabbed window — so, for example, you could have File Explorer and Google and Notepad open in different tabs in a single window. Like this screenshot, taken from The Verge:

    I never thought much of Sets, frankly. It seemed (and seems) to me to be an attempt to match Stardock’s Groupy. Meh. Putting tabs in File Explorer would be nice (see EJIE’s Clover – which is free), but as far as having windows with a mixture of random apps open in tabs, you can count me out. I do just fine with Chrome and Firefox.

    So when I read that Sets weren’t coming back, I wasn’t exactly heartbroken.

    Here’s the interesting part.

    Chris Hoffman over at How-To Geek originally wrote about the demise of Sets on Saturday. He took a tweet from ‘Softie Rich Turner and fleshed out the topic. Turner said, “The Shell-provided tab experience is no more, but adding tabs (to Windows PowerShell) is high on our to do list.” That’s not exactly an official announcement, but it’s close enough.

    Chris’s article appeared in the middle of a three-day weekend here in the US, and didn’t get much traction. But on Monday, boy howdy, everybody and his brother was writing about it. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth accompanied a description of how Microsoft had yanked this wonderful new feature from our poor, anxiously awaiting souls.

    Except… nobody bothered to credit Chris. The Windows blog echo chamber articles have popped up like dandelions in my lawn and with a few notable exceptions (Bleeping Computer among them), none of the authors have credited Chris or How-To Geek.

    It’s a tough business, folks.

  • With Sets now jettisoned, the worthwhile feature list for the next version of Windows is vanishing

    Posted on June 28th, 2018 at 10:59 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has officially announced that “Sets” — the feature that lets you use tabs inside any Windows window — won’t appear in the next version of Win10, known as RS5 and likely called 1809.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, Mary Jo Foley had a good, quick introduction to a demo version of Sets, seven months ago.

    Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc say about yesterday’s beta, build 17704:

    General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

    Thank you for your continued support of testing Sets. We continue to receive valuable feedback from you as we develop this feature helping to ensure we deliver the best possible experience once it’s ready for release. Starting with this build, we’re taking Sets offline to continue making it great. Based on your feedback, some of the things we’re focusing on include improvements to the visual design and continuing to better integrate Office and Microsoft Edge into Sets to enhance workflow. If you have been testing Sets, you will no longer see it as of today’s build, however, Sets will return in a future WIP (Windows Insider Program) flight. Thanks again for your feedback.

    Which means MS is having major problems duplicating the feature set currently available in Stardock’s Groupy, which works with Win7 and later.

    Why does MS have so many problems catching up with Stardock’s technological advances? Beats me, but I’d bet in this case that MS feels obligated to handle more of the detailed foibles in the Office Ribbon, which is a cesspool of conflicting settings.

    Stardock pioneered many of the features you’ve seen (slightly mangled) in Windows 10, including Fences for grouping desktop icons. Start10 remains one of the few Win10 Start menu replacements that’s still supported. Microsoft should’ve bought Stardock a decade ago. But then, I guess that isn’t the Microsoft Way.

    Personally, more and more, I just use Chrome and the Google Suite and don’t worry about Timeline or Sets, or syncing with my phones or tablets.

    Microsoft will catch up some day. Maybe.