MICROSOFT HAS been showing off the newest UI enhancement to Windows 10, and it seems the future is tabbed.
'Sets' (working title) is currently at the experimental stage but will eventually bring tabbed Windows across apps in much the same way as different web pages do in a browser.
It makes the whole desktop experience feel more akin to web apps - so if you like the way Chrome OS is put together, happy birthday.
The demand for tabbed apps has always been there. You only have to look at the magnificent Station for a recent example of how rockin' this is in practice, but Microsoft has hitherto resisted.
'Sets' will work alongside the delayed Timeline feature - you can actually move between machines and pick up an entire set of apps, browser windows, documents, to bring with you.
It'll eventually be part of Office desktop, and even stalwarts like Calculator and Paint too all backed up by a universal search bar.
Heck, if this had all been working two years ago, Android might have had reason to quake in its Google-boots.
As it is, this still looks like a natural evolution for Windows (though it does raise questions over how drag-and-drop will work in practice).
A subset of Windows Insiders will be given the chance to try Sets and Timeline in an upcoming build of Windows, but it's a while before even the Insiders will get it across the board.
As for the rest of us, we'd speculate that it's not going to be ready for the Spring Update, but perhaps next October, we could be looking at one of the biggest revolutions in the way the Windows desktop is presented in quite a while - not least because by then, Windows will probably have its new 'Fluent' look fully rolled out.
The only question we'd raise is that, if this is a hybrid of tabs, that suggests the internet will be made from Edge tabs. If Microsoft isn't careful, it could end up with accusations of anti-trust (again). The option to switch your internet tabs to the browser of your choice (and the browser makers support in doing so) will be paramount. µ
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