Tabs were originally introduced in Internet Explorer 6 with a tool bar extension back in 2005. From them, people have been wanting tabs for more apps. Now Microsoft finally has decided to add tabs in different apps in Windows 10, which will allow you to group your tasks in a better way.
Microsoft calls it ‘Sets’. Windows 10 testers will get this new features in coming weeks and this feature would be restricted to Windows 10’s special Universal Windows Apps. Microsoft is planning to get as much feedback on the new feature as possible, before tweaking it and making it available to everyone. The software giant isn’t committing to a specific timeline for tabs.
Say I am working on a school project. The topic is ‘Cosmos’. Now I am working on a Word file and I have to do a bit research about it. Traditionally, I would have to open a browser and find stuff. But this new feature will let you create “Sets”, or tabs within the same window irrespective of what’s going on on your browser. And then my friend suddenly texts me that he has made some notes related to our topic. I open OneDrive in another ‘Set’, and Lo! I found the notes in our shared notebook. And I remember that I even have to make a PowerPoint presentation about ‘Cosmos’, I quickly open PowerPoint on another set and my pocket is finally completed!
Like its Timeline feature of Windows 10, which will be available to testers in the next build, Sets are designed to let you carry on working on or from a mobile device By grouping tasks into these Sets, Microsoft is aiming to let iPhone and Android users start Sets and then resume them on a PC or vice versa. It’s a logical extension of Timeline, which groups together your apps in a similar way so you can resume them across mobile and PCs.
Microsoft will introduce these first on apps like file explorer and notepad and eventually to apps like Photoshop. An updated desktop version of Office will support Sets early next year. Microsoft’s real challenge with Sets will be convincing developers to embrace them on the mobile side, so apps can resume easily. That’s not an easy thing to solve, so I’d expect that type of experience will be limited to Office and Edge mobile initially.
Sets also include a universal search interface amd new tab interface similar to that of Microsoft’s Edge browser. Microsoft ended up in court with the US Department of Justice back in 2001 over bundling Internet Explorer directly into Windows. Either way, computing and competition has changed a lot since then, and without some type of web functionality this tabs interface wouldn’t work efficiently.
Microsoft is planning to open tabs up to Windows 10 testers in the coming weeks, and the company will be testing it with a small subsection of testers initially. The plan is to get specific feedback before letting all Windows 10 testers get a closer look at the new tabs interface.
You can have a look at the demo below