MICROSOFT HAS pulled the plug on its much-delayed Sets feature for Windows 10, following a poor showing in consumer testing.
According to ZDNet, Sets – which was originally expected in the forthcoming May Update to Windows – has now been removed from the schedules after a closed sub-group of Microsoft Insiders were given access and found the whole thing bewildering and, yes, dammit, a bit pointless.
As such, it seems the decision was reached to abandon the whole thing, lest the Office team would have to be significantly retooled to make it compatible.
It’s also suggested that the new Chromium-based version of Microsoft’s Edge browser was not made compliant with Sets, suggesting the die was cast some time ago.
Apart from that small scale test, news about Sets have been scant in recent months and the test version of the forthcoming Windows-as-a-Service update has no sign that it was ever a thing.
Sets was supposed to offer one of the most requested Windows features over the last three decades – tabbed navigation – meaning that users could have multiple windows stacked in a single instance – a Word document, a browser window and File Explorer all sharing space.
It was planned that the feature would work exclusively with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, before being expanded out to old-school Win32 apps at a later date.
But speaking over the weekend on Twitter, Senior Program Manager Rich Turner announced the death knell:
The Shell-provided tab experience is no more, but adding tabs is high on our to do list. — Rich Turner (@richturn_ms) April 20, 2019
So tabs are still on the agenda, but Sets, as we knew it (such as it was), is now gone the way of Clippy and Live Wallpapers.
What’s slightly weird is that there are third-party apps which already do the same job perfectly well, proving that it is at least possible.