Just a few weeks after the major launch of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is already looking towards what's next as the company looks to test features that could fundamentally shape how you use web browsers.
Today, Microsoft announced a new feature tentatively called "Sets," a fairly significant retooling of how web browsers and apps operate philosophically in Windows. Rather than having Edge users manage a set of browser windows filled with relevant tabs to a particular task, Microsoft wants to build those tabs directly into apps. If you're writing up a Word document and needing to research topics online to integrate into it, rather than venturing to a new browser window, you'll be able to open Edge inside the app with a new tab and get to surfing. You'll also be able to pull up file windows.
This saves a click in the short term, but where it grows more useful is in bundling your documents and web research into single files that you can pull up from any device so you can jump back into your document and everything you were looking at. "Sets" will be further strengthened by Timeline, a feature announced this year at Build, which lets users surface past activities and apps inside the Task View. Timeline is rolling out in the next Windows Insider build to the Fast Ring.
"Sets" is going to have a somewhat more nuanced launch to WIP than past beta feature releases. Given the evolving nature of Sets, Microsoft has decided to deliver the update just to a select number of those in WIP so the company can get a better handle on how of if the feature is being used so more significant changes can be made to boost its utility.
Terry Myerson, EVP of Microsoft Windows and Devices Group, detailed some of these changes in a blog post.
With Sets specifically, we’ll introduce a controlled study into WIP so that we can more accurately assess what’s working and what’s not. That means a smaller percentage of you will initially get Sets in a build. It also means that some of you won’t get it at all for a while, as we compare the usage and satisfaction of task switching in Windows for people who have sets versus people who don’t. Eventually everyone will get Sets—but it could be awhile.
It's all a bit more of an experimental feeling than launches to WIP have felt in the past, Sets may be marking a moment where Microsoft opens itself up to taking more chances rather than using WIP simply to squash bugs.
"Sets," which again Microsoft has not set as the final name for the feature, will start rolling out in "the coming weeks," the company says.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.