Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Sees the Future of Windows 10 as Sets, Ditching Windows For a Tabbed App Interface (pcworld.com) 302

Microsoft said Tuesday that it plans to overhaul Windows 10, with a browser-like, tabbed application view dubbed "Sets" that groups apps and files by project. From a report: Think of Sets as a mashup of existing and emerging Windows 10 technologies. Take Windows Explorer and the little-used Task View within Windows 10, mix in the newer "Pick up where you left off" and "Timeline" features, and wrap it all into a single-window experience. The idea is that every task requires a set of apps -- Mail, a browser, PowerPoint, even Win32 apps like Photoshop -- and those apps will be optionally organized as tabs along a single window. But that's not all. Microsoft knows that one of the most difficult things to remember isn't what you were working on a week or so ago -- browser histories help with that. It's remembering all of the associated apps and documents that went with it: a particular PowerPoint document, that budget spreadsheet, the context an Edge tab provided. The idea is that the delayed Timeline feature will eventually group and associate all of these into a Set, so that when you open one, Windows will suggest the others, too.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Sees the Future of Windows 10 as Sets, Ditching Windows For a Tabbed App Interface

Comments Filter:
  • Haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:08PM (#55637277) Homepage

    You mean like this? https://d2.alternativeto.net/d... [alternativeto.net]

    • Well done.

    • Re:Haha (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:35PM (#55637515) Homepage Journal

      More like multiple desktops, which I thought Windows 10 was supposed to support anyway. Every free desktop certainly does.

      Multiple desktops sounds better than this in every way. Just needs some updates to better support multiple monitors and it would be perfect.

      • Re:Haha (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rob Y. ( 110975 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:50PM (#55637635)

        Or like 'Activities' in KDE, which is like multiple desktops - but much more. So much more that nobody understands it or uses it. But hey, it's really powerful. Too bad I only use my KDE-based system to browse the Internet.

        • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @03:57PM (#55638713) Homepage

          Or like the "hand of cards" metaphore that Palm/HP's WebOS 2.x on top of the existing "deck of cards".

          (individual windows - "cards" in webos but basically tabs - could freely be grouped together in small groups.
          Not necessarily by apps. You could put a e-mail writing tab and a webpage that you need to reference next to each other in the same hand.)

          In my opinion, that used to be the best ever handling of two-level multi-tasking (i.e: different apps with each different tabs within), much better to what is currently done on smartphone (most of which have taken up the apps-as-cards approach (see apps switching and specially closing-by-flinging on Android ans iOS). But then each app has its own personal way to handle tabs (see tabs in Safari - its a completely different mechanism).

          The closest would be how you could mix tabs in browser, if all you apps were webapps (e.g.: using Office 365 to edit online, and Gmail to compose a mail. And putting both in tabs next to each other in the same windows).
          Windows seems aiming to recreate this.

    • That looks better than what they show now.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Was I the only one who liked the 3.1 "Program Manager" feature? I used to group all my docs/applications/etc... into one program group per project.

  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:10PM (#55637293)
    Is this going to be the MS version of Gnome 3?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:12PM (#55637311)

    Microsoft wants to turn Windows 10 into Chrome OS.

    I wonder what the pro-Microsoft, anti-Chrome fanboys will say about that?

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples @ g mail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:15PM (#55637339) Homepage Journal

    From a caption in the featured article:

    This is the traditional (and effective) way of working with multiple documents within Windows 10: Snap View. Sets would slim this down to just one window.

    I'm not sure how cutting this down to one window would help. If I'm reading a document and taking notes on what I read, I want to have the document and my notes and side by side, each in a 960-pixel-wide window on my 1920-pixel-wide PC monitor. So unless Sets offers a similar option for a side-by-side view, I don't see how I could adjust myself to its workflow.

    Essentially, Microsoft is reworking the Desktop Windows Manager within Windows 10 to enable app switching via tabs, versus more traditional windows.

    I thought Windows already had that since Windows 95 and Windows NT 4, and it was called the Taskbar. Keeping a particular task's windows together is part of multiple virtual desktops, which GNU/Linux has had for well over a decade and Windows recently gained.

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @02:47PM (#55638055) Journal

      Keeping a particular task's windows together is part of multiple virtual desktops, which GNU/Linux has had for well over a decade and Windows recently gained.

      Comparing Linux/Unix X windows work spaces with Win10 workspaces is patently unfair. Win10 workspace has absolutely no customization, no discernable different between work spaces. Does not have "sticky" windows. Can not relocate a window from one work space to another.

      Back in 1994 when I got my first HP-UX, I set it up with SIX work spaces, each with its own wall paper, its own name. The sticky dock at the bottom would let me switch to any desktop directly without cycling through all desktops.

      I am currently using some ancient window manager xfwm that has more ability and customization and fast response than win10.

      Win10 workspaces is the perfect example of too little too late.

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @04:31PM (#55639115)

        Can not relocate a window from one work space to another.

        That one is untrue. Hit Windows+Tab then you can drag whichever application to and from whatever workspace you wish.

        The sticky dock at the bottom would let me switch to any desktop directly without cycling through all desktops.

        Not sure why that's relevant, hitting the Windows+Tab button brings up a list of the desktops, you don't need to cycle anything, just click the one you want. You even have a live preview of it.

        Win10 workspaces is the perfect example of too little too late.

        Actually windows 10 workspaces is a perfect example of a little bit to appease a few. It's not heavily advertised, not heavily featured, and by-n-large not at all missed by the majority of non-windows 10 users, not to mentioned not actually used by the majority of windows 10 users either.

        To be honest I've never seen the appeal. Though at one stage I was doing some work that was benefiting from the idea of having two setup discrete work spaces, so I bought a second monitor and never looked back.

        • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @05:57PM (#55639949) Journal
          I understand you don't need it, most casual users wont need it.

          I have two full hd monitors. In win10, I maintain six work spaces. One running full screen remote desk top on a windows server. Two more running full screen sessions on two linux servers. Then one work space for development, code editing, running consoles. One more to run the regression suites and the validation scripts. Then the main one for browsing and internet and email and presentations

          The desktop is 128 GB, 32 core machine. Two of the servers are 256GB 32 core machines. The last linux server is 1TB memory 40 physical, not logical, processors. Every pull request I approve takes about 600 processor hours of certification testing.

          By the way, each of the full screen sessions on linux servers run the four work spaces, each work space is 3940 x 1080 pixel. I use the equivalent of 24 screens each 1920 x 1080.

          Very few people use as much screen as I use. Very few people are willing to pay as much as I am willing to pay. I will pay top dollar and defray your development costs. Then you can sell the technology to every one else for pure profit.

  • All our taste testing and focus groups agree, people like New Coke better! Pepsi won't keep eating our lunch once we release this tasty masterpiece! Everyone will love it, and surely no one will complain, we just can't go wrong with this new direction.

    • Except in this case there is no Pepsi to compete with them. They'll shove it down your throat and you'll like it...

      • by sycodon ( 149926 )

        I don't know...my company was just purchased by Lockheed.

        They are big Mac and Linux fans. I think most of the infrastructure servers are Linux.

        Funny...I started with an Apple II, then Apple III, then various Macs, then to Windows for 20 years. Now, I may end up back on a Mac.

  • From the people... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:17PM (#55637359) Homepage Journal
    ...who brought you the Ribbon. And Windows 8's "Tablet interface for desktops".
  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:17PM (#55637367)
    Isn't the task bar already functionally equivalent to a tabbed view of apps?
    • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:27PM (#55637443)

      No, because it's already been in use for 20 years, and thus can't be a Bold New Thing for some team at Microsoft that needs to justify its existence to management.

      • Exactly. It's not a Bold New Thing unless it makes you re-learn how to get your work done.

        • One of the best parts about Linux is the split between the OS and particular desktop environments. I think Unity does things in a pretty terrible way and is not at all good for the way I work. So I don't complain about it; I just use lxde instead.

          With Windows you don't have that choice, at least not easily. When Microsoft decides that something will suck, there's rarely a supported alternative to the suck.

    • It sounds like virtual desktops but bound to a window so you can compare workspaces side by side.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:18PM (#55637369)
    Maybe let me customize the tab bar with some quick access buttons. Make one of the icons the Windows logo. Then put a clock on the bar, and make it blue. And add some more quick access icons next to the clock. Oh, and make all the tabs icons so I can fit a lot of them on the screen. It'll really be the future.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:19PM (#55637377)
    With Windows 10 relegated to business and engineering-only roles.
    • And home desktops.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I thought the home "desktop" was becoming a tablet running a smartphone operating system with a Bluetooth keyboard. Or at least that's how it appears in a couple Discord servers I'm in, where a few regular users rely on help from others and cannot experience PC games because they rarely if ever have access to a PC.

        • Dunno.

          I can jack with a Windows desktop.

          Smart devices are too sandboxed and walled garden except for Youtube and Facebook benging.

          I'm a retired IT guy and I do the things you'd expect.

          Gaming isn't one of them.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            I'm a retired IT guy and I do the things you'd expect.

            You make a good point.

            So that makes four niches for PCs: business, engineering, home desktops used by gamers who play with mods, and home desktops that belong to practicing or retired IT personnel. Anyone want to list niches I forgot?

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      With Windows 10 relegated to business and engineering-only roles.

      Leaving iOS and Android with people who play games and watch videos on their devices? Is that a bad thing?
      • Leaving iOS and Android with people who play games and watch videos on their devices? Is that a bad thing?

        It's not a bad thing for point-and-click games. It's a bad thing for games that aren't point-and-click.

        Games need to work on the device's stock input device in order to sell well. But the vast majority of iOS and Android devices have the touch screen and accelerometer as the only inputs usable by the application, and many genres aren't amenable to touch-only control. The devices themselves have buttons, but all are reserved for system features, such as application switching, sleep, and speaker volume contro

  • iPadification (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:19PM (#55637381)

    It's funny how iPadificaton of the desktop OS seems to be a threat constantly looming over the Mac, yet always lands on Windows...

    • Wish I had mod points. Can't decide if this is funny or insightful though.
    • "iPadification" is my new favorite word. It's so rich in meaning. It implies content consumer, not content creator. It implies an interface even a five year old could use, with all the implied limitations of that. It's a TV with a touch screen. Cool.

    • It's funny how iPadificaton of the desktop OS seems to be a threat constantly looming over the Mac, yet always lands on Windows...

      It must have decided after extensive contemplation that Microsoft is more deserving. I can't say that I will miss it, the iPad UI is one of the reasons I abandoned the iPad for a MacBook and I would do the same if I was an Android user since the Android tablet UI isn't a damn sight better. On the Desktop UI I can have multiple windows open, switch between them easily, size them as I want, navigating with the keyboard is quicker, easier and much less frustrating, especially when doing things like copy/pastin

    • I highly doubt that iPadification will ever really truly threaten macOS in the ways people think - Apple firmly believes in different devices for different needs (if for no other reason than selling more devices). Microsoft is the one that's tried for over a decade to convince people that one OS should run on all their devices, as long as it's Windows.

      If anything, I suspect that the next iteration we'll see is a context-sensitive, display-backed gesture-board for Macs, like the magic trackpad but with vi
  • by sremick ( 91371 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:23PM (#55637405)

    Because people apparently are too stupid to handle "windows" and can't handle seeing more than one app at once?

    R.I.P. productivity. At least for businesses. There's a reason I kicked Windows off my workstations at home 15+ years ago and have been running FreeBSD (yes) and Linux ever since.

    • To be honest, there could be a use for this (and it is optional). Some of the humor comes from Microsoft again deciding unilaterally what the customers want which ultimately ends up a failure. But if you look at web apps, we already have different applications on the browswer in different tabs. This idea from MS is essentially that without a browser, you can have your Word "window" also have an Excel tab and a browser tab, etc. It is an interesting idea.

      I certainly prefer windows side-by-side myself; an

  • You know... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NecroPuppy ( 222648 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:23PM (#55637407) Homepage

    I recognize that this is probably (long term) a good (or at least not bad) design decision.

    I can already picture how it's going to make certain aspects of dealing with tons of projects easier...

    But I can't say that I'm going to enjoy all the tech assist calls I'll have to deal with, from my coworkers who just want it to look / work like Windows 7 - some of which are the same people who just wanted Windows 7 to look/work like XP. (And also hated the Office ribbon.)

    • But I can't say that I'm going to enjoy all the tech assist calls I'll have to deal with, from my coworkers who just want it to look / work like Windows 7 - some of which are the same people who just wanted Windows 7 to look/work like XP. (And also hated the Office ribbon.)

      Heh, that'd be me. I'm running Win 7 with the windows classic theme. I've found that almost nothing they've added since XP has added to my productivity, except optimizations under the hood. I have a double-height taskbar with quick

  • ... when the fuck did that ever happen?

  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:26PM (#55637433)

    I mean... ... I have different directories for different things, and I know what programs (not "apps", fuck you) go with which files by the letters that come after the little dot in the filename that Windows, in all of its magnificent idiocy-provoking glory, doesn't even bother to show you. It doesn't take a massive amount of intellect to realize that filename.jpg is probably a picture, and that you can app it with whatever apps your appy ass apps appy pictures with. Apps!

    (Where is app luddite guy? I admit I only opened the comments here to see what that guy had written.)

    Why not stop trying to come up with radical new shapes for wheels ("I know! Maybe pentagons!") and focus on making their software not suck?

  • Great for managers and office drones creating yet another Powerpoint document explaining why sales are off by 10%. Welcome to the future of computing.
  • Welcome to OS/2 WARP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:30PM (#55637475)
    OS/2 had a task folder option that let you create a folder on the desktop and drop shortcuts of any apps or files you wanted to open when that folder opened. This sounds like they are going to merge the ChromeOS desktop with OS/2 task folders.
  • Except if they are replacing windows with tabs, shouldn't they start calling Microsoft Tabs?

    Which would probably run afoul of Samsung's trademarks... but I'm just sayin'...

  • Take Windows Explorer and the little-used Task View within Windows 10, mix in the newer "Pick up where you left off" and "Timeline" features, and wrap it all into a single-window experience.

    Let's take a bunch of thing, including one no one uses, and put them all together, so you can work the way we think you should.

    It's remembering all of the associated apps and documents that went with it:

    Which is why we already have (sub) folders.

    The idea is that the delayed Timeline feature will eventually group and associate all of these into a Set, so that when you open one, Windows will suggest the others, too.

    There's nothing about that sentence that I like. Don't care about Timeline and have not *ever* wanted Windows to "suggest" things or liked it when it did. Didn't Microsoft learn anything from Clippy?

  • When a company settles for Microsoft compatibility, it gets one great advantage. A large workforce already well trained in the user interface and will be productive immediately and hit the ground running. A consistent, predictable, reliable user interface that is long lasting, enduring, backward compatible release after release. Your work force gets increasingly productive without any retraining costs to the company.

    Oh! sorry copy pasted from the older report from Microsoft's paid shill Gartner. Please wa

  • Are people really getting so goddamned dumb that this is all they think they can handle? Dumbing it down to a preschool level?
    • by IMightB ( 533307 )

      Never under-estimate the power of stupidity ... or greed.

      • by IMightB ( 533307 )

        Also, remember, If you try to make something idiot-proof, the world will make better idiots.

      • by IMightB ( 533307 )

        I always though that XP was the epitome of fischer-price like "even children" can use it looking UI's, things seem to be getting dumber.

  • Still beta then?

    (to add some more to the discussion: I want my OS to be stable, functional, get the hell of the way so I can do my work with the applications, you know, the things that make a PC useful, and more importantly, not to change UI every release. The constant change to Win10 is just one of the *many* reasons I will not consider it as a proper OS, you never know when you're going to wake up to an entirely new UI from the night before.)

  • So, Microsoft again tries to sell their user base on full screen applications. "Oh, we didn't make it appealing enough in Windows 8. We'll make it natter at the users while they're trying to get work done. You know, remember Clippy? They'll love it."

    Reading the description, it looks like Windows will become something like One Note All The Time.

    It also kinda reminds me of CRT terminals with job control.

    But we will see. I'm somewhat forced to use either Windows or Apple, because those are the platforms f

    • I don't know if I'm just too old or whatever, but I've never understood the point of One Note, but I guess I was too cheap to get a laptop in college and just took notes on spiral notebooks. Certainly it doesn't seem to be useful for anything at work, but I still use the spiral notebooks even though I have a laptop...
  • Microsoft imposes their conception of what I use a computer for on me, once again.

    I'd never want more than one window open, and why would I need more than one monitor?
    Just like I'd never reference data in one window and use it to create something in another. Or view a schematic while ordering parts.

    Rule #1 of user interface design: "If it works, don't fix it!"

  • KDE Activities (Score:4, Informative)

    by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:42PM (#55637567)

    This sounds a lot like KDE's Activities.

  • They want to repeat the Windows 8 fiasco so soon?

    I have a 4 core processor with 8 threads, 32 GB of memory and two displays. I typically have 8 apps open at a time and upwards of a dozen tabs on my browser. My desktop is clean, my apps are in my task bar, and most are assigned to hot keys. It all works fine. Stop messing with me.

    I am a user that has to see multiple apps at a time. I often have four apps visible on my two displays using side by side positioning. Quickly switching between them provides me not

  • You have to wonder who's running the UIX division of Windows. Windows 8 was an unmitigated disaster. They tried to force feed a mobile interface on to the world of desktops, to predictable results. Absolutely no one was surprised by the blowback they got ( well, except the shills of course, and they were paid to be surprised ).

    Now this?

    I'm kinda get the impression they're willingly trying to destroy their desktop dominance.

  • 2560x1080 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:47PM (#55637607)
    I did not buy a fucking 2560x1080 monitor to have one thing on the screen at all times. Go back to Mars, Microsoft.
  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock&poetic,com> on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @01:50PM (#55637631)

    like bookkeepers who work on spreadsheets all day or news reporters who use Word all day. What about real people juggling a variety of tasks including programming, photo manipulation, ecommerce and playing music? They'll have dozens of programs running where only a handful would do.

    This is a solution in search of a problem ... which doesn't exist.

  • Didn't we try to teach them with metro that having everything running as full screen Windows is bad, that sometimes we want to be able to display multiple windows side by side at once? Even Android has the ability to show two apps at once now. MS please stop trying to go backwards.

  • by werepants ( 1912634 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @02:16PM (#55637807)

    I love to bash MS as much as the next guy, but this actually sounds like it could be useful. If you do any kind of real work on a computer, in terms of programming, or designing, or even writing and excel analysis tasks, you can probably appreciate how long it takes to get a setup configured to really get things done. At my job I have a couple possible coding setups, depending on which projects I'm working on. I also have a couple setups for data analysis work, again depending on the project. It takes time to pull up the right reference documents, arrange windows, configure things...

    It would be a damn cool OS feature to remember all the documents and applications I have up, where they are arranged, and allow me to take a "snapshot" when it is all ready to go. Next time I need to work on the same project, refer back to the snapshot, and I can be working instantly.

    To the extent that they are trying to provide that level of functionality, I'm interested. To the extent that they are trying to change the task bar to tabs just for the sake of change, this will be stupid.

    • by IMightB ( 533307 )

      It's called "Desktops" and the *nix world has had this for ages.

      • by werepants ( 1912634 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @03:10PM (#55638233)

        It's called "Desktops" and the *nix world has had this for ages.

        No, it isn't. Yes, I could keep a whole set of programs running on one desktop, and a different set on a different desktop. But that's not as useful as what I'm talking about. And, for what it's worth, I mainly develop in RHEL.

        What I want is almost more like a VM snapshot. Configure a state exactly, including all the applications and their positions in windows, and be able to shut it down or recall it with a single click. It's different than a desktop because it isn't a bunch of applications that are just sitting idle out of sight, and it's something that you can bring up easily after shutting the computer down, or when you haven't worked on a project for 6 months. It's different than a VM because you only want to recall the state of the workspace, not the state of the actual files, and an entire new VM is way overpowered for what this is.

        It sounds like KDE Activities are kind of like this. Some IDEs offer similar functionality in the way they manage projects or workspaces. But it really ought to be an overall paradigm for the OS itself.

  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @02:19PM (#55637829)

    "You know how to use it! We have to change that immediately!"

    • by IMightB ( 533307 )

      Ha, Back in my day, we used to call the "W00t W00t" call, the mating call for sorority girls.

      Now that I'm over 40, I think that I like your's better.

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @02:25PM (#55637869)

    Windows has a tabbed interface -- the tabs are just on the bottom of the screen, in the taskbar. Windowing has a lot of advantages -- you can choose how much real estate each program uses and use more than one at a time on a large screen.

    This looks like another attempt at pushing Windows 8's failed interface on the public.

  • Optional (Score:3, Informative)

    by denbesten ( 63853 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @02:26PM (#55637887)

    TFA clearly states that this will be an optional feature.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      TFA clearly states that this will be an optional feature

      Until it isn't.

    • >"TFA clearly states that this will be an optional feature."

      Until it isn't...

      Kinda like the "optional" tabs-on-top in Firefox, which then became the default but you could easily switch it back with a simple/visible setting, which they then hid the control reversion in about:config, which they then later completely disabled, which we could work around with an add-on, which was then broken in 57, which we could then use a mess of external config files to get back..... whew. I know we are talking about Mic

  • http://www.supervinx.com/Onlin... [supervinx.com]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TabWorks/ [wikipedia.org]

    TabWorks is a shell for Windows 3.x and Windows 95 and was developed by Xerox's XSoft division. TabWorks organizes files into tabs in a notebook-like interface. It was distributed with PCs from 1994 to around 1997 by several companies, including Compaq and NEC. The product was developed by XSoft, a division of Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, California, the prestigious computing research lab that invented the concepts of laser printing, t

  • Did they learn nothing from the Windows 8 debacle?

  • by gx5000 ( 863863 )
    Just say no Kids.
    If we don't buy it they can't force it on us....
    We can't depend on Generation Z to fix everything as we slip into our coffins...
  • I'm sick to death of the creeping virus that is the term "app". This abbreviation should be reserved for toy software that costs at most $1.99.
    Call your software an "Application", "Program", or "Software". It will be taken more seriously, and if relevant for your distribution model, you'll be able to charge more for it.
    I've even seen options making up a 5-figure CAD system referred to as "apps" by marketing people. No. They're "Modules", or "Components". This is professional software and you should

panic: kernel trap (ignored)

Working...