What happened to sets?

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What happened to sets? I use Groupy, but it’s very buggy. I would think MS’s implementation of Sets won’t be as buggy as Groupy. What’s the latest on Sets?

Comments (20)

20 responses to “What happened to sets?”

  1. Kevin Costa

    I think that Sets has been on hold, mainly because of the discontinuation of classic Edge. My hunch is that IF Sets is coming back, it won't use the backbone of Edge, and it will have to work well with CrEdge somehow. I don't have much hope that this feature will make its way into the OS.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Kevin_Costa:

      This.


      This is clearly why. Sets was literally based on the code for tabs in classic Edge.


      • hrlngrv

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Stardock's Groupy provides similar functionality in Windows 7 and 8.x too, so there seems to be ways of grouping separate applications with tabs which don't require Edge.

        Does MSFT have the appetite to chase a potential user base for Sets which likely comes in with fewer than 1% of Windows PC users? I figure MSFT expected a lot more Windows users to try Sets than did so; if so, MSFT may be cutting its losses by abandoning Sets.

        • Energy

          I have been using Groupy for a few months.


          I hope Sets does come along, but your point is well-made. I at least want tabs built into the OS for File Explorer, but even with power users and those that would use tabs in File Explorer, I'm sure the percentage is still fairly small.


          I do think grouping Word windows and other windows at times would be useful as well. So, I personally like the idea of Sets, but I want Microsoft to take their time and do it right so that it doesn't add much/any instability.


          I have a lot of crashes of explorer.exe, which I think is partially related to using Groupy.


        • JimP

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          Tabbed interfaces are now the standard on browsers, so virtually all desktop users are familiar with tabbed interfaces and they seem to like them.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to JimP:

            How many users use anything more than a browser? /s

            How many rows of tabs could there be? If a browser were one of the tabbed applications, that browser's own tabs would be below the application tabs on top. Other applications use tabs, e.g., Foxit Reader, Notepad++.

            • Lauren Glenn

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              Anyone who doesn't have to ask if they can get their daily work done via an iPad or Chromebook, I guess. :)


              I would guess they'd use the current model that they use for tab controls where it's either multiple lines or just a single row of tabs with arrows on the end for when you reach the screen edge.


              RDP would be a great use for this. Sure, you can use the UWP version of RDP but that one doesn't remember settings for usernames/passwords if you have to reinstall the OS.... and the Windows OS one doesn't do that well either.

            • Paul Thurrott

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I would imagine the end game here is browser-based windows and tabs that provide file management functionality for both Windows and a coming Lite OS competitor to Chrome OS. If so, revisiting Sets with the new Edge doesn't just make sense, it's a requirement.

  2. hrlngrv

    Gotta ask: what's the advantage of Sets or Groupy over using TaskView workspaces/virtual desktops? OK by me if it's just aesthetics (some prefer kale to turnip greens). Just curios.

    • JimP

      In reply to hrlngrv:


      The advantage to me is that it gives a tabbed interface to apps that don't support tabbed interfaces.


      As I type this, I have 3 Visual Studios, 2 File Explorers and 3 command prompts grouped by application.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to JimP:

        OK, but this marks you as an untypical Windows user. I doubt Visual Studio users are enough of a user base (even multiplied by 10) to justify continued Sets development. I figure the potential user base is more in line with Stardock's appetite.

        • JimP

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          For me, these are the apps that I use. For other users, it would be different apps. For writers, they might want tabbed Word. For number crunchers, they might be tabbed Excel. The apps may change depending on the user, but the principle is still the same.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to JimP:

            I'm a daily Excel user. For me, the keyboard is the fastest and best way to switch between windows (open files in the same instance), and [Ctrl]+[Tab] and its [Shift]+ variant take fewer keystrokes than Sets' [Ctrl]+[Win]+[Tab] and its [Shift]+ variant. I'm more likely to want different windows on different monitors, and that means I wouldn't be using Sets. If I only had one monitor (using my laptop away from my docking station), when I want to see multiple windows at the same time, I want them in different Windows, again meaning I wouldn't be using Sets.

            I accept that you find Sets useful; however, I'm not convinced you're representative of more than a small fraction of Windows users. For me, Sets doesn't give me anything I find useful which virtual desktops don't handle better for my needs. IOW, I figure there just aren't that many Windows users who want to use Sets.

            • JimP

              In reply to hrlngrv:


              Microsoft is infamous for repeatedly screwing up what their customers want. Remember, this is the same company who thought its customers wanted to buy e-books to read in Edge. This is yet another example of them screwing things up.

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to JimP:

                Re eBooks, I'm positive MSFT bailed because it had no prospect of making money for MSFT. I figure eBooks have a single tranche of revenue but ongoing maintenance of DRM facilities. I figure sales were too few to support the ongoing maintenance costs. Me, I won't fault MSFT for scrapping money-losing operations; OTOH, blame may be in order for getting into such operations in the first place.

                I'm not someone who believes MSFT can buy its way into significant marketshare in consumer markets for content. More precisely, MSFT simply can't figure out how to retail anything. MSFT does just fine selling software, services and maybe hardware it makes (or outsources) itself, but it's hopeless at selling anyone else's stuff. Retail is something MSFT corporate culture simply can't handle profitably.

            • Kevin Costa

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              They need to fix on which desktop each program opens, and let the user name the Virtual Desktops. Right now, when you restart your computer, everything opens back on the main Virtual Desktop, and not on the previous assigned ones. It's BS.

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to Kevin_Costa:

                Most heavy users of TaskView would likely be open to installing and using other utilities. Some general keyboard macro utilities, maybe AutoIt, may be able to simulate the keystrokes and mouse actions needed to create a specific set of virtual desktops.

                That said, I used LiteStep A LOT 15 years ago or so, and even Windows 10's TaskView doesn't come close to the customizability LiteStep provided for Windows XP. Then there's Linux, and while I don't use it, I have to admit that KDE provides more virtual desktop customization than anything else I'm aware of. Maybe Stardock has something comparable for Windows, but I'm too lazy to check.

    • bharris

      In reply to hrlngrv: Would love to know how many people use virtual desktops regularly. I actually did because it allowed me to flip between my desktop & Windows 7 running under HyperV (for work VPN) running full screen with a keystroke or two. Worked extremely well for that. But, I bet virtual desktops are used by a very small number of users and I think Sets will be like that also. If you have limited desktop space, it would be useful. The thing is, hard core users are going to have multiple and/or high res monitors so they might not need it and the casual user with one monitor is probably just minimizing windows as needed. I'm indifferent on Sets. I just can't see myself using it...


  3. energy

    I've been wondering the same thing.

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