Revisiting My People in Redstone 3 Build 16170

On Friday, I enabled the My People experience in Windows 10 Redstone 3 (build 16170) and shared a few early screenshots. At the time, the feature wasn’t working quite right and I wrote it off as unfinished. But I revisited the feature over the weekend, corrected a glitch, and resolved the instability. Surprise: It works.

So, let’s pick up where we left off.

Finding contacts to pin to the taskbar is easy. You choose from the list of frequent contacts or manually locate a contact yourself. (I used test accounts configured with Paul as my only contact, hence the overly stark appearance.) In both cases, clicking the contact automatically pins it to the taskbar and opens the contact’s flyout.

Confusingly, the contact flyout opens up to a Profile view, the first time through. This view – like the others – isn’t technically part of My People. Instead, it’s projected from and owned by the People app.

The Switch apps button – alternating arrows at the top left – takes you to a hub with app tiles corresponding to the various ways you can interact with that contact.

Clicking the Mail tile, for example, creates a new draft and drops you right into the email composition interface.

And clicking Skype lets you chat with that person immediately.

Clicking the Back button – large single arrow at top left – navigates backward. What that means is a bit hard to pin down, as it can vary wildly between app views. In Mail, for example, it drops you into a list of drafts. (Clicking Back again here does nothing.) Doing so from Skype or Profile take you back to the hub of app tiles. (Obviously, we’ll be seeing some future polish work in this area.)

Lastly, the More options (…) menu has a set of additional actions (and not actual options) you can perform: Launch [app], Pin/Unpin from Taskbar, and Edit Contact.

But sharing content makes more sense when you start with the content. Apps that implement the Share contract, like Microsoft Edge and Photos, have a Share button that opens a picker with your pinned contacts prioritized at the top.

Clicking a contact via the Share picker automatically launches Mail, presumably the only app that’s wired up properly in this preview build of Windows. (In the future, I suspect we’ll need to choose which app we want to handle our share request.)

Dragging images and files onto pinned contacts works too.

My People is pretty solid for being a deliberately disabled feature in a very early build of Windows. But it’s easy to see why this feature didn’t ship in Creators Update. It can be very confusing to use and seems to be misaligned with how people actually use Windows.

For example, contact flyouts have no Minimize button. You can move the window around, dock it to the sides of the screen, and even peek behind them. But you can’t minimize them. Instead, you must close the window and revisit the contact when needed. (There are no blinking squares or cute animated emoji notifications to let you know when something has happened.)

And ugh, that Back button. I felt like a rat trapped in a maze of dead-ends.

That aside, I’m still excited about the feature and look forward to giving it spin on my main machine. I’m sure as Redstone 3 work continues over the next few months, we’ll see the feature improve. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

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Conversation 11 comments

  • rameshthanikodi

    10 April, 2017 - 12:57 pm

    <p>I can imagine this being a huge hit at the office lol. I hope Win32 apps get to plug into this, because as much as I hate saying this, Outlook 2010/2013/2016 is still the killer app in the office.</p>

  • dnation70

    Premium Member
    10 April, 2017 - 1:03 pm

    <p>so telling us how to turn this on???</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    10 April, 2017 - 1:25 pm

    <p>The idea is great. A unified place for contact management and interaction is awesome. </p>

  • BBoileau

    Premium Member
    10 April, 2017 - 2:11 pm

    <p>Making People a feature that syncs all the different forms I have for contacts between Outlook, gmail, the contacts on my phone and the 3 account I have for business, personal and family is vital. This has never worked well with anything since my first cell phone. I care little about any integration this app may have with my desktop if I have to jump through hoops to see all the versions of my contacts. make it work with all versions of contacts from the beginning as any early adopters of this app will only do so under these circumstance in my humble opinion. </p>

  • harmjr

    Premium Member
    10 April, 2017 - 2:57 pm

    <p>If they want this to be used in the real world they need to make sure it support Classic Office 2016 applications and not the kiddie pool apps. Also it needs to be able to use contacts from my work office 365 and gmail. </p>

    • rameshthanikodi

      10 April, 2017 - 4:15 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#97095">In reply to harmjr:</a></em></blockquote><p>exactly, glad to see i'm the only one thinking this. My comment below</p>

    • johnbaxter

      10 April, 2017 - 7:25 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#97095"><em>In reply to harmjr:</em></a></blockquote><p>*Can* legacy Win32 applications support the share contract?</p>

    • Mharm

      11 April, 2017 - 12:05 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#97095"><em>In reply to harmjr:</em></a></blockquote><p>When your machine is joined to Azure AD or at least has a "Work or School Account" added in Settings from your company O365 tenant, I'm sure it will. I just hope it supports Skype for Business as well as it integrates with Skype UWP… Speaking of which, where is the SfB UWP app? Microsoft? Devs wont support your platform if YOU don't!! </p>

      • Mharm

        11 April, 2017 - 12:18 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#97215"><em>In reply to Mharm:</em></a></blockquote><p>Also, there's no reason that those UWP Office apps are still "Kiddy pool" except that Microsoft wont make the same revenue from Office if they improve them – There's nothing stopping them from full OneDrive integration and better/deeper functionality, and nothing at all stopping them from releasing Publisher, Access, Project and Visio also – Except for their own greed in .NET versions – Which they constantly complain about from the likes of Adobe, etc… </p><p><br></p>

  • ponsaelius

    10 April, 2017 - 4:43 pm

    <p>Ah. They have renamed the "People Hub" from Windowsphone to "My People".</p><p><br></p><p>Serious about recycling.</p>

  • Владислав Ланцов

    12 April, 2017 - 8:41 am

    <p>hi, please share wallpaper</p>


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