New Timeline and Sets Features are Coming to the Windows 10 Insider Preview

Posted on November 28, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 35 Comments

Coming soon: Sets

Microsoft announced today that it is bringing the eagerly-awaited Timeline feature to a Windows 10 Insider Preview build this week. And a future build will include another new feature called Sets, which had not previously been disclosed.

“We are hard at work on future updates to Window 10, and really looking forward to your feedback to refine our thinking,” Microsoft’s Terry Myerson writes in an email that will go out to Insiders today. “We will continue on our mission to empower the creator in all of us, with a new lens on exploring areas that help make the most of time, one of our most precious resources, and finding more time to create.”

That’s an interesting confirmation of a theory that both Mary Jo and I had that the next Windows 10 version, currently code-named Redstone 4, would focus on productivity. But here’s what Terry is revealing today.

First, the Timeline feature that Microsoft showed off at Build earlier this year will make its first (official)appearance in an Insider build today.

“Timeline allows you to jump back in time, making it easier to find the files you’re looking for,” Mr. Myerson notes. “A visual timeline is integrated directly into Task View so you can easily move back into files, apps, and sites as if you never left.”

As interesting, Microsoft is revealing a new Windows 10 feature, provisionally called Sets. (The name could change.) This feature isn’t debuting today, but will appear in a future Windows 10 Insider Preview build instead.

Sets appears to target the same multi-device use that I wrote about yesterday in Yes, Microsoft Needs to Sell Its Own Phones (Premium). It’s a way to organize separate project elements and then return to them, all together, at a later time. (And it looks a lot like Stardock’s Groupy tool, for whatever that’s worth. Though I bet Sets only works with Store apps.)

“With Sets, what belongs together stays together, making it easier and faster to create and be productive,” Myerson explains. “The concept behind this experience is to make sure that everything related to your task: Relevant web pages, research documents, necessary files and applications, is connected and available to you in one click. Office, Windows and Edge become more integrated to create a seamless experience, so you can get back to what’s important and be productive, recapturing that moment, saving time. We believe that’s the true value of Sets. And with Timeline, it’ll be even easier to go back and find the Set you were working on.”

Sets will be released to Insiders as part of a “controlled study,” which basically means that not everyone will see it right away.


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