Windows 10’s sweeping interface change Sets could be back on the horizon

(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10 users who were looking forward to Sets – and were disappointed when Microsoft abandoned the idea – can perhaps hope that this major interface change is still coming, at least according to the latest from the OS rumor mill.

Sets was (or indeed still is) Microsoft’s big idea to take the concept of tabs from web browsers and apply it to the broader operating system, allowing users to group together sets of apps in a window (all of which could be related to a certain task, and conveniently fired up together when needed).

As mentioned, Microsoft appeared to completely drop this idea earlier this year (after previously delaying it), but now prolific leaker WalkingCat has just hinted on Twitter that this might not be the case, and that Sets could be back on the horizon – albeit without providing much in the way of qualification or detail.

He mentions build 19481, which is a preview version of Windows 10 that’s way down the line and presumably being internally tested by Microsoft – remember the current preview for the next major update due in the first half of 2020 (20H1) is build 18985.

Italian tech site Aggiornamenti Lumia chimed in on that Twitter thread noting that build 19480 (and newer) are on the way to Windows testers, and that this will likely represent the start of (skip ahead) testing on Windows 10 21H1 – the big update due to land in the first half of 2021.

What about the Windows 10 20H2 update? The theory is that like the 19H2 update which should soon be with us, this will be about tweaking and smoothing things over, and fine-tuning performance, rather than introducing any major new features. Although that’s pure speculation, of course.

Sets for success?

The key thing here is that Sets is apparently due to make a comeback, with other commenters on that Twitter thread noting that there are further hints that Microsoft is again testing the feature, and that the company might have fixed whatever issues there were which stood in the way of Sets making the cut for Windows 10.

That’s great news as far as we’re concerned, because we felt this was one of the most intriguing incoming features for Windows 10, and potentially a huge step up for the interface in terms of usability.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).