An update on what’s coming next for Windows Insiders

NOTE: Below is an email sent out to Windows Insiders on 11/28 from Terry Myerson, EVP for Windows and Devices here at Microsoft.

Hello Windows Insiders!

With the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update last month I want to take a moment to thank you, our millions of Insiders, who influence the future direction of Windows with all of your incredible engagement. Your feedback impacts how we move this extensive ecosystem of partners, developers, apps and services forward and we are on a roll as we continue to push the boundaries with Windows 10. Your commitment and passion helps us to deliver an exceptional experience for our customers around the world to achieve more.

As you know through our on-going flights, we are hard at work on future updates to Windows 10 — and really looking forward to your feedback to refine our thinking. 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.

Timeline Comes to WIP

Today people work and play across multiple applications, platforms and devices and we want to make this easier and more seamless for our customers, so they can focus on what’s important – creating and getting things done. Earlier this year at Build, we showed you Timeline, which allows you to jump back in time, making it easier to find the files you’re looking for. 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. We’ve heard strong interest in this feature, and we’re pleased you’ll see it in the next WIP build going out to the Fast Ring.1 We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this experience.

Timeline as shown at Build 2017
Timeline as shown at Build 2017

Introducing “Sets” — an easier way to organize your stuff and get back to what you were doing

Many of the most important things we do happen across apps, web sites and PCs — whether that’s writing a report for school, planning a trip, managing a complex project at work — or even flipping back and forth between playing a game and watching a game. In today’s evolving modern workplace, we work on sets of things in fits and starts, often in between other commitments. We spend time setting things up just the way we want them for a project, with all our files, websites, notes and apps at hand —only to be pulled away at the last minute by a call, a meeting or some other interruption that seem to happen throughout our busy days. And, that’s the moment we’re focusing on, that moment when you have everything ready to be worked on but are pulled away. We believe there’s an easier way to organize your stuff and get back to what you were doing.

In the coming weeks in WIP, we will begin releasing a new Windows 10 feature we are calling “Sets” (we’ve not landed on a name yet). With Sets, what belongs together stays together — making it easier and faster to create and be productive. The concept behind this experience is to make sure that everything related to your task: relevant webpages, research documents, necessary files and applications, is connected and available to you in one click. As 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.

This video gives you an idea of our vision for Sets:

Learning from you

Sets represents a new chapter in our collaboration with you, our WIP community. You may have heard Satya talk about our cultural shift as a company of moving towards one that’s more “learn it all”. This is something we have embraced wholeheartedly, and it means we’re going to try some new things. We’ll test, learn and adjust based on your feedback.

With Sets specifically, we’ll introduce a controlled study into WIP so that we can more accurately assess what’s working and what’s not. That means a smaller percentage of you will initially get Sets in a build. It also means that some of you won’t get it at all for a while, as we compare the usage and satisfaction of task switching in Windows for people who have sets versus people who don’t. Eventually everyone will get Sets — but it could be awhile.

With this approach we will continue to ship a ton of new features and updates to the entire WIP community as we build the future of Windows. And like all features we ship into WIP, they will be broadly available when they are ready, not necessarily tied to the next major update.

So, with that, let the feedback begin! And thank you again for all your support in making Windows 10 what it is today. With your help, we continue our mission to help every person and organization on the planet achieve more.

Terry Myerson
EVP Windows and Devices Group