Recap: Back in 2017, Microsoft tinkered with the idea of providing Windows 10 users the ability to organize related applications, documents and tasks into one tabbed windows. Dubbed 'Sets', the feature was set to increase productivity by essentially adding tabs into apps.
The ambitious Windows 10 feature got a lot of attention starting from its reveal two years ago, as it made its way in and out of Windows Insider builds right down to its recent demise as Microsoft accelerated efforts to shift its Edge browser to Chromium.
Sets was initially supposed to work with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications only and brought the much anticipated tabbed File Explorer to its insiders as part of the Insider Preview Build 17618, allowing easy switching between Pictures, Documents and other folders. Not only that, it also went on to support Win32 applications like Notepad and Command Prompt with continued development for the feature until it pulled the plug soon after in its Insider Preview Build 17704 (Redstone 5).
According to ZDNet sources, the feature was generally not "well received or understood" by the Windows Insider testers and while the team is still committed to bring tabs into the Windows Console, Sets cannot serve as the basis for it.
Reportedly, Microsoft's decision to rebuild Edge from Chromium also led to scrapping the feature as the effort needed to integrate the overhauled browser into Sets would have messed with Edge's release window or left it without Sets support altogether for some considerable time.
In a tweet by Rich Turner, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, he commented that adding tabs was "high on our to do list," a statement which earlier caused confusion about tabs availability system-wide. He later clarified his statement on adding tabs as being in context to command-line windows only and not a general feature across the entire operating system.
If you're still looking to get tabs in your File Explorer or other applications, check out these third-party tools for Windows until Microsoft comes up with a native experience, if it does at all.