It can be hard to keep track of all the big new features and changes Microsoft is making in the next feature update to Windows 10, codenamed “Redstone 5.” So, we put together a one-stop shop detailing all the biggest new changes Microsoft is currently working on for Redstone 5. Microsoft may decide to cut or delay some of the features throughout the course of Redstone 5 development, but for now, here’s what you can expect.
We’ll update this article periodically with noteworthy features that get added to Redstone 5 preview builds over the course of development.
1. Windows Sets
Microsoft is currently working on a new feature for Windows 10 that adds tabs to apps, allowing them to be grouped alongside websites via Microsoft Edge, called Sets. Sets is a new productivity tool that essentially adds a taskbar to the top of app windows, where you can group different apps and websites together under one “set” and then save those sets for coming back to later.
Sets is arguably one of the bigger new features coming to Windows 10. No longer will you have to rely entirely on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to manage all your open windows. Sets will allow you to manage multiple apps and websites together under one window, in addition to the taskbar.
Sets, unlike most tabbed browsing experiences, doesn’t limit you to the same app you’re using. Pressing the “New Tab” button won’t open another instance of the app you’re already running. Instead, it’ll open a page where you can launch any app you like or any website. So for, example, you’ll be able to have the Word app, Spotify app, Wikipedia website, and File Explorer app all under one tabbed window.
2. Cloud Clipboard
Copying and pasting content in Windows 10 is about to get a lot easier.
With Cloud Clipboard, Microsoft is creating a virtual clipboard that can be shared across all your Windows 10 devices, allowing you to copy something on one PC and then paste it on another. This is useful if you’re someone with multiple Windows 10 devices. It may even come to smartphones at some point.
If you don’t have multiple devices, Cloud Clipboard may still be useful. Cloud Clipboard logs all the things you copy in a single session, which you can then refer to later. This is great if you copied something in the morning and can’t find it again. Just open Cloud Clipboard and look back through all the things you copied that day. It’ll be there, allowing you to copy it back to your clipboard without leaving the app you’re currently in.
3. Snipping Tool
If you’re a frequent taker of screenshots, Microsoft has updated the screen snipping tool in the next version of Windows 10 with a new modern experience that works much better. Now, you can press ALT + Shift + S to open Screen Snip, and from there you have a few new options. You can crop a square screenshot, or a custom shaped one. You can also take a full-screen screenshot.
This new experience will then pop up a notification, which when tapped will jump you straight into a new dedicated Screen Sketch app. In short, this app allows you to edit the screenshot you just took, with the ability to add annotations with Windows Ink or text. It’s a much more refined screenshotting experience that many will love.
4. Dark File Explorer
If you’re a fan of dark mode in Windows 10, Microsoft is finally (finally) adding dark mode to the File Explorer and context menus. Yes, it’s happening. Dark mode is one step closer to being all inclusive to the OS, meaning you won’t be blinded in the middle of the night when you just want to go hunting for a Word document.
The dark mode in File Explorer will be enabled via the dark mode switch in Settings, so if you’ve already got dark mode enabled in Windows 10 and you upgrade to Redstone 5, File Explorer will automatically be in dark mode when the upgrade is complete.
5. New search experience
Microsoft is listening to its users and pulling Cortana out of Windows Search in Redstone 5 … sort of. The next version of Windows 10 will have a new search experience that deemphasizes Cortana’s features and puts search at the forefront of its UI. Different search categories are showcased at the top of the search panel, with Cortana’s pick-up-where-you-left-off activities being showcased below that.
Searching for stuff also has a new experience, with a new dual-panel UI that makes searching for apps, documents, and more, much easier. Search is much wider now, allowing for more content and information to be displayed on screen.
So much more …
These are just the biggest new features and changes coming in the next version of Windows 10. For a much more detailed list, including other smaller features and changes, make sure you check out our Windows 10 Redstone 5 changelog post, which we update weekly.