Thursday, January 14, 2010

Virtual Desktops on Windows OS

So, you saw your buddy with his Linux desktop and its three additional “virtual desktops”.  You get back to your Windows desktop and realize that you are stuck with that one single desktop.  Feeling a bit jealous he or she has that extra workspace to keep everything organized.  So, how do you work around this?  Multiple screens can be space consuming, and sometimes a bit expensive.  Some third party apps aren’t always reliable, and can crash your computer.  So what is a person to do when they need that extra workspace on Windows?  Desktops from Sysinternals at Microsoft’s Technet website.

This is a wonderfully useful, and free, tool that should have been including in Vista and Win7 from the get go.  However, considering the fact that it is a very small app that was developed and tested by Microsoft programmers, you can easily download it and run it without actually worrying about installing it…perfect for the work place computer that the boss doesn’t want you installing anything to!

This app offers you the ability to add up to three additional “virtual” desktop environments.  You can use the Alt, Cntl, Windows, or Shift buttons in conjuction with the 1 through 4 keys, or the F1 through F4 keys.  The transition from desktop to desktop is quick and painless, and you can even do the transition by simply clicking the taskbar icon and selecting the desktop you want to work from.For those that work with numerous applications that are required by their job, this app becomes a godsend for them.

Web developers have relied on virtual desktops for a long time to give them the ability to use one desktop to allow them to work with the coding environment on one desktop, the file system in another, and another to run a browser so they can see the end product.  For the casual computer user, it allows them to surf the web and chat with friends and family easily without having a bunch of windows clouding up a single window, creating confusion.

The uses of such virtual desktops is really quite impressive.  To not give this free application from the developers at Microsoft a try is a real shame.  It opens up your desktop to a new world of possibilities of productivity, and fun.

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