Monday, August 25, 2008

Perfect virtual desktops. Almost...

Like most Windows devs I really like the Sysinternals family of products.  So when I caught wind this morning of a new product called Desktops that creates a virtual workspace of up to 4 desktops I just knew it was the product I was looking for.  Well, it sort of is.
You can't ask for an easier installation.  Unzip it and drop it on a folder and run it.  In the dialog that appears you can select whether to run it at startup.  Here's a shot of that dialog.

It has a nice selection of options to select which desktop you are using but sadly it doesn't support the most important one -- the arrow keys!  Someone who is using virtual desktop software is enough of a power user that they will want to switch desktops on-the-fly without looking at the keyboard.  Sure I can whack a number key without looking but the T-shape arrow keypad just fits with the metaphor a bit better.  A simple Ctrl+Shift+Arrow would do the trick.
The other problem is the speed. It's a bit slow and has no nice swipes or transitions but it is free software so I'm really not griping about that too much.
All in all a welcome bit of software.  Thanks Mark!


  1. Hello Reggie,

    Just reading your blog (as I've a small issue with connection pooling with my app and with 5.2.3...), I saw your article on virtual desktop. Pretty funny, as I've looked for one 2 days ago and didn't choose Sysinternal's one but another opensource and pretty customizable one: VirtuaWin (customizable because it's light and accept plugins to extend it). Try it, you'll like it!


  2. short term insuranceNovember 19, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    this feature has been copied from linux fedora which comes as inbuilt feature for fedora

  3. Yes, i tried it
    can i have the feature like rotating the desktop like in fedora 9.
    this is only a switcher.
    in fedora we have feature which shows the rotation of desktops, really a great feature.
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  4. i think this virtual desktop is great
    and i recommend everybody to try it.personally i like it alot :)

  5. Great article, as usual. Still, some of these links did provide me with something new to work with!

  6. Hi. Many thanks for all the information. I found the answer to my problem without even having to ask.

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  10. ripped of this feature has been copied from linux fedora which comes as inbuilt feature for fedora

  11. I like working with virtual desktop. But the windows version cost a lot of memory.

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