Neowin: Windows 9, here come the virtual desktops

By Neowin · 14 replies
Aug 7, 2014
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  1. In the past, we had talked about how the UI for Threshold will be easily recognizable from other versions of Windows, but at the same time, will feel familiar to those who will likely be transitioning from Windows 7 or even...

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  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I gotta say, this would actually be pretty useful. You could have a desktop for work and one for play. That would be epic.
    H3llion and ikesmasher like this.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Wasn't there an official Microsoft add-on for XP that gave you virtual desktops? (there were several 'extensions' by Microsoft for XP - image re-sizer was one too)

    I distinctly remember running virtual desktops in XP somewhere around 2004 and I'm quite sure I wasn't using any 3rd party software to accomplish it.

    Edit - Yes. Windows XP Powertoys. Here is a page listing 10 of them from 2003. Virtual Desktops is #1:
    St1ckM4n and Burty117 like this.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,291

    Its starting to look like Microsoft's strategy for salvaging the Windows 8 disaster is to slowly re-introduce features we enjoyed a decade ago. No doubt they'll trumpet each "innovation" the same way Apple does every time they lift a feature from Android. A year after launch Windows 9 will hopefully have at least all the power that Windows XP offered with none of the handicaps foisted upon users by later versions.
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  5. Movatheaiur

    Movatheaiur TS Rookie Posts: 28   +7

    This guy.(microsoft)

    Going from one extreme to the other. Rearranging the windows experience for some power users(windows8) to adding a power user feature.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    Anything that Windows 8 is missing can be found on, including "Tiles" - support for multiple desktops. And all those components cost almost nothing.

    I've been using "Start8" and "Fences" ever since I installed Windows 8, they are kick-*** and quite indispensable.
    distantreality likes this.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Not to mention a toilet full of RAM. Yeah there's nothing as stimulating as switching to boring old desktop work while playing an exciting game in the blink of an eye especially if you're constantly getting your butt shot off and need to pout.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  8. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 683   +253

    Maybe true, but sometimes it's nice just to have the "basic" functionality that people expect to be in an operating system to actually be baked into the operating system itself...out of the box. Things like native support for DVD playback, virtual drives, DVD-copy/mastering, and compression functionality are all things I would expect at this point in the game.

    It's a very bad move on Microsofts part to give people useful tools, have them become dependent on those tools, and then just rip them out of the operating system for no good reason/s.

    I guess I *could* have taken the route at least a few power users have taken, like yourself, and said, "Okay, what software do I need to install to make this catastrophe more palatable". Sounds like you did good for yourself. But it does implicitly support Microsofts actions. If your strategy is always to do this, you may one day find yourself in a situation where you can't find software that you need. Or, it becomes more and more of a chore to morph the operating system to your liking.

    I still believe that Windows 8 is Microsofts most sinister operating system. It goes deeper than a missing start menu. I don't like the UEFI security features that prevent booting into multiple operating systems on the same hard drive.

    All that said, if somebody could release a piece of software that let the end-user customize the over-all look of the operating system to his/her liking it would go a long ways in luring some Windows 8 holdouts to upgrade to Windows 9.

    The sooner the square, boring, dull, 4-bit color theme dies off in future versions of Windows...the better.

    I like what the developers of Zorin OS are doing with their latest release. Offering 3 different UI themes(or more if you pay) so that people have choices and they get to decide what look they like best.
  9. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    Personally I do not have any use for multiple desktops, but I can see where it would be useful to others.
  10. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +108

    It's there any way I can have two independent desktops on two different monitors without using extra hardware? I would love to be able to play in one screen and use the desktop at the same time
  11. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Run the games in fullscreen windowed mode. Not all games support it.

    Also it's not a good idea, because it just doesn't work. If you're playing Leage of Legends for example, and you move your mouse too far.... you're no longer moving the camera you're on another desktop. It just doesn't work.
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Yeah I get that.. I thought he had a good question though.

    Right now I run dual monitors side by side with Win 7. Cursor goes to the right on the left screen too far and it travels to the left side of right monitor. Thats great, gives me 1 huge desktop. But what if I don't want that. What if I want to have to force something to get to that 2nd monitor (just like you have to force your way to a different virtual desktop). Seems to me would be very valuable. I can't offhand think of why that is great, but I do remember back in 2003-2004 I was utilizing a couple virtual desktops.
  13. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    I do this already. They're called applications that open, close, minimize, maximize, and snap to the left or the right sides of my screen.

    I'd really like to see the numbers for the amount of users that actually have been using this feature on Ubuntu and OSX. I bet it's really really low.
  14. dob_1

    dob_1 TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +10

    And maybe they could call each desktop a 'window' and then we have an operating system called 'Windows'!!! Also I wonder whether memory and processor power would limit performance on all but the most powerful systems.
  15. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Posts: 19

    I used to run virtual desktops on a pentium 4 with 512mb ram with no issues. And that was with compiz rendering them all onto a cuboid with transparency. Provided it's implemented sensibly there is no reason for massive resource usage.

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