If you are among those who have literally dozens of windows and applications running on your desktop at the same time, switching between them efficiently can be very difficult. With multiple desktops, you can reduce the clutter and increase efficiency by organizing your work in different screens or ‘Spaces’.
For example, you can have all your games in one screen, emails in the other, applications in the next, and so on. You can also use custom backgrounds, icons and wallpapers on the different layouts as per the task or your preference.
Finestra Virtual Desktops
Finestra Virtual Desktops, developed and managed by Z-Systems, is a solution that allows you to divide your workspace into multiple “virtual” desktops. Finestra uses Vista/ Window 7’s live window thumbnails to show you live previews of your windows on the full screen ‘switcher’ view. The switcher view allows for drag-and-drop managing of the different windows. Desktop Switch Indicator and Windows 7 taskbar switcher enable easy maneuverability. The Finestra solution provides as many virtual desktops as required along with multiple monitor feasibility. It also supports XP.
nSpaces Multiple Desktop
The nSpaces Multiple Desktop is another tool which allows you to create up to 4 desktop spaces. It provides the standard features like customizing the wallpaper, background, shortcuts, etc. Keyboard shortcuts (also customizable) provide for switching between different desktops.
The user can name each of these workspaces and set passwords for them so that they cannot be accessed by unauthorized users. nSpaces is a free tool with the setup file of only 0.5 MB which allows for a quick download and installation. You can download nSpaces from http://download.cnet.com/nSpaces/3010-2346_4-75532634.html.
Microsoft itself has recognized the benefits of virtual desktop spaces and is offering a free program to divide your desktop into multiple workspaces. The program is called Desktops. You can download the Desktops from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx. It uses a Windows desktop object for each desktop and binds each application to the object as and when they are created. This maintains a connection between the windows or applications and the desktop. The downside, though, is that you cannot move a window from one desktop object to another.
Xilisoft Multiple Desktops
Xilisoft Multiple Desktops also promises multiple desktops in one screen with increased desktop space and reduced clutter. The 6.88 Mb setup file can be downloaded from http://www.xilisoft.com/multiple-desktops.html. The major features of this software includes quick switching between the virtual desktops or workspaces with customizable hotkeys or by the use of left and right mouse buttons.
It also provides password protection feature for the workspaces to prevent unauthorized access. It can create a maximum ofhttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx. and is compatible with Windows XP (SP2 or later), Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Dexpot is a German-engineered tool which provides for the creation of as many as 20 virtual desktop spaces for Windows. Each one of them can be created with its own personal wallpaper, resolution, icons, shortcuts and more. Switching between desktops could not be made any easier but with the thumbnail preview function in Windows 7, windows tiling, full screen preview, etc.
You can move or copy windows from one desktop to another or set up instructions for the automated moving, copying or closing of windows in the workspaces. A cool feature of Dexpot is the automated desktop slideshow which shows all the virtual desktops in rotation.