Just imagine… an infinity of Windows Vista desktops, right there at your fingertips. Seems a tad far fetched doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that it’s possible. Moreover, it is the promise of a PowerToy designed especially for Microsoft’s latest operating system. XP Users already know that Microsoft delivered an extensive collection of PowerToys for Windows XP, and one of them was the “Virtual Desktop Manager.” The Virtual Desktop Manager for Windows XP allowed users to manage up to four desktops from the Windows Taskbar, and Windows Vista can now add to the users’ experience the functionality of additional desktops.
There is no actual limit to the number of desktops that users will be able to run with the Vista Virtual Desktop Manager. “Vista provides developers with the new DWM based Aero interface. A new set of thumbnail API’s can be used to access some of this new technology. This virtual desktop program takes advantage of this new API and uses some tricks of its own to provide a powerful virtual desktop manager with a full screen thumbnail based preview. You can have as many desktops as you want and can seamlessly switch between them,” reveals a fragment of the product’s description.
The Vista Virtual Desktop Manager is currently at version 0.4 and the latest build is still in beta stage, so you should expect some inherent problems. On my desktop, it managed to freeze, produce a .NET Framework related error and then kill all my opened applications in the main desktop. Still, the Vista Virtual Desktop Manager is a great example of how to handle the live thumbnail preview API in Windows Vista and you should give it a try.
“The switcher is a full screen display that shows all of your open windows on every virtual desktop, and includes the following features: live previews of your open windows, drag windows between desktops, arrange windows on a desktop, move windows in real time, configurable fade in/out, configurable background color, bouble-click a window to switch to that desktop and activate that window and double-click a blank space on a desktop square to switch to that desktop,” according to the product’s description.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Virtual Desktop Manager, Power Toys