Every now and again I see something “new” in the Windows world that makes me wonder how long Windows users have been without it. One fine example of that is what we in the Mac world call Spaces.
Plain and simply, Spaces allows Mac OS X Leopard users to use multiple virtual desktops. This is pretty handy if you’re like most users and use multiple applications simultaneously. I, for example, on a daily basis, wake up, open up Firefox, Apple Mail, and iTunes in order to check my usual web sites, check my e-mail, and update the podcasts I listen to daily. Being able to do all of this at the same time while going in between different desktops is pretty nice.
It seems not that Windows Vista users are able to join us Spaces thanks to a new virtual desktop tool made by Windows Sysinternals folks, who were gobbled up by Microsoft back in July 2006. They’re calling the new tool “Desktops“. I say good for them, and good for the Vista folks who finally get to experience a multiple desktop environment. Once you get used to it, you’re going to wonder how on earth you made it so long without it. The only thing I’ve noticed on the surface is that Desktops limits one to only four desktops. Normally, four is just fine for me, but every now and again I find myself doing things like remembering to download a video from my N95 to post on Facebook (this literally just happened), so I tend to get right on it in the middle of whatever else I’m doing. This sometimes requires more than four desktops. Also, with Spaces one can specify which desktop (they’re numbered) they want to use for a particular application. I tend to use desktop 1 for Firefox, desktop 2 for Mail, and so on. This is a very nice feature for users like myself who tend to wake up, go right into Quicksilver, and simply open up several apps with a few shortcut keyboard commands.
So, to those of you joining us Mac users (and Linux users have been enjoying this even longer), I say welcome. I hope you enjoy the new feature, and may your productivity increase as well. 😉