Virtual Desktops is one of the largest interface changes for Windows 10. It is an organizational feature, which allows users to group relevant windows together. This puts them out of sight when you don't want them but also easily accessible when you do, and with the programs that you would want to use alongside them.
Microsoft is wondering about one specific area though: should running applications be visible in other desktops? Some believe that a virtual desktop should only show icons for applications in the current context, and alt+tab should behave the same. It makes sense, because otherwise you're exposing the clutter in the taskbar and alt+tab, which are some of the most visible places. Others want everything to be visible at all times, or alt+tab-able to at all time. I guess this is to reduce the clutter on the desktop, without touching the clutter otherwise?
Microsoft has stated clearly that both cases will be user-selectable because there is enough usage on both sides. A user can have virtual desktops affect the taskbar or not, or alt-tab or not, independently. The question they are trying to solve right now is “What should the default be?”
If you are a Windows 10 Technical Preview user, and you care about the adoption of Virtual Desktops, Microsoft might push you into one or the other camp. Later, they will pop up a notification to ask your opinion once they feel you have used it long enough.
This is one area that your vote will influence Windows 10 in a very specific way.
I’m not touching windows 10
I’m not touching windows 10 with a double length barge pole, and it’s not just because of 10 itself(still with the tiles crap) and more to do with the UEFI secure boot shenanigans. I’ll require an off switch, and not the off switch disabled at the so called option of the OEM. We all know how that works out with the folks in Redmond calling the shots, and greasing the palms!
Looks like any new hardware without the off switch, will be on the no purchase list, Steam OS can not arrive soon enough, and there better be a Steam OS line of gaming laptops to go along with the Steam Box desktop gaming systems.
Cyanogen, you are dead to me now! You have always been, I’ll wait for full Linux based tablets and the real open source ecosystem!
Yeah, I can appreciate that.
Yeah, I can appreciate that. I'm personally unsettled about Windows Store cert.
Hasn’t Linux distro’s already
Hasn’t Linux distro’s already had virtual boxes that Microsoft is boasting about for a long time now?????
Yeah, Desktop Cubes has been
Yeah, Desktop Cubes has been around for a long time now.
Allegedly, a UX engineer at Microsoft has said off the record that they wanted to add it for several versions, and they kept trying, but it never made it past focus groups. They claimed that was the reason for the modal setup for Windows 8, to give an interface for the consumers and then go back and do a good one for enthusiasts. I'm not sure if I believe that, nor am I sure that the interview I saw several months ago is authentic, but it's an interesting thought if true.
Personally my preference is
Personally my preference is isolation (alt tab only within the current displayable applications and only those on the taskbar). The reason is that I tend to split virtual desktops up by function, so I have one or two I am doing work in, of different types and then others for different tasks. I don’t want the clutter of tasks spilling over to each other.
Presumably some people don’t split the virtual desktops up by task in the same way and aren’t trying to isolate themselves. Maybe they are setting up a screen and switching back and forth a lot, using it as a more structured alt tab.
It’s possible. Basically
It's possible. Basically using un-minimizing a program as a macro to minimize others.
Wow, Microsoft is going to
Wow, Microsoft is going to make virtual desktop environments part of the OS, now? And only twenty or more years after Common Desktop Environment on Solaris had it!
Welcome to the party! Now, I just hope it doesn’t suck so much that we’re all forced to use janky shady third party solutions, anyway.