Virtual desktops is a feature that has been in use for several years on numerous Linux distributions. Inside of Windows, the feature has been available through various add-ons and programs, but it has never been a widely used feature, and it has never been built straight into Windows and available right after installation. That changes with Windows 10.
Virtual desktops are exceedingly helpful when you have multiple applications running at the same time. For example, you might constantly need to resize and move windows around if you have a single desktop while trying to work.
If there are multiple virtual desktops for you to switch through, however, you are able to group windows as needed, and avoid constantly trying to resize windows to make everything fit on the screen simultaneously. This significantly improves organization as well as your time.
If you work on several projects at the same time, this feature only becomes more useful, as you can have a Web browser with several tabs and a word document open in each desktop. This allows you to keep Web pages and information pertinent to each project segregated.
There will be no limit to the number of desktops you can have open at any given time. In order to create a new desktop, you simply need to click the task view button, and click a button labeled New Desktop.
Switching between desktops is similar, by clicking task view and then selecting the desktop to which you wish to go. If you are unsure which desktop you want to switch to, you can hover over them to see previews of open applications.
Moving applications from one desktop to another can also be done from the task view menu using the previews. From the task view menu, application previews open, you will be able to drag and move the application preview to another desktop. Alternatively, you can drag it to the New Desktop button to create a new desktop for that application.
Microsoft has also added a few keyboard commands geared towards navigating the virtual desktops. These commands will help you quickly move from one desktop to another, create a new desktop, or close the current desktop without needing to go to the task view menu. The task view menu can also be accessed through a keyboard command.
- WIN + CTRL + LEFT/RIGHT: Switch to previous or next desktop
- WIN + CTRL + D: Create a new desktop
- WIN + CTRL + F4: Close the current desktop
- WIN + TAB: Launch task view
Windows 10 is expected to launch sometime this summer. Microsoft has not said when exactly, but as the new OS nears completion, Microsoft has been showing off several new features included in Windows 10.
- Windows 10: The Major New Features, In Pictures
- Here Is What You Need To Run Windows 10
- Microsoft's Project Spartan Browser: An Early Look