And What About Multiple Virtual Desktops?

I first encountered this feature, I seem to recall, on Sun workstations in the early 90s. I've tried it out many times, and it just never struck me as worth the bother it took to set them up and remember how to access them. Multiple monitors is more expensive, but really works.

Do any of my readers rely on multiple desktops in their daily work? Am I missing something, or am I just lazy?


  1. I've been using them for about a decade. For most of that time I've been working on very small laptops, and I like not having 20 different windows on one tiny screen. Plus, I find it conceptually helpful to have different virtual desktops for different tasks: one for teaching, one for writing, one for art, one for email, etc. But I certainly wouldn't recommend them for everybody, and every implementation I've ever encountered has weird and annoying quirks.

  2. One use I have seen is as a common console for multiple servers where the numbers and space would be too great, but that is more an operations than production environment.

  3. I used one for a while, a "Windows XP Virtual Machine" under Windows 7, when I had to occasionally use a piece of software that only really ran properly under 32-bit XP. It was relatively easy to switch back and forth. The annoying thing was when things like copy and paste didn't work between the real machine and the virtual machine, necessitating creating a bodge with a text document they could both access.

  4. I'm with you. I used two to three virtual desktops at one point, but the added value was minimal. I could see how some very organized people might prefer it to tabbing and moving around windows on a single screen, but my workflow is not so stable as to warrant the set-up cost.


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