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In GNOME and KDE, (and from what I hear, OS X aswell), you have a feature called multiple desktops. It allows you to have multiple screens of apps running, without having the same number of monitors. Does such a program exist for Vista?

I'd like around four desktops (one for IM, one for programming, one for browsing/email and one for other apps), and at home I usually have one monitor if using my laptop outside of home, or two if I'm using it at home.

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For what it's worth the main problem that I've found with virtual desktop software is that it works fine, but Windows applications aren't written to support it very well. One thing that leaps to mind is Visual Studio 2008 which refuses to play nicely with anything other than the "main" monitor, whether the second or subsequent ones are real or virtual monitors. – Richard Apr 16 '10 at 9:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Virtual Desktop Manager


  • Full screen desktop/window manager/preview with full drag and drop managing
  • Desktop switch indicator
  • An infinite number of desktops
  • Watch the windows move in real time as you drag them around in the window manager
  • Multiple monitor support
  • Window menus
  • Tray icons for each desktop
  • Per-desktop backgrounds
  • Configurable colors, fade speeds, hotkeys, etc.
  • Uses Vista's live thumbnails
  • XP support
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From the Sysinternals guys: Desktops

Desktops allows you to organize your applications on up to four virtual desktops. Read email on one, browse the web on the second, and do work in your productivity software on the third, without the clutter of the windows you’re not using. After you configure hotkeys for switching desktops, you can create and switch desktops either by clicking on the tray icon to open a desktop preview and switching window, or by using the hotkeys.

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Dexpot creates and manages up to 20 virtual desktops and enables you to work far more efficiently and comfortably with many simultaneously opened windows on Windows 95/98/ME and NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7 (including 64-bit).

alt text

Dexpot is freeware.

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I use the portable version of VirtuaWin. It's not flashy, but it is simple, customizable, and portable. There are tons of plug-ins for it.

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Nvidia graphic drivers include a solution for this called nViews, so if you own a nVidia card...

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