About

A virtual desktop is a way to expand the space of the computer's desktop environment beyond the physical limits of the screen's display area. For question related the virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system use the tag [virtual-machine]. For question related simply to the part of a graphical user interface upon which other elements like icons, windows, toolbars or widgets are placed refer to the tag [desktop].

A virtual desktop is a way to expand the space of the computer's desktop environment beyond the physical limits of the screen's display area.

In computing, a virtual desktop is a term used with respect to user interfaces, usually within the WIMP paradigm, to describe ways in which the virtual space of a computer's desktop environment is expanded beyond the physical limits of the screen's display area through the use of software.

It can realized mainly

  1. or making virtual copies of the desktop view-port and switching among them,
  2. or expanding the size of a single virtual screen beyond the size of the physical viewing device and after scrolling/panning a subsection.

Implementations:

  • 1985, Amiga. It was the first virtual desktop.
  • 1990, The X Window System (Unix and Unix-like). The first implementation of virtual desktops for Unix was vtwm in 1990. Many of today's X window managers now include virtual desktop capabilities. There is the separation between the The X Window System and the Desktop environments. (You can have a look on this gallery).
  • 1995, BeOS includes an implementation of virtual desktops called "Workspaces". Up to 32 different Workspaces are supported.
  • 1996 OS/2 IBM's personal computer OS/2 operating system included multiple desktops (up to 4 natively) in the OS/2 Warp 4.
  • 2007, Mac OS

    Beginning with version 10.5 "Leopard" in late 2007, Mac OS X has shipped with native virtual desktop support, called Spaces, which allows up to 16 virtual desktops.

  • 2014 Windows 10 (read more here)

    Until Windows 10, Microsoft Windows did not implement virtual desktops natively in a user-accessible way. There are objects in the architecture of Windows known as "desktop objects"

Related Tags

  • For questions related simply to the part of a graphical user interface upon which other elements like icons, windows, toolbars or widgets are placed.
  • For questions related to the virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system.

Reference

history | excerpt history