The Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager is a PowerToy designed to compensate for the limitations associated with the boundaries of a single desktop. The tool is designed to support Windows Vista RTM and Windows XP SP2, but it also integrates seamlessly with Vista Service Pack 1 and on the same line with the third and final service pack for XP, which does not bring such a consistent evolution to the table in comparison with SP2. But either on Vista or on XP, the tool enables users to run virtually an infinite number of desktops, with the only limits imposed by the amount of RAM.
On April 7, 2008, the Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager was delivered fixing a range of bugs, including a critical glitch, but also delivering enhancements with build 0.8.3018.0. But even with the 0.8 version the tool is still labeled as Release Candidate. “The seventh release, 0.8, is marked as a release candidate version. However, it could easily have been marked as a production release. Most likely the next release will be 1.0, a big milestone for this project,” the program’s developers revealed.
Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager is a free download housed on Microsoft’s open source projects website: CodePlex. The developers, Z-Systems, are making not only the tool available but also the source code. This means that not only can end users enjoy Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager 0.8.3018.0 RC for free, but developers can also tweak and improve it.
“New features include a new mini-toolbar for a lean, unobtrusive way to switch desktops using the mouse (configurable). [The ability to] set programs to be minimized before being hidden; this is needed for popular Adobe CS3 programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. Automatic check for updates (configurable), Huge performance improvements (more multi-threading, etc.). [And the tool now] automatically sets itself as high-priority for even more performance (and because it usually sits idle, this should have no negative effect on your system),” reads a fragment of the information accompanying the latest release.