Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

The interface improvements in Windows 10 look very promising. The Start Menu is back and I like the way the modern tiles have been incorporated into that interface. The ability to have virtual desktops also looks like a useful development. I would like to see more flexibility with this concept though. Here's a few examples of things I'd like to see:

1. The ability to have different backgrounds on each virtual desktop.

I'm not a fan of using photographs for desktop backgrounds as I like my PC to look uncluttered but the ability to have different coloured backgrounds for each virtual desktop would be very useful.

2. The ability to display Computer Name, IP address etc on the desktop

I've lost track of the number of times I've had to talk users through the process of providing me with this information. I know there are free tools to provide this functionality but it should be built into Windows.

3. The ability to name each virtual desktop and have that name appear on the background of that virtual desktop.

4. The ability to have an "Administrator" virtual desktop which can be called from within a user's logged-on session. This desktop could contain all the tools an administrator needs to do their job, troubleshoot the PC etc (of course you would be required to provide admin log-in details to use this virtual desktop).

5. The ability to add live tiles to the virtual desktop

Why can't we already do this in Windows 8.1? Why must live tiles be restricted to the Start Screen/Start Menu? For example, a virtual desktop setup to use half the screen space for the Outlook client, with live tiles showing weather status, calendar status etc on the remaining desktop space could be very useful.

Virtual desktops are a great addition to Windows, but the ability to individually configure them would make them an essential must-have in my opinion - a real selling point for Windows 10 and useful to both the corporate user and the home user.

An example screen mock-up:

 

Discussion Info


Last updated June 14, 2019 Views 8,009 Applies to:

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

Where is the discussion about the points you raised?  How about examples of why virtual desktops are used for a given purpose?  Is anyone out there?

The interface improvements in Windows 10 look very promising. The Start Menu is back and I like the way the modern tiles have been incorporated into that interface. The ability to have virtual desktops also looks like a useful development. I would like to see more flexibility with this concept though. Here's a few examples of things I'd like to see:

1. The ability to have different backgrounds on each virtual desktop.

I'm not a fan of using photographs for desktop backgrounds as I like my PC to look uncluttered but the ability to have different coloured backgrounds for each virtual desktop would be very useful.

2. The ability to display Computer Name, IP address etc on the desktop

I've lost track of the number of times I've had to talk users through the process of providing me with this information. I know there are free tools to provide this functionality but it should be built into Windows.

3. The ability to name each virtual desktop and have that name appear on the background of that virtual desktop.

4. The ability to have an "Administrator" virtual desktop which can be called from within a user's logged-on session. This desktop could contain all the tools an administrator needs to do their job, troubleshoot the PC etc (of course you would be required to provide admin log-in details to use this virtual desktop).

5. The ability to add live tiles to the virtual desktop

Why can't we already do this in Windows 8.1? Why must live tiles be restricted to the Start Screen/Start Menu? For example, a virtual desktop setup to use half the screen space for the Outlook client, with live tiles showing weather status, calendar status etc on the remaining desktop space could be very useful.

Virtual desktops are a great addition to Windows, but the ability to individually configure them would make them an essential must-have in my opinion - a real selling point for Windows 10 and useful to both the corporate user and the home user.

An example screen mock-up:

I took my first journey into the virtual desktops for Windows 10, Build 10074 today.  You seem to know what you're talking about, and Microsoft seems to have provided only a simplistic version of its virtual-desktops function -- similar to the embryonic tools for drawing, writing, etc that were part of older versions of Windows.  Actually, I fear the whole Windows 10 to be released at the end of July will be an unfinished tool, which will lack many things, especially all those things involved with touch-screen usage (e.g., a rich assortment of apps, especially productivity apps).

I agree virtual desktops should have a way to name them, and tiles and icons should be able to be placed in the desktops.  A naming tool is so basic and obvious to make one wonder what is going on with the programmers and management at Microsoft.  By the way, I managed to blow up the virtual desktop function and had to turn off power and reboot to recover.

The "blow up the virtual desktop function and had to turn off power and reboot to recover" was my experience as well.

In addition, my Office 2016 Pro Preview quit working as a result of the virtual desktop "blow up" incident.  Virtual desktop worked after the reboot, but Office 2016 has not worked since.  It won't uninstall and it won't re-install. All suggested solutions have been followed and none worked.  This incident occurred under Build 10122 and remained unworkable under Build 10130 upgrade.  Apparently there are no upgrades for Office 2016.

This experience with virtual desktop makes it a non-starter and the disabled Office 2016 rendered the Office 2016 Preview experience terminated.

Made it back to the combination of Win 10 10162 and Office 2016 64 bit today.  Hope it works for awhile.

Made it back to the combination of Win 10 10162 and Office 2016 64 bit today.  Hope it works for awhile.
Build 10166 is available, at least to Fast Track Insiders.  I have 10166 running on my desktop computer, and it seems to be smoother and faster than previous builds.  However, 10166 is still Windows 10 et al and not very appealing to me.  I see Windows 10 as essentially a retreat to Windows 7 with additions such as Cortana, Edge, Continuum, and new universal apps (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote).  Inasmuch as my Windows  8.1 works quite well, I have Office 365 Personal, and I can use Chrome and Google Now, I really don't need Windows 10 so far as I can tell.  I wonder how many others will feel what they have (mostly Windows 7) is good enough, and there's no need to update to nor buy Windows 10.  Given all Microsoft's effort, I'm surprised many people to whom I've spoken don't know Windows 10 exists!

When on 10130 with fast track, Windows Update tried several times to update Win 10.  The result was the system crashed either on the download or on the installation.  Finally turned off fast track.  Then downloaded 10162 iso when it became available.  However, now there seems to be no Windows Update and no Settings.  The puzzle is to find them, if they still exist and if so, where are they? Still, it's too close to the end for this to be a priority.  Now, the best thing about 10162 is the desktop background perspective window.  It's quite impressive.

Probably will keep my Windows 7 Pro Key.

***************************************************************

Looks like they're in the store.?!

I really don't understand your situation and, therefore, probably can't be of much help.  My difficulty at one time trying to install a Windows 10 build was probably due to using a too-low capacity SSD.  After I switched to my one-terabyte hard drive, the builds began installing but slowly.  I also for awhile used a fresh copy of Windows 8.1.1 Pro as the target for a new Windows 10 build.  Eventually, my downloading and installation problems stopped, and I've been able to update an existing Windows 10 installation with a new build.  As previously mentioned, I'm currently using Build 10166, and it's running mostly OK.  Problems  include not being able to get some software to work properly (e.g., Google Earth, Flipboard, Quicken).  And, I don't think it's possible to do windows in the Tablet mode.  Yes, it is possible to do windows in the Tablet mode.  I haven't experimented with all possibilities, but full-screen displays can be converted into a half-screen display initially by grabbing something in the upper-left corner of the full-screen display and shoving it upward into the corner or something like that.  The technique is obscure and not at all intuitive.  I discovered the technique accidentally while experimenting with a full-screen display.  Thus for example, it's possible to position Quicken and Excel in side-by-side windows.

However if Windows 10 worked perfectly, I currently don't feel I need it.  What I would have liked is an updated Windows 8.1.1.  But the madding crowd of Windows 7 users have apparently forced Microsoft to throw Windows 8.1.1 under the bus and essentially go back to the future.  The irony, of course, is the madding crowd apparently still wants the legacy Start button/menu and not the new Start contraption used by Windows 10.

I might have liked Cortana but I was dismayed when I asked Cortana, which I believe is based on artificial intelligence (or should be), to spell cat.  Cortana instead of spelling cat in characters and saying cat sent me to websites providing information about the word cat.  That action seems like plain old web crawling to me.

The universal apps (e.g., Word, Excel) are nice-to-have apps on my Android smartphone but probably useless to me or anyone using Office 365 with Windows 10.  Anyway, the universal apps won't be ready for the July 29 release of Windows 10.

Continuum is OK insofar as universal apps running on my Android smartphone, but I don't need it elsewhere.  Windows 8.1.1 (32-bit version) is happily running on my Dell tablet.

I'm a bit mystified regarding Edge, for I thought I understood Internet Explorer was to be provided in Windows 10 to take care of legacy issues.  However, Internet Explorer has been apparently removed from my latest builds of Windows 10.  Anyway if I want another browser, I can use Chrome, which comes with Google Now and thus eliminates the need for Cortana.  Google Now is available on all three of my devices and works like Gang Busters!

So, I will continue to play with Windows 10 and provide feedback.  However, I don't expect to be using Windows 10 for my work and play in the near future.  Having discovered it's possible to do split-screen displays in the Tablet mode, I'm inspired to determine if I can do all my work from the Tablet screen on both my desktop and tablet computers.  Inasmuch as it's possible to pin apps, legacy applications, and shortcuts to web pages on the Tablet Start screen, I imagine it's possible to do all work from that screen.  Exiting any app, application, or shortcut returns the user to the Tablet Start screen and not to the Desktop.

ADDENDUM (Updated)

Getting back to the Virtual Desktops in Windows 10 topic, I'm a bit puzzled.  While playing with split-screen presentations in the Tablet mode of Windows 10, I discovered the Task View function, which I thought was used to make virtual desktops.  However in the Tablet mode, that function simply keeps track of open apps, legacy applications, and shortcuts and allows the user to select from that assortment.  I have a similar function on my Android Kit Kat smartphone, and Windows 8.1.1 also has a similar function. 

The Desktop version of the Task View function is slightly different from the Tablet version.  As in the Tablet version, Task View keeps track of open apps/applications but also allows those items to be placed in a Virtual Desktop by clicking/touching the Task View button in the Taskbar and then dragging an open item to the + sign near the right end of the Taskbar.  Multiple Virtual Desktops can be had, and items can be dragged from one Virtual Desktop to another.  Keyboard, mouse, and touch can be used to operate the Task View and Virtual Desktop functions.  While I don't expect to have much use for the Virtual Desktop feature in the Desktop mode, I expect to use Task View frequently because I'm used to using similar functions on Windows 8.1.1 and my Android Kit Kat smartphone.

ADDENDUM 2

When Build 10240 became available, I installed it, learned how to use it, and found enough problems to keep me from using it for my main operating system, which remains Windows 8.1.1.  I was disappointed when I learned Build 10240 was being given to manufactures to use on their devices, for, in my opinion, that build isn't ready.  I hoped I'd get another build before the July 29 release, but none came.  Microsoft beginning strangely on July 28 has been trying to upgrade my Windows 8.1.1 installation but has failed many times.  Fortunately, there are at least two alternative ways to do the upgrade according to articles I've read.  However inasmuch as I have the version released to manufacturing, which hasn't been updated by Microsoft, and suspecting it may be the same version released on July 29, I have no immediate need to update my Windows 8.1.1 installations, especially given the state of Build 10240 on my desktop computer.  I tried to use that build for my daily work, and it was an exercise in frustration.  I've read several articles that state the released Windows 10 isn't finished (e.g., Edge).  All that said, I think I might like most of Windows 10 if it worked as intended.  For sure, it's very pleasant returning to Windows 8.1.1 where everything works even if not quite perfectly in some cases (e.g., Charms menu).

Update to finding settings:  While looking for settings, I found that Win 10/Office 2016 or something had used 180 GB of the 196 GB partition.  Something that can do that is not good.  Did a clean install of 10162 and Office 2016 as well.  Only about 25 GBs used.  Settings is working as it should.. Also, found IE 11.  It seems to work fine.  Turned Fast option on again.  Windows update is back.  Hope it runs without crashing the system.

I just upgraded to the final Windows 10 on my dual-monitor work PC and my personal notebook. I have noticed a difference in the visual transition that happens when you switch virtual desktops:

--On the work PC, when I use Ctrl+Win+LeftArrow and Ctrl+Win+RightArrow, the active desktop slides horizontally and the next desktop in that direction slides in to take its place. The visual effect is very similar to switching workspaces in Ubuntu.

--On the personal notebook (a Lenovo Ideapad), when I use Ctrl+Win+LeftArrow and Ctrl+Win+RightArrow, the windows on the active desktop immediately disappear, and the windows on the next desktop over immediately appear. There is no horizontal slide.

I really like the horizontal slide effect. I used this feature first in Ubuntu, and for me the visual transition helps me keep track of where windows are in virtual space.

The work PC was a clean install of Windows 10 Enterprise. The notebook was an upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Home.

I looked under Settings > System > Multitasking, and I don't see any options about the visual transition between virtual desktops.

Can anyone give me a clue about why this is different? And how can I get my notebook to do the horizontal slide effect?

Thanks!

The interface improvements in Windows 10 look very promising. The Start Menu is back and I like the way the modern tiles have been incorporated into that interface. The ability to have virtual desktops also looks like a useful development. I would like to see more flexibility with this concept though. Here's a few examples of things I'd like to see:

1. The ability to have different backgrounds on each virtual desktop.

I'm not a fan of using photographs for desktop backgrounds as I like my PC to look uncluttered but the ability to have different coloured backgrounds for each virtual desktop would be very useful.

2. The ability to display Computer Name, IP address etc on the desktop

I've lost track of the number of times I've had to talk users through the process of providing me with this information. I know there are free tools to provide this functionality but it should be built into Windows.

3. The ability to name each virtual desktop and have that name appear on the background of that virtual desktop.

4. The ability to have an "Administrator" virtual desktop which can be called from within a user's logged-on session. This desktop could contain all the tools an administrator needs to do their job, troubleshoot the PC etc (of course you would be required to provide admin log-in details to use this virtual desktop).

5. The ability to add live tiles to the virtual desktop

Why can't we already do this in Windows 8.1? Why must live tiles be restricted to the Start Screen/Start Menu? For example, a virtual desktop setup to use half the screen space for the Outlook client, with live tiles showing weather status, calendar status etc on the remaining desktop space could be very useful.

Virtual desktops are a great addition to Windows, but the ability to individually configure them would make them an essential must-have in my opinion - a real selling point for Windows 10 and useful to both the corporate user and the home user.

An example screen mock-up:

I really dig the desktop functionality, and my list covers yours. Although in basics it is to be able to run apps separately, I also would like the ability to have an app showing up in all (or some) desktops. 

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.