Thursday, April 19, 2007

Microsoft and the UNIX like desktop.

Linux and UNIX user are already used to the concept of virtual desktops, having 2 or more desktop environments to work on. The big advantage is that you can run several projects on a single workstation and let them have there own desktop. If you need to switch from doing private thing to work things you just select the work desktop and you will have all your windows and applications as you left them.

Or for example you are installing and updating servers and you have to wait a long time and have kinds of terminal screens open you might want to do something else without closing or minimizing those windows. With a virtual desktop you can switch to a clean desktop and start working on something else. When you like to go back to your server update you just switch back to that particular desktop.

Also Microsoft has released a virtual desktop environment for Windows XP however not all things are like you would expect if you are used to UNIX/Linux. When you, under UNIX/Linux start a application on a desktop you will not be able to access under an other desktop. For example when you start FireFox on desktop 2 you will not be able to browse the internet with the same instance of this browser on desktop 1.

Windows will not keep the applications in a "desktop container" when you start an application you will be able to change and use this application on all desktops. For UNIX/Linux users it can be frustrating to use the Microsoft virtual desktop solution, for windows users who never used UNIX/Linux it might be a very handy tool.

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