Where Are My Windows Virtual Desktops?

I was just thinking about the fact that most window managers on Linux have had virtual desktops for as long as I can remember.  Apple released something similar in a recent OSX version.  Most cell phones have multiple “screens” (see Android and iPhone) for organizing your apps and views.  Heck, even some recent Nokia smartphones have a “work” and “home” screens.  But why on earth has Microsoft not implemented similar functionality into Windows?  We’re coming up on the release of Windows 7 and we are still without features other operating systems have had for well over a decade.  Microsoft, where are my virtual desktops on Windows?

If you don’t know what virtual desktops are, a quick definition would be multiple desktops without a need for multiple monitors.  The good thing about virtual desktops is, they allow you to have multiple applications open in a slightly more organized manner.  For example, you might have your development environment open on one virtual desktop, then have your email and instant messaging applications open on completely different desktop.  Or you might have your web browser open on one desktop and your music player on another.

When I work on a Linux desktop, I have my web browsing on and other common applications on my main desktop and then I have my development environment on another desktop, and finally a virtual machine running Windows on yet another desktop.  Giving me great separation of tasks and thus the ability to keep track of what I’m working on.  It’s a way to not only separate application (and work) on your screen but also mentally.  You have less going on, on a per screen basis.

Again, I have to ask, why is this feature not native in Windows?  I can understand it not being on by default.  I get that it can be a confusing way to work at first (I know it was for me).  And I can understand not wanting a million support calls asking “where did all my windows go” because that could get annoying.  Why not have a little section in the Display settings that allows me to turn this feature on and input how many virtual desktops I want?

Come on Microsoft, get with the times.  Some people want this functionality.  So much so that several have written third party applications to get it on Windows.  But serveral of them are horrible and use more resources than necessary.   When am I going to get native virtual desktops inside Windows?

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