Windows 10 – Task View

Most of the features that Microsoft is adding or changing with Windows 10 are ones that have existed in one or another for quite some time. Task view is an addition to Windows 10 that brings to the OS a feature that has been in competing operating systems for quite some time, especially Linux.

Windows 10 - Task Preview build 9926

Windows 10 – Task Preview build 9926

There a bit of familiarity with the task switch of old but it is also a fresh take on it. It has larger screenshots than before, which is probably a nod towards better manipulation with a portable device (i.e. tablet).

While I like the larger screenshots, the window titles aren’t as large. They are readable but if you are thinking about this being used on a tablet, then it should be just the program name that is larger or perhaps the icons. It isn’t a big complaint as the screenshots than the previous feature in Windows 8 and certainly smaller than the same feature in Windows 7. You can use the button on the taskbar but that is inconvenient so the old tried and true Alt+Tab brings up the same view as shown above, but overlaid on your open windows. I have been using the term “screenshot” but in reality they move. The images are live.

Now in the screenshot (for sake of simplicity will keep using this word), I have 4 windows open and it is pretty easy to switch between them and see their contents. However, the more windows you open, the smaller the screenshots get. Thankfully they only get so small, after 4 windows, it adds a 2nd row of screenshots. The highlight around the windows is fairly easy to follow (though I wish there was a color change or something as well) where the currently selected window is.

Windows 10 - Task View - Virtual Desktops build 9926

Windows 10 – Task View – Virtual Desktops build 9926

Virtual Desktops is the feature that Linux and even Apple have but Windows has never had it built-in. It does now. It works really simply – which I believe is what most users will find works for them – even if it won’t be used by the majority of consumers. I like the idea of virtual desktops, the idea is to keep your desktop clean so only the apps you need are there at any given time. It is something probably more beneficial to businesses (which Microsoft definitely cares about) than your average home user.

Simply click on the + sign to create a new desktop. Apps/programs you open on one desktop will not appear on the other. All programs continue to work even if not visible while you are away at another desktop, they are not “frozen” so to speak. Even though you have programs on different desktops, the Task View/Switcher still shows all programs available to you. You can switch desktops with a key command (Windows Key+Ctrl+Left/Right) but they are not easily discoverable. There is no graphical way currently to switch. Again mainly a feature I see advanced users or business using than your average consumer so not a negative. Advanced users will figure it out.

If you close a virtual desktop, the programs you have open there, just go to another desktop (in reverse or of how they were opened). I didn’t test how many virtual desktops I could open past 4, but I can’t see again there being a requirement for many to use even 4 desktops. All in all, I like the feature, but I’m so used to dealing with one desktop, I haven’t a use for more.

How do you feel about this feature? Maybe you have never considered it because it has never been built into Windows? Let me know if this is a great addition or just too little too late for Windows.

 

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51-yr-old father of 3, work in telemarketing, like computers and technology

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Posted in Windows 10, Windows 8

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