Chrome OS Is Getting Virtual Desktops

Google is working on adding a much-needed productivity feature to Chrome OS. 9to5Google reports that the company is working on bringing support for virtual desktops to Chrome OS.

Google engineers have actually published evidence of the new feature on Chromium Gerrit, as well as a video demo of an early version of the feature.

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Right now, Google is calling the feature “virtual desks” and it will essentially allow you to create different virtual desktops that you can switch between. You will likely be able to use your keyboard keys to constantly switch between the desktops, and Google says it will also support mouse gestures.

Here is a demo:

Virtual desktops are a really useful feature that’s found in Windows 10 and macOS. The experience is especially a highlight feature of macOS, and Microsoft later brought it to Windows with Windows 10. It’s incredibly useful when you are working on multiple different things at the same time and have a lot of apps open that you are constantly switching between. And when all of that is happening, keeping track of everything and organizing your windows can be a real pain.

It’s not clear when Google plans to release the new virtual desktops feature for Chrome OS, but seeing as Google already seems to have a prototype of the feature, it shouldn’t be too long before it arrives for Chrome OS users, probably first starting with developer betas.

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Conversation 22 comments

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    13 February, 2019 - 3:53 pm

    <p><em>Much needed?</em></p><p>I'd love to see MSFT's telemetry with respect to TaskView usage. As for Linux, i3 users don't use 'em. And, FWIW, Unix then Linux had them before Windows or macOS did.</p>

  • BoItmanLives

    13 February, 2019 - 4:21 pm

    <p>Can't wait for a general release Chrome OS that I can install on any x86 PC, and do away with Windows 10 endless buggy updates and three decades of spaghetti code.</p>

    • Jhambi

      13 February, 2019 - 6:36 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#404667">In reply to BoItmanLives:</a></em></blockquote><p>Look at neverware cloudready. I replaced windows 10 on a machine with 2 GB of RAM with cloudready and its so much better.</p>

      • LocalPCGuy

        13 February, 2019 - 6:42 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#404696">In reply to Jhambi:</a></em></blockquote><p>That does seem like a viable use for all those cheap Windows 10 laptops with 32-GB eMMc storage, that barely run Windows 10. Nice suggestion.</p>

  • letsmakeitbetter

    13 February, 2019 - 4:36 pm

    <p>Good to see indeed. Makes me wonder why Microsoft don't do a better job of marketing this great feature and improve it. I use Virtual Desktop Manager with Windows which gives Notification icon of Desktop number I'm in. Why not there as part of Virtual Desktops. Reminds me of split screen functionality around for years from Windows 7. Apple introduce years later as a great new feature and don't get me started on OneNote the best software Microsoft made that very few know about. </p>

  • chaoticbastian

    13 February, 2019 - 4:40 pm

    <p>If fushia is on its way why add all these features to chrome to just have it replaced</p>

    • Tony Barrett

      14 February, 2019 - 10:12 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#404675">In reply to Chaoticbastian:</a></em></blockquote><p>Because ChromeOS will be around for a long time yet – and probably still actively developed. If/when Fuchsia makes an appearance, it could take years until it's widely adopted.</p>

  • bluvg

    13 February, 2019 - 8:01 pm

    <p>"Microsoft later brought it to Windows with Windows 10"</p><p><br></p><p>The feature was available since NT 4.0 via the Resource Kit (not sure if it was available prior to 4.0).</p>

  • VancouverNinja

    Premium Member
    13 February, 2019 - 8:52 pm

    <p>All the school children really need this feature….</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2019 - 4:58 am

    <p><em>Virtual desktops are a really useful feature that’s found in Windows 10 and macOS.</em></p><p>And in Linux and UNIX for well over 2 decades.</p>

  • jchampeau

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2019 - 5:56 am

    <p>The article characterizes virtual desktops as "much needed" and "really useful." Do you have any data that shows how often this feature is used across various operating systems? For me, it seems useful in theory but I never actually use it. That said, I do have 34" 21:9 display, so I'm rarely hurting for desktop real estate.</p>

    • Skolvikings

      14 February, 2019 - 2:07 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#404723">In reply to jchampeau:</a></em></blockquote><p>Same here. I never use it. Tbh, I don't even know how to create virtual desktops in Windows 10 because that's not something I've sought to do. What am I missing out on?</p>

  • hometoy

    14 February, 2019 - 7:45 am

    <p>Yawn. Linux has had this since the turn of the century.</p>

  • Hoomgar

    15 February, 2019 - 8:25 am

    <p>Seriously?&nbsp; They are touting this as though they have come up with something new?&nbsp; Heck I was doing this with Linux over 20 years ago without any form of virtualization!</p>

  • MikeCerm

    15 February, 2019 - 3:11 pm

    <p>Instead of virtual desktops, why not add some useful features? Ctrl+Tab on Chrome still doesn't switch tabs in most-recently-used order, which makes Chrome completely useless to me. Firefox and Opera get this right, and Chrome needs to catch up.</p>

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