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Windows 9 notification centre and virtual desktops demonstrated

by Mark Tyson on 15 September 2014, 10:00

Tags: Windows 8, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaci5r

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Another couple of videos of the Windows 9 Technical Preview trickled out over the weekend. They came from the same source as the Windows 9 Start Menu reveal and demonstration last week: German site WinFuture. This time around we got to see an action / notification centre, simply called 'Notifications', and the virtual desktop functionality we had heard about in previous news and rumours.

Notifications

Here Microsoft will give desktop Windows users something similar to what its mobile users recently received in the Windows Phone 8.1 update. The previous notification and actions alerts in Windows reminded you of things like Windows Update, Malware checks and Backups. Now it will take those kinds of notifications, including the very common 'Safe to remove hardware' and mix them in with notifications from apps including new mail, Skype messages and calendar appointments.

Previously those notification events came one at a time and went - without you easily tracking them if you forgot to attend to them at the time. Now they are listed in the Notifications popup which sits in the system tray. The list can have notifications removed individually or all at once.

Virtual desktops

Virtual desktops are created via an icon in the taskbar which looks like a pair of rectangles overlapping. Clicking this brings up your virtual workspaces and a way of creating new such workspaces and closing down ones you no longer require. We'd expect some keyboard shortcuts to help switch and manipulate the spaces put the video doesn't show that.

While in the virtual desktop mode applications open in each desktop space can be closed down as it shows the apps as tiles in this view. Once you switch to a desktop the tiled view becomes the meticulously arranged set of overlapping windows that you had left there.

What do HEXUS readers think of the above pair of new features, very probably destined for Windows 9?



HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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I've always found having multi-desktop when using Linux very useful and glad Microsoft are plopping it in now.
Tabbykatze
glad Microsoft are plopping it in now.
Well it was there 10 years ago….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_PowerToys

It's funny I've never really gotten on with virtual desktops, slight lie, on a Solaris mainframe I found it handy, but that was so I could switch ‘sessions’ between terminals. I just wonder how this will work with multiple monitors and the like.

I tend to have apps either full screen, or half n half. I have never wanted to simultaneously switch two half n halfs
I do hope this new notifications can be disabled.
I don't want to be reminded all the time that Windows update isn't set to automatically check, or that i don't have virus protection because Microsoft doesn't recognise other virus programs, that i haven't done a backup, turned off system restore, etc, etc.
Han Solo?
TheAnimus
It's funny I've never really gotten on with virtual desktops, slight lie, on a Solaris mainframe I found it handy, but that was so I could switch ‘sessions’ between terminals. I just wonder how this will work with multiple monitors and the like.

I tend to have apps either full screen, or half n half. I have never wanted to simultaneously switch two half n halfs
Agree with this. I've had Linux virtual desktops for years, but have never found a use for more than two.

By the way, “Solaris mainframe” - that wouldn't have been one of the SuperDragons (CS6400) if you don't mind the nerd-nosiness? :geek:

Big-iron fandom aside, and returning to the article, notifications centre looks like a good idea, especially if the access to this is going to be easily/widely available. It'd be nice to have the notifications area as a kind of task status list - e.g. “portable disk attached”; “backup complete”; “email sent”; etc.