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Tuesday, November 04, 2003, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Mac OS X to Deliver Virtual Desktop Functionality?

Rumor has it that a future version of the Mac OS X operating system will improve on desktop management by allowing users to spawn virtual desktops, sources tell AppleInsider. The feature is highly rumored to appear as part of Apple's Expose´window management technology, which first debuted as part of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther a couple of weeks ago.

Curious Panther users have already discovered what may be the foundation to Apple's Virtual Desktop functionality — albeit code that appears to be a work-in-progress — in the latest release of the OS. After altering the Mac OS Dock preferences via the command string below, the F11 function key will minimize the current desktop workspace into a small thumbnail window, effectively clearing the desktop. To return to the previous work space, users can either click the thumbnail or re-strike the F11 function key.


In the terminal application evoke the following command string:

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool false; killall Dock

To revert Expose´back to default functionality, simple re-evoke the command by passing 'true' to the boolean variable.

The feature is currently crippled by a number of bugs, and at this time will only breed a single virtual desktop window — effectively performing the same task as clearing the desktop via the default F11 Expose´ command. However, sources confirm the further development of the virtual desktop feature, which should appear in a major upgrade to the Mac OS X in 2004, sources said.