If you’re tried out “virtual desktop” apps then you’re familiar with the functionality they provide, allowing you to organize your workspace by placing windows and programs on different virtual desktops and flipping across these desktops at will.
GiMESpace Free Edition takes a slightly different approach in that it allows you to drag your windows and programs horizontally across a single virtual desktop environment that extends infinitely over many screens, as if you had many monitors right next to each other.
All you have to do is simply drag your windows and scroll them off the side of the screen, such that your windows and programs are placed side by side even as a part or all of them extend beyond the visible part of the screen, yet instantly accessible via a mouse-scrolling action.
This program offers a new take on a concept that has been done before, most notably by previously mentioned app 360 Desktop. It doesn’t quite offer as many features as 360 Desktop, but then it only occupies an extremely light 6 megs in memory.
Switch on/off via keyboard shortcut: you can use the scroll-lock key on your keyboard to switch the screen scrolling functionality on and off. This is obviously whenever you prefer that your desktop behave normally,
But the most important question to be answered is: how practical is GiMESpace and this entire concept of a scrolling desktop, and to what extent does it enhance the user experience?
The answer to this is not as straightforward as you might like. It takes a lot of getting used to this new behavior, and you will find that the scrolling will be triggered accidentally in the course of doing many different things, such as closing out a window for example.
On Windows 7, moreover, the scrolling behavior makes it harder to snap two windows to the two halves of the screen such that they are tiled next to each other (a slight scrolling or ’nudge’ is hard to avoid, leaving a tiny space in the middle of your two windows). Of course these situations are precisely why the “scroll lock” keyboard disabling was created and you can simply temporarily pause the program whenever you feel the need.
Wish list (or how this program can be better):
- Extend the virtual desktop to icons (as it is the desktop icons remain fixed in place, somewhat belying the scrolling illusion).
- Support multi-screen wallpaper images. Again this can enhance the illusion of scrolling if the wallpaper plays along as well.
- All the while maintaining its small size in memory , so that it doesn’t fall into the same pitfall as the resource intensive 360 Desktop.
- Also change the name. I found the name of this program impossible to remember, and had to look it up 4 times during the course of writing this review.
Differences between the free and paid version: the free version is fully functional, while the paid version has a lot more bells and whistles and in many ways is a completely different program.
The verdict: I always like to post interesting programs on Freewaregenius and this program definitely falls into that category, but personally speaking it is not one of my favorites.
In the end I would say definitely check this program out; especially if you like virtual desktops and find them useful. Alternately, check out Dexpot, a free and sophisticated virtual desktop app. It doesn’t employ the “infinite desktop” scrolling concept, but it is feature rich and reliable.
[Thanks for reader Laura Brags for pointing this program out in 360 Desktop’s comment section]
Version Tested: 188.8.131.52
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Works on 32 and 64 bit systems.
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 467K).