WinFlip is a free program that brings to Windows XP the ALT-Tab 3D task-switching flipping function that’s featured on Windows Vista. It allows you to press a hotkey and flip through all open windows using a cascading, isometric visual representation.
Adding to the long list of apps that have copied all manner of bells and whistles featured in Vista, WinFlip brings to you one of the nicest ones, in my opinion, the quirky 3D application switching interface.
There are multiple programs that deliver this functionality to XP, including “Shock Aero“, previously reviewed on Freewaregenius, and “Shock Aero 3D”, designed for PCs with good graphics cards. Winflip has the distinction of very competently delivering this functionality while using very low system resources to do so. Here are some more notes on this program:
- How to start Winflip: press the keyboard shortcut (Alt-Q by default) will launch Winflip, while pressing it again will return to your normal desktop display. You can optionally click on one of the sides of the screen to invoke (this is switched off by default), or use a circular mouse gesture (an interesting function, but not my cup of tea).
- How to Flip: once inside the Winflip task switching screen you can use the arrow buttons or the mousewheel to switch apps. Each window also has a little letter labeling it (A,B,C,D,etc), and you can simply press the letter on the keyboard to jump to that window.
- Memory use: slightly over 1-meg (about 1.5). Compare this to the 15 megs that the non-3D version of Shock Aero uses.
- No install: simply unzip to your desired location. You will need to drop the exe into the startup folder to get it to start with Windows.
- Desktop window: by default the desktop is displayed as one of the windows to flip through, which I didn’t like very much, but thankfully it can be disabled.
- Options: you can change the program hotkey, use large or small display windows, pick from a range of different texture quality, etc.
- What it can and cannot do: Winflip will flip through normal windows applications and open windows; it will not recognize floating windows, desktop widgets or sticky notes, etc., even when the Windows Alt-Tab might.
The verdict: a rather nice, lightweight application that works very well. Eye candy that doesn’t slow the system down, and free, what more could one ask for?
Version Tested: 0.42
Compatibility: Windows XP.
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 422K).