The news that Virtual Desktops are coming to the Chromebook has now been confirmed. Virtual Desktops allows you to have more than one desktop open at the same time and can help with multitasking.
Do not get too excited though as they are not available on the Chromebook until the launch of Chrome OS 76. Chrome OS 76 is due to be launched in late 2019, so, for now, let’s take a look at what a Virtual Desktop is and how they work.
What is a Virtual Desktop
If you have used an Apple MAC before you may have come across a virtual desktop. They are also available on Linux and were added to Windows 10 a couple of years ago.
A virtual desktop gives you the ability to have more than one desktop open at any one time. At present, you only have one desktop on the Chromebook. A virtual desktop allows you to open further desktops and are useful for multitasking.
Chrome OS 76 will see the launch of virtual desktops
The launch of virtual desktops on the Chromebook will take place when Chrome OS 76 is launched. The planned date for Chrome OS 76 is late in 2019.
It’s currently believed that it will be called Virtual Desk for the Chromebook and you will have the ability to have four desktops open at any one time.
Why are Virtual Desktops useful
The first thing you should not do is confuse a Virtual Desktop to a Virtual Machine as they are completely different. A virtual machine is where you set up a virtual computer running a separate operating system. A virtual desktop simply means have extra desktops running on the same operating system at any one time.
Virtual desktops are useful if you like to keep your work separate. If you multitask you may find it difficult to work with all the windows you need to have open at any one time. Having an extra desktop will help keep your work organised.
They are also useful to have different types of applications open on each virtual desktop. An example of this may be if you work from home. You may want to use your main desktop to have your personal email, internet and music streaming service running. You can then use a virtual desktop to have your work email and work applications running such as a spreadsheet or word processor.
This not only helps keep your work organised. It can stop you from being distracted by other things. Working from home is great, but if you have Facebook open and you get a message it can be difficult not to get distracted. Having two desktops separates your home life from work and can help you be more productive.
How do Virtual Desktops work
Virtual Desktops have been designed so you can easily move from one desktop to another. We will have to wait to see how you will access your Virtual Desktops on the Chromebook, but it will most likely be a simple swipe or mouse click.
Virtual Desktops do help keep you organised and can stop you having a situation where you have twenty different windows open at any one time.
They do take up valuable resource, so they will only be useful if you have a computer with a decent amount of RAM. You will also have a better experience if you have a processor that can cope with the extra workload.
Luckily, the Chromebooks that have been launched recently have come with much better processors and RAM. However, you may struggle using Virtual Desktops on an older machine with little RAM and processing power.