Windows 10 UI Changes


Task view, virtual desktops, and ALT+TAB

The new task view is an excellent feature included in Windows 10. Many Windows users use ALT+TAB to quickly shuffle between open windows. The new task view is slightly different from ALT+TAB, but they are both great ways to move from one task to the next! The task view is displayed in the following image:

Using Alt+TAB to cycle through windows isn’t that different than Windows 8, but you can see more of what each window holds.

You'll notice a difference between Windows 8 and 10, however. Windows 10 includes a "task view" button in the taskbar, near the start menu. When clicked, the button brings up the virtual desktops and your open apps (programs).

What’s a virtual desktop? View this blog article from Microsoft.

If you're already using multiple displays, you probably have already been setting different programs to open on different screens, such as the Web browser window on one display, Microsoft Outlook on another display and perhaps an instant messenger app on your laptop display. Like Windows 8, you can run two apps, side-by-side on a single monitor. This can make it easy for you to view weather on one side and surf the Web on the other side. Windows 7, too, has the ability to snap open programs to either side, but it has been more advanced since the time of Windows 7.

The Windows 10 taskbar includes the Windows button, which launches the Start menu, the new Task View button and the Search button. To the far right, the “underlined” apps show that they’re located inside a virtual desktop.

If you have one monitor, tapping the task view button or Windows Key+TAB swaps between desktops, which are displayed on the bottom of the task view display. So if you have a “project screen” with PowerPoint, a browser window and OneNote all contained within your virtual desktop, you can swap to an entirely different virtual desktop (or workspace), perhaps with Facebook and Xbox Music. You’ll also notice the apps themselves are shown above the desktops themselves. If you cannot remember what virtual desktop actually owned that app, you can just jump into it anyway.

Additionally, on your taskbar, you may also see an app underlined by a horizontal bar, indicating the app being in a virtual desktop.

Virtual desktops are convenient, but they could also became an excellent security feature that could allow users to assign permissions to different users. We'll see.

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