In what I will adamantly defend as the biggest news of the month, it looks like Google has started work on a feature it is calling "virtual desks" for Chrome OS. Based on a video published together with the Chromium Gerrit commit, the feature is effectively virtual desktops for Chromebooks, which we were previously told the company was working on. (YAY!)
Slightly potato demo of virtual desktops on my Windows desktop.
For the unfamiliar, "virtual desktops" is a catch-all term for being able to manage multiple window configurations across — you guessed it — virtual desktops. Look at your computer screen in your mind's eye, now imagine you could move windows to an identical invisible screen next to it, later switching between them as you needed. That means you could leave a photo editor open in one, text editor in another, handful of browser tabs in a third, and switch between them seamlessly and easily without having to juggle open windows on one desktop. That's what virtual desktops are.
Okay, so the video attached to the commit doesn't actually show us very much, but it does look like we'll be getting a shelf up top with the ability to manually create new desktops, and presumably move windows to them. Mix in a good, intuitive way to switch between virtual desktops, and you'll be able to multitask on a small screen just as well as you can on a MacBook or Windows-powered laptop.
According to the description of the commit, that shelf will later contain screenshots of your various virtual desktops, as similar features do on Windows and OSX. It also sounds like a mouse/tap gesture for switching between desktops will be coming with it.
Sadly, there's no date or projected milestone release associated with the commit, so this feature could still be quite a long way off. Nonetheless, as someone who heavily relies on virtual desktops to better manage complicated workflows on a small screen — and whose only major complaint against Chrome OS right now is that lack — I could not be more enthused to see it's under active development.
Alternate title: GOOGLE HAS STARTED WORKING ON VIRTUAL DESKTOPS FOR CHROMEBOOKS OH MY GOD HERE'S A VIDEO YOU HAVE TO SEE IT THIS IS GONNA BE GREAT GUYS I CAN'T WAIT
- Chromium Gerrit