Chrome Os To Soon Feature Virtual Desktops, Early Concept Demonstrated

‘Virtual Desktops’ is a term for being able to manage multiple window configurations across virtual desktops which you are unable to see. Imagine you could move your computer screen to an identical invisible screen next to it, and later switch to it whenever you want. For example, You can have Chrome open in one desktop, text edit in another, and Photoshop in the third and you have the ability to switch between them seamlessly and swiftly without having to juggle between windows open on one desktop. A prime example of Virtual Desktops is Mac OS’s Mission Control feature.

Chrome OS ‘Virtual Desks’

‘Virtual desktops’ is a prominent feature of many operating systems these days. Windows, Linux, and Mac OS all have their versions of the Virtual Desktops feature. Chrome OS, has missed out on the feature ever since it’s launch back in 2011. However, it seems that Google might just add the missing feature into Chrome OS after all.

“Virtual Desks” is what Google is calling the feature. We first started hearing about “Virtual Desks” back in November when Kan Liu ( Chrome OS senior product manager) told Android Police that virtual desktops were “on the roadmap” but didn’t have a proper timeline. However, this week a new commit was posted to Chromium’s Gerrit source code management, under the title “Virtual Desks 1: Initial scaffolding“  No details were shared regarding how the Virtual Desks feature will work in Chome OS. It only mentioned the addition of new UI elements like a “bar that will later contain desks”, “thumbnails” and a “New desk” button to Chrome OS’s overview mode.

The commit included a link to a video that demonstrated how the Virtual Desks feature will work. According to the video, Virtual Desks would be created and managed through the overview mode. It also sounds like a mouse/tap gesture for switching between the desktops will be coming with it.

Yesterday, a second code was uploaded under the title  “Virtual Desks 2: Desks thumbnails behavior.” This featured a new video through which new details emerged.

Unfortunately, there will be a four virtual desk limit per user profile. These four desks will also have designated names which cannot be renamed. This comes as a disappointment as the feature could’ve been made better by giving users the freedom of customization.


Don’t expect this feature to release soon. As the feature currently is far from complete. We will keep you updated if any more details emerge regarding the feature.

Murtaza Islam
Murtaza is a Computer Science student who takes immense interest in mobile technology. He believes the future of computing lies in smartphones because ARM architecture will eventually take over. He also loves to tinker with ROMs and kernels keeping up with the latest in smartphones.