Casting my mind back to when beer was somewhat cheaper.
Way back in 1991 I was at University working on Sun IPC (or IPX) and Sparstation workstations. Most of the time they ran OLVWM which was a virtualised desktop; i.e. you could scroll around the desktop. I think Open Look's predecessor, SunView had something similar, my boss at the time preferred it, I didn't and it looked "old hat".
I also played with TWM, but I don't remember whether it had workspaces/desktops or was simply virtual.
On Windows 3.0 and 3.1 at home, I installed "BackDesk" which implemented a large virtual desktop; Big Desk; and Back Menu which provided a right click menu on the desktop. I even used this as my shell rather than Program Manager.
Moving forward a few years to 1994 CDE on HPUX and probably other implementations, had a multiple desktop feature, which included different wallpapers. HP Dashboard, Windows 3.1 also provided a similar look and feel on Windows.
Multiple Desktops have been on Windows since Windows 2000 and as discussed earlier there are Power Toys etc which can be downloaded to make this happen. Unfortunately MS are of the ilk where they like to receive $ for extra features and multiple simultaneous users is one of those features. Whist Windows has had this functionality in some form or other for some time, it's not widely documented and poorly implemented. For example there is no API to move a window between desktops.
Big Desk & Back Menu: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.os.ms-windows.misc/Te1gXAwjhSo
HP Dashboard: http://home.comcast.net/~mernykdesign/BgHP3.htm
Windows Desktops: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx
Multiple desktops, yes please it would prove very when tailing sets of log files for multple process in different environments and still work on other issues.
Previously there was a Power Toy called "X Mouse". Originally this was a single "ini file" hack in Windows 3.0 / 3.1, then the Power Toy and finally several registry hacks.
I ended up with Option #3 but the values were different for me.
Can MS please implement "Focus Follows Mouse" as well, and make it configurable in a way that it's usable.
El Reg, can I have a "grumpy old man" icon?