8 Comments

Summary:

Fans of virtual desktops on the OS X platform may rememeber long ago, when the development of Desktop Manager went dormant. Virtue Desktops (site is currently down) carried the torch with a branch of the DM code and has served us well since then. That is, […]

Fans of virtual desktops on the OS X platform may rememeber long ago, when the development of Desktop Manager went dormant. Virtue Desktops (site is currently down) carried the torch with a branch of the DM code and has served us well since then. That is, up until today.

MacUser’s Derik DeLong reports that the Virtue Desktop developer, Tony Arnold has decided to call it quits. The impending release of Spaces, which will be a virtual desktop implementation baked into the Expose functionality of OS X, seems to be the culprit in this decision.

Apple is no stranger to adding innovative software features to its operating system. Along the way, many an independent developer has found their work to become less important when eclipsed by the OS X behemoth. Konfabulator comes immediately to mind, although they’ve reinvented themselves a bit in an attempt to keep on ticking. Many were surprised when Coverflow was actually purchased by Apple, for integration into iTunes.

As Arnold calls it quits, I wish him well. I greatly appreciate the time and effort he put into an app that seriously enhanced my productivity on a daily basis.

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  1. I think it is a question of value from the perspective of Apple. Coverflow is unique and iTunes is a hot item at Cupertino, so it makes sense they would buy it and incorporate it into iTunes. I’m no programmer, but it seems obvious that it was easy for Apple to take the code and run with it quickly.

    Virtual Desktops have been in Unix for as long as I can remember, and Apple probably looked at the current offerings in the Mac community and felt they had a better way to do it. So the value is reduced, and Apple codes it themselves.

    Let’s be realistic here anyway. Virtual desktops aren’t going to be a huge selling point for 10.5. Computers are hard enough dealing with one desktop much less multiple virtual ones. It’s sort of eye candy and to most users not very useful. It’s a power user tool, and maybe Apple will present it in a way that many do use it. But I still see people who don’t know about Expose or refer to it as ‘the thingy that moves all the other thingies around the screen’.

  2. Mac Law Students » Blog Archive » Virtue Desktop No Longer Monday, March 12, 2007

    [...] (aka “Leopard”) coming to stores sometime within the next three months or so, it seems the creator of Virtue Desktop has stopped development. Leopard will incorporate a feature called Spaces that will replicate the capabilities of Virtue [...]

  3. do not forget the developpers did Virtue on his own free time because he wanted good virtual desktop in os X. and it was difficult

    now Space is coming, he do not need to spend time and time on it.

    he will move on a new opensource software and a new commercial one.

  4. I don’t see how this is stealing an idea. It is a very common application of sorts in all OS’s. Look at linux for example. Apple however can do virtual desktops better becasue they can integrate it entirely into the OS. And remember, Apple is sure to have many inovations in their “Top Secret” features.

  5. I cannot agree Todd. I do not percieve my person as super user (however some may have), but recently Desktop Manager is a very handy tool for me. Personally, since Beryl under Linux was released, I loved all desktop flippings, made my work much easier. Somehow when you see your cube flipping it makes easier to find your place in that virtual space, than when it don’t flips but just jump immidietelly ;)

    All in all, what I want to say, when there is need to have many open windows with many applications, it is very handy to organize them in different workspaces.

    I need to admit, that some time ago, I knew it could be useful, but decided it is waste of time for me. However, my recent project changed that situation :)

  6. Douglas Stetner Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Don’t forget VirtualDesktop by CodeTek, a great rock solid desktop manager.

  7. What a wuss. Why didn’t he just wait to see if Spaces does a good enough job for his purposes first? Talk about jumping the gun…

  8. Apple Spaces Needs Competition – The Apple Blog Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    [...] however, was the announcement that a former favorite in this space – Virtue Desktops – would be shutting down further development. The story of Apple taking the best ideas and applications and baking them into the Mother Ship [...]

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