Manage Your Windows, Programs, and Folders with a Cool 3D Desktop

Last Updated Dec 22, 2009 9:18 PM EST

We're suckers for any sort of desktop enhancement which puts us closer to that computer Tom Cruise used in Minority Report -- stuff like BumpTop and 360Desktop, for example, expand Windows in clever and unexpected ways.

Programs like those can dramatically improve your productivity. Take T3Desk, for example, which lets you minimize your programs so they shrink to a distant 3D element on the desktop itself.

When you use T3Desk, your programs minimize to the desktop in a simulated 3D space. You can control the transparency of the minimized window, along with how far away it appears to be and its angle on the screen. T3Desk lets you see all your minimized programs on the desktop, and you can restore them with a click. Some folks might appreciate this as a productivity boost; I mainly like the aesthetics.

T3Desk has some problems, though. If you're using Windows 7, I don't like the fact that all programs minimized using T3Desk appear in the taskbar associated with a single icon T3Desk rather than their own icons, and when you hover for previews, you preview the 3D semi-minimized version of the program window, not the actual window like you'd get ordinarily. And if you've pinned a 3D-minimzied program to the taskbar, clicking the taskbar icon launches another version of the program rather than the minimized one. Bottom line: T3Desk plays terribly with Windows 7.

The program is also poorly translated, with FAQ text like"What means 3Dmize?" and "How to organize the 3DMized windows on the screen?"

So no, T3Desk is far from perfect, but it's well worth checking out to see if you like the effect. If not, try one of these two superb Alt Tab replacements for getting to your minimized programs: VistaSwitrcher or Switcher.