TaskSpace is a portable tool which allows you to run multiple programs in a single desktop window.
Suppose, for example, you're running Firefox, checking figures on a website, doing some maths on Windows Calculator, and making notes in Notepad.
Normally you'd launch each program separately, and arrange them one by one. They'd take up three buttons on your taskbar, and you'd have to manage and reorganise them individually.
Here, all you have to do is drag and drop each program window onto TaskSpace. They're automatically arranged to fit the space, and then run inside the TaskSpace window. You can use the single TaskSpace taskbar button to access your programs, and Alt+Tab similarly has just one thumbnail to cover every TaskSpace application.
Right-clicking a window title bar when you're done provides an option to detach that application and run it individually again.
We found this doesn't always work. Dragging and dropping some programs had no effect (running TaskSpace as an administrator may help). For others, TaskSpace displayed alerts saying they weren't compatible, or recommended we make some system change first.
Even if a program did appear in the window, it wasn't always usable (Paint.NET docked correctly, but refused to display a File > Open dialog).
The automatic window rearrangement was a problem, too, regularly repositioning windows in a way that we didn't expect. (The title bar right-click menu has an option to turn this off, fortunately.)
TaskSpace did work well with other applications, though, so the best approach is probably to try it out and see if the program can deliver for you.
Version 0.5.0.0 (Changelog):
- EULA changed:
1. TaskSpace is provided as freeware, but only for private, non-commercial use
(that means at home).
2. TaskSpace is free for educational use (schools, universities, museums and libraries)
and for use in charity or humanitarian organisations.
3. If you intend to use TaskSpace at your place of business or for commercial purposes,
please register and purchase it.
TaskSpace is trying to do something that's technically quite difficult, and it's no surprise that it doesn't work at all with some applications. It runs just fine with others, though, and as the program's also free and portable there's no penalty in trying it out. If you're interested in the core idea, give it a try.