Extended monitors have been a growing trend for the past few years for techies, gamers, movie producers, and anyone else who needs the screen real estate that two monitors provide.
Extended monitors can be anything from an external monitor that you hook up to your computer, to an actual TV.
But Microsoft hasn’t really focused on dual monitors in the past because of the limited market there is for them. They’ve added support for them, but other than that, they haven’t added any features to make the experience more seamless.
Now in Windows 8, Microsoft has finally added some amazing features that will make it more enjoyable to use extended monitors and will help your work environment flow easier.
The first cool feature is that the taskbar can be extended to stretch the entire length of the two monitors.
Your pinned icons will appear again on the other monitor’s side. but instead of another Start Button on the other side, there will be a “Switch” button that will allow you to switch primary screens by switching which screen has the Start Button or the Switch Button. This just makes the experience a little less confusing by establishing just one Start Button instead of two.
Another cool feature is the extended wallpaper feature.
To access it right click on the desktop and click “Customise,” in the Themes section and under the Aero style, click on “Windows Extended” and suddenly your wallpaper will be widened to stretch across all your screens. Make sure that your desired wallpaper has a good enough resolution to support the large amount of stretching that will be required.
The ability to stretch your wallpaper will make the experience of using two monitors look a lot more seamless. Having a seamless looking experience allows for an easier workflow and will allow for more productivity (and I’m guessing that since you have a second monitor, you are in the kind of job field that calls for you to get things done, fast.)
To set a wallpaper for all monitors, click on the “Desktop Background” menu while in the Customize option and the traditional wallpaper menu with all your pictures will appear. Go to the picture that you want, add it to the menu, right-click it and then select “Set for all monitors”.
You also have the ability to set one image for one monitor, and another image for the other monitor just by clicking “Set for Monitor 1” or “Set for Monitor 2” instead of “Set for all monitors.”
I think that providing this feature for users will make more people want to use Windows 8 as a desktop operating system. At least in the work fields mentioned above.
Mac OS X incorporates some of the features listed above in their version of extended monitors like extended wallpapers, but from the pictures I’ve seen, I don’t think that they are going to do it better than Windows 8 does.