Scott Hanselman

TopDesk: Expose Clone for Windows (and capturing video from DirectX)

April 12, '05 Comments [32] Posted in Bugs
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An animated GIF of TopDesk in action.Finally, my search for a decent Windows Task Switcher is over. Sure, there's TaskSwitchXP, which kicks the Windows Power Toy Task Switcher's booty.

But, no, I'm not talking about an Alt-Tab replacement. I'm talking about the pure sex that is Mac OS X Expose, but on Windows, and written in DirectX. It's TopDesk, and it's the bomb. And it's US$9.95? Sold. He sure ain't doing it for the money.

It has been around a bit, but it used OpenGL and it was pretty buggy. The author recently rewrote the whole thing in DirectX, adding a bunch of new features, including floating buttons for TabletPC support and corner hotspots.

Oh, and it supports multi-monitor, too? Awesome.

I set it up with the very corners of my monitors as "hotspots" to start the taskswitcher. Since I'm a developer, I also changed the default hotkey from the Mac default of F9 to a more reasonable Alt-F9.

Here's a Windows Media 9 encoded video of it in action on my machine. I used Fraps (another awesome util) to do the DirectX capture to AVI, FYI. Then I used RiverPast Video Cleaner to make an Animated GIF from that AVI. Then I used's Online Animated GIF Editor to make it loop.

I sure love utils.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.