It seems as though Apple’s Expose feature has really struck a chord with Windows users. There have been Expose clones for what seems like forever, but it wasn’t until Switcher that I became really impressed with what a feature like Expose could offer to a Windows user. Unfortunately to use Switcher you have to be running Vista with Aero enabled.
Well, there’s a new kid on the block! DExposE2 is a free application that gHacks scrounged up a few weeks ago. It offers a lot of the features that can be found in Switcher, except this program runs on both Windows XP and Vista. What’s even better is that there’s a no-install version available so that you can quickly take it for a spin.
As you can see above it’s possible to tile all of your open applications, and it determines the most optimal layout that makes the best use of your screen space. Performance is pretty good here on my Vista machine with it only using about 20MB of memory. That’s not bad at all for the features it offers:
- Interactive previews (you can Control+click on windows to interact with them, such as clicking on buttons)
- Close a window in Expose by hovering over it with the mouse and pressing “W”
- Live updating
- Hotcorners and Hotkey Support
- Desktop shown in background
- Hide all open windows by pressing F11
- Multimonitor Support (XP SP2 tested)
- Taskbars, sidebars, and docks can be shown during exposing
- Refresh window previews in exposed state
- Slow-Motion DExposE feature (Shift+F9)
- Configurable settings (just double-click on System Tray icon)
Want to see just how well it works before you go download it? Here’s a video that starts off on a MacBook demoing what the real Expose is like, and then they switch over to an Eee PC running DExposE2. If it runs that well on the ultra-portable Eee PC then you know it’s gotta be good on nearly any PC.
Note: On my Vista machine I tried to run the no-install version, but it didn’t work initially. The first time you run the executable it may not work if you have UAC enabled. The quick solution is to import the Registry key that is included with the download before running the application.