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Running with Code Like scissors, only more dangerous

It was only a couple years ago that Microsoft acquired Sysinternals.  I think a lot of people were concerned at the time; a lot of very cool utilities were at stake, though I think it was a nice change at the end of the day.  Another utility that is well overdue for Windows, and (I think) would really help a guy with his side business, is UltraMon, by RealTimeSoft.  My understanding is that it's written by a gentleman called Christian Studer, and that he works on this outside of his primary job.

UltraMon is one of the most necessary pieces of software out there if you're using dual-monitors.  Another favorite blogger of mine has repeatedly praised this particular setup, and now that I've had a taste of it, I can't go back.  But, despite that fact that Windows has supported dual monitors via PCI cards since Windows 98, it lacks the ability to use multiple taskbars, and the wallpaper support is, well, less-than-stellar.  For those of us who compulsively change their desktops to display lush scenes from sites such as Digital Blasphemy (which offers dual- and tri-monitor-wide wallpapers), this can be a problem.

Now that it's becoming common for video adapters to include dual monitor ports, and for drivers to intrinsically support multi-monitor configurations, it's time for Microsoft to start considering extending the Start Menu paradigm.  I think it would be an appropriate form for them to pick up UltraMon, offer Christian a job, and offer it as either a PowerToy, a Plus! feature, or an Ultimate Extra.  Of course, they could build it themselves, but there are a few reasons not to:

  • Doing so would put UltraMon effectively out of a product.
  • They can afford to do it.
  • By and large, end users would be happier with that solution than Microsoft purchasing Yahoo.

So perhaps my reasoning isn't precisely stellar; I just think it would be one of those "benevolent hegemon" things for Microsoft to do.  After all, it's not like the competition isn't focused on usability (and yes, I say that tongue-in-cheek).

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Dear Microsoft, Please Buy UltraMon

# re: Dear Microsoft, Please Buy UltraMon
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Seconded. Since I'm cheap and somewhat resourceful, I found another, similar (but free!) program called MultiMon that functions in the same manners that I was looking for. But something about that program doesn't /feel/ right; the 2nd taskbar items don't align correctly or look how I would expect. Hard to describe.

Regardless, MS picking up UltraMon would be a gargantuan blessing, particularly if they gave it away as a PowerToy. Here's to hoping!
Left by Paul on Mar 03, 2008 8:45 PM

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