Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sun Microsystems this week released "Looking Glass," a 3D desktop interface that provides an OS-neutral version of some of the elements found in OS X and Microsoft's newly-released Vista OS.
Looking Glass, which was first shown off in 2003 and released as an open-source project in 2004, allows users to run a Java-based desktop environment on top of Windows, or on Linux or Solaris. The software allows certain applications to be run in a "2.5D" environment, allowing them to be rotated in 3D space to maximize the available desktop space.
The interface also includes a launch bar along the bottom middle of the screen, similar in appearance to the Apple OS X's Dock.
According to the developers, Looking Glass includes several interesting features not included in either the Apple or Windows OSes: the ability to "fly" left or right to a new virtual desktop, or to use the "back" of a virtual window. Windows can also be organized on their "side," allowing a "bookshelf" view of the available windows.
Users can download the new Looking Glass interface from Sun's Web site.