3D desktop is a great idea I came across today. I was happy to find that many works are going on it. I found few interesting screenshots of some such works. The most impressive work on it seemed to me Project Looking Glass of Sun Microsystems. It is an open platform to explore innovative 3D user interface. Here is a cool screenshot below:
Though the screenshot is beautiful, I am not much excited about this project. I have experienced sluggish behavior of Java desktop of Solaris 10. Due to this experience, I don't think this desktop environment will be as much responsive as it should be.
There are some programs in Linux which gives 3D effect to desktop using OpenGL e.g. XGL. But I did not find them impressive. They have a long way to go.
In Windows world, Windows Vista and Windows Presentation Foundation API promise to give a new look and feel of the desktop. But why should we wait so long? There is already a great implementation SphereXP. It displays icons and windows inside a sphere instead of a flat desktop hence providing 3D environment. Here is a screenshot of it:
So, 3D desktop is not far away. Though our display devices are going to be 2D for quite a long time, our desktop is going to be 3D for sure. I am certain that it will bring some fantastic and rich experience to us.