A while ago we got new computers in Maynooth. It was surprising, as they have excellent screens, and are pretty fast. I started using XP Professional on the desktop for a while, and found it to be exactly the same as XP Home to be honest, i.e. Grand. So, before I talk about Synergy, here are 2 cool tools for XP...
Task Switch XP - This is a fantastic replacement for alt + tab, it is free software, and quite frankly there is something wrong with Microsoft if they don't at least copy it in Longhorn. (That said the ALT TAB in LongHorn looks pretty but seems useless, sort of like a Mac) Here is a quick look at it in action, TaskSwitch is the first pic, followed by the new AltTab in Longhorn)
It's pretty clear which has more info to me. I do get the impression from all the leaked screenshots that Microsoft are doing their best to beat OSX in the prettiness stakes, maybe they should look at usability instead.
Another Cool Tool is Approcket, its the closest thing to Quicksilver on OSX or Gnome-Launch-Box that you'll get. It does however cost money, and isnt' worth the cash. Like "Summer Shirts" , you think you'll use it loads, but in reality you soon forget about it and it gathers dust. Here is an 9 Meg Video of it in action, but only watch it if you're on a good connection, or one inside Maynooth.
Anyways, the real winner of the day is Synergy. The new computer added clutter to my desk, as now I have 2 desktop pcs and a laptop to contend with. Synergy lets me use one mouse and one keyboard to interface with all three computers. No fancy hardware, no expense. It just does it! If I move the mouse off the left edge of my desktop the mouse appears on my laptop (cause the laptop is to the left), and then typing will input onto the laptop. Whats especially cool is that this works on all all platoforms. Although there are apparently problems using it on a Mac. If you're using a Mac, Synergy is probably the least of your problems however. Synergy is available from http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/ , if you have more than one mouse/keyboard on your desk, get cracking!
This category (Cool Programs) will see my opinions about desktop apps from every platform, and of every variety from programming editors to desktop recorders.
Re the task switcher - MS actually do have one - you can download it as one of their "PowerToys" for Windows XP. Same idea - icons + previews of windows. From what I've heard, it's not as nice as the one you linked to though.
They do some other handy PowerToys as well btw - folks used to Linux might find the Virtual Desktop one handy. Windows NT and up has apparently always had multiple virtual desktop support built-in, they just never put it into the normal UI for some reason.
Synergy sounds like a damn cool app alright. Those StarDock boys that make the desktop enhancements and stuff do one too, don't know if it's any better or worse than Synergy; http://www.stardock.com/products/multiplicity/