Cram your desktop with information with Smart Desktop

This ambitious program needs to go back to the drawing board.

We have a love-hate relationship with desktop enhancements: when they work well, they can definitely change your computing experience for the better, but when they don't, they can be a tremendous pain in the rump. Unfortunately, Smart Desktop falls squarely in the "pain in the rump" camp, delivering potentially useful features in a totally unworkable package.

Smart Desktop is nothing if not ambitious, attempting to cram a tremendous number of tools onto the desktop, including the weather forecast, a slideshow of our images, three different search engines, a calendar, a notepad, information about system performance, and what appeared to be some kind of media player. We can't say for sure, because some of the program's content spilled off the right side of the screen and couldn't be accessed, no matter how we adjusted our screen resolution.

Smart Desktop also has tabs across the top for organizing Web links, wallpapers, and videos. Did we mention that all of this is displayed on top of your existing desktop icons, making both the icons and Smart Desktop's content virtually impossible to read? There was no documentation that we could locate, so if there's some way of configuring Smart Desktop to solve these problems, we don't know what it is. Overall, we were impressed with Smart Desktop's attempt at comprehensiveness, but it needs to go back to the usability drawing board before we can recommend it.

Smart Desktop comes as a ZIP file and installs a desktop icon without asking.

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