MaxiVista is a software solution to extend your desktop for a dual or three monitor setup or clone that includes a few bonus features.
Ease of Use, Performance: 18/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 18/25
What a mixed bag we have in MaxiVista that extends your desktop over two or three screens or clones it as well as gives you control of the secondary systems form the main computer. In case you’re wondering about the name this program was created long before Microsoft came out with the operating system Vista so the Vista part has nothing to do with Microsoft’s operating system.
MaxiVista takes a primary PC and uses secondary computers over your network to clone or extend your desktop view using the program. You can extend to one or two computer monitors or use the program to control up to four other computers but the clone or mirror functions only works with one other computer.
It works very simply by sending the desktop view to the other or secondary computer over your home wired or wireless network for a second or even third view. The mixed bag I mentioned comes in with the fact that Windows Vista cannot be used as the primary computer but it works great with Windows XP operating as the primary system.
You can use the MaxiVista program to duplicate your desktop for presentations or extend it to give you more workspace without connecting another monitor. If you work at an office and want the same two monitor view that you have at work you can use a laptop or second desktop for a second view but you might ask why would this program be nice if I already have two monitors.
If you have a laptop and desktop computer, many of us do, you can use either as the primary computer and the other as the secondary to have the benefits of two monitors. I can see this as being great for someone who usually has two monitors at work and yet only has the usual desktop and laptop at home.
With this setup it would mean no disconnecting wires or cables to get the two monitors setup so you have an instant on and off connection over your network, a full software solution for two or more monitors. You can also use the program to control up to four computers from one keyboard and mouse system so a KVM switch is not required for this setup either.
MaxiVista installs easily but you do have to follow the process or it will not work, install the program on the primary system and make sure you choose which number of secondary systems you want. If you want to change your mind later and choose two instead of three or three instead of two you will have to reinstall the program.
Install the primary and then copy the secondary program to the secondary PC and start it after starting the primary program, once the primary is started it will start searching for the secondary viewer program. Once it detects the secondary and runs that program the screen will change over to a secondary display, you can adjust the display through the primary computers MaxiVista and monitor properties settings.
You can adjust settings of the secondary monitor, position and size, just as if it were a real monitor but it is actually a virtual monitor with all the bells and whistles. You can not only mirror your display on another monitor, extend the desktop for more workspace and use the mouse and keyboard from the primary PC on your secondary system to control all functions of that computer separately.
MaxiVista acts as a virtual monitor as well as a KVM switch or keyboard video mouse switch that can use one keyboard and mouse to control two systems. Simply click the icon in the taskbar and set the program to control secondary computer and your mouse and keyboard from the primary does the work on your secondary PC.
This program works very well and has a lot of settings for virtual desktop size, controlling the color and refresh rate and several others but the main features are the mirror, extended desktop and the KVM switch functions. MaxiVista works very well and is quite simple to use as long as you’re using it with a Windows XP system as the primary and either a Windows XP or Vista as your secondary monitors.
As of this writing I have not been able to use a Vista system with Windows Vista display drivers as a primary system with MaxiVista. The drivers for display adapters for the primary system need to be the older Windows XP ones so that the computer operates correctly with multiple monitors and Windows Vista drivers do not work.
If you do load Windows XP drivers on a Vista system by using compatibility mode the Vista system may behave incorrectly for Open GL games and other video controlled programs. If someone does come up with corrected drivers for a Vista system there will be plenty of happy people wanting to thank them for getting it solved as there a lot of people using MaxiVista or wanting to use it with a Vista system as a primary.
Until then you can use MaxiVista on a Windows XP computer and use Vista systems as the secondary computers with ease, MaxiVista works great for extending, cloning and as a KVM switch for one computer with other systems. The MaxiVista program costs $30 from their website and works great for a virtual mirror and cloning program as well as a KVM switch through a network.