As many of you might have noticed, multitasking Windows’s GUI was never quite finished. When you give an application something to do, and then try to run another application, windows often minimize and restore them together. What you end up with is unrelated windows linked together. Using the second program increases the risk of canceling a render, or whathaveyou, if the second application looses focus, and it drops to Rhino. If you happen to press the enter key, it may cancel a render. If you are typing a sentence, the results may be quite unpleasant.
Enter the Task View button, which in the screenshot is on the lower left, next to the start button that Microsoft has worked so hard to get rid of. (You need to enlarge the image to see it.) Just like many Linux desktops, Windows now lets the user create multiple virtual desktops. Once you do, you can drag your applications in one of the virtual desktops, and then switch back to the main one.
Here in the screenshot, I am running a small render in Cycles, I have CPUID HWMonitor because I have a new cooler, and I watching it’s performance, and I am creating this thread…( and a temporal paradox : )
Still, you have to be careful with resources. I would not recommend antagonizing your machine, but when you do, this can make it a little safer. I don’t recommend using application that uses the GPU or hits the CPU/Memory too much. Lately, even Firefox can use the GPU, but I shut that “feature” off, because there are already too many mine-while-you-browse sites.
I am not sure how this works with multiple monitors, but it might still be able to give you a place to put applications that you don’t want jostled.