I recently bought a Surface Pro 3, and since I already have a workstation of considerable proportions under my desk, I began looking for a KVM, or Keyboard/Video/Mouse unit so that I could switch between the two machines without having to constantly move between them.
I’m still on the search for one that will not only not clutter up my desk, but also neatly handle a mixture of DVI and HDMI signals, but along the way, I came across Sharemouse.
Sharemouse is a software KVM, and the strikethrough the Video is important, in that, whilst Sharemouse allows you to seamlessly share keyboard and mouse, it cannot support video (at least not yet). The objective of Sharemouse however is slightly different to that of a traditional KVM – if you need a large monitor and are going to be using each PC for long periods of time before switching over to the other, then a physical KVM is the obvious way to go.
However, if you are constantly switching between machines, and use one of the more predominantly, then Sharemouse allows you to work more efficiently, and with less hardware.
The application itself is extremely simple to use. Install it on the two machines that you want to share the keyboard and mouse with and, providing that both machines are on the same network, just moving the mouse off the edge of the screen will switch control from one to the other.
In my case, I had to do absolutely no configuration at all, but just in case you have a different set up, Sharemouse allows you to decide where each machine is sitting on your desk, so that you can swipe up, down, left or right to move to the other.
It also dulls the screen of the machine that is not being used, and clearly identifies what is happening as you switch across, making it immediately obvious which machine you are using.
Obviously, this is not a true KVM replacement, as you still need line of sight on both PCs since it doesn’t share the monitor, but the advantage over a traditional KVM is the instantaneous switch between the two machines.
There are three versions available: the free option for non-commercial use, which allows two machines to be connected; The standard version, which includes additional functionality such as the ability to drag and drop between the two machines and synchronise the clipboard for ease of transfer; and the Pro edition which increases the number of machines you can connect to from 2 to 9, with 16 monitors being configured to work with the software.