I come to you humble and frustrated
Some years ago, a programmer developed a neat little piece of software (albeit needing additional work) that would show and hide desktop icons with a simple Shortcut and command line. This program worked famously in Windows XP, and failed (partially) in Vista.....you can imagine the headache in Windows 7.
More information on that program at How-To-Geek: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/create-a-shortcut-or-hotkey-to-turn-the-desktop-icons-on-or-off/
Over the years I have contact many programmers to re-create an update to this, by creating a similar program that would work in Windows Vista and higher, in both 32 and 64 bit flavors.
I have had several serious attempts to tackle this issue, to include folks that would be paid upon completion of program.
Many have outright given up or have created bloated/failed attempts.
Two have come so close.
A former programmer here (that I will not mention by name) came the closest, with Clean Desktop
Can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/cs2z6ilfj3etanm/Clean%20Desktop.zip
Clean desktop will Show/Hide Desktop Icons, Side Bar Gadgets, and the Menu Bar
The problem (that seems to be at issue) is hiding the Menu Bar and then making the space available.
In Vista and 7 it is easy to hide and show the menu bar, but typically the area seems to be "reserved" and no application expanded to full screen can make use of this area.
As shown in the following image:
This is the single area of frustration that apparently can not be overcome in Vista and 7!!!
That being said; this should be do-able!
Object Dock has successfully done this for many years now, where the Menu Bar can be locked in a down position (or made to disappear) and the Menu Bar area made usable.
So, as far as I know, this goal is obtainable.
I like the structure and small program of Clean desktop, and would see that continued/re-created, so users can identify what and when "X" desktop Items Show/Hide.
The program is universal in that it works in 32 and 64 bit arenas.
The two big things to overcome is Hiding/Showing the Menu Bar, while making the Menu Bar area usable, and creating a system where the last state is remembered (?).
Doing this and wrapping it up into a small .exe controlled by Command Line through End User created shortcuts.
I would see this program posted as a DC Community program, and made available here, If Mouser approves
Yes there is a way that the Desktop Icons can be hidden in all Windows Platforms. This has been available since Windows 95, and Side Bar can simply be shut off, but this does not address the Menu Bar, nor make Desktop Icons, side Bar gadgets, or the Menu Bar easily accessible to instant access. Which is where this small program comes in very handy.
If there are any programmers here willing to tackle this project, I would be very grateful.
Thanks in Advance