Freeing your desktop and minimizing all windows is no problem with Windows 7. One click at the right-bottom edge of the taskbar or pressing [Win]-[Space] will do. But what if the currently active window should stay open? Windows 7 Aero Shake helps.
With Aero Shake, you can close all windows except the currently active one. Some shaking is enough: Just click in the window title bar, keep the mouse button pressed and shake your mouse (while keeping the mouse button pressed). The result? All other windows will hide from your desktop. To get them back, just shake the window again.