What are you facing right now? If it’s not 1024 x 768 monitor screen, maybe you need to fast forward your life a little bit. Research by OneStat and TheCounter.com has shown that 75%-80% internet users use wide screen with the resolution of 1024 x 768 or larger.
This is a good thing for web designer, because people don’t like to scroll. They get into a page; they see what appear, and then go away to load another page. They might miss some information we want them to see. Large resolution allows us to put more into one view. We could use more extra 200 pixels than the previous screen resolution trend of 800 x 600.
But don’t get too excited. Use your wide space wisely. About column width; you’re designing on a wide screen doesn’t mean you should apply wider column width. Keep it comfortably readable with 55 characters per line. The same goes to column amount. If your two columns design seems good enough, avoid the temptation of adding one more columns.
The main thing is, keep it simple. Better to use the extra space to improve navigation. And one more thing, never ever excess the 1024 width. User hates horizontal scrolling even more than vertical scrolling.