Microsoft announces "most significant change to the Windows keyboard" in 30 years — adds dedicated AI Copilot key to all future PCs

Arun Topez

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That's the "most significant change"??? Replacing a useful existing key with a shortcut key no one will use is not significant... they literally added an emoji/gif/special character key in recent years (which is actually useful) but they didn't consider that major, but this is?

Did they not learn anything from people hating the Bixby key on Samsung devices?
 
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GraniteStateColin

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I think this is fine, assuming there's a place to put it. I am already a bit frustrated with many laptop keyboards for leaving out the menu key. I have the new Spectre x360 16", which I mostly love, except that to fit a fingerprint reader into the keyboard, it only has 1 Windows key on the left and no menu key at all. Because it also has a Hello camera, I'd rather give up the fingerprint key and gain back a menu key.

Menu key for me is a constant use key for spelling corrections -- without ever taking fingers off the keyboard, I can hit it with the cursor on a red underlined word and fix. Without knowing how Windows will use this new Copilot key, it's hard to be sure, but I doubt I'll need AI as frequently as I need the menu key, but if it is highly context aware, maybe it will incorporate the features of the menu key.

(By the way, for anyone else similarly frustrated by keyboards w/o a menu key, you can get the same effect with Shift+F10. That's not as fast as hitting the menu key while typing, but still much faster than reaching for the mouse, positioning the mouse cursor, and then right clicking.)
 

GraniteStateColin

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That's the "most significant change"??? Replacing a useful existing key with a shortcut key no one will use is not significant... they literally added an emoji/gif/special character key in recent years (which is actually useful) but they didn't consider that major, but this is?

Did they not learn anything from people hating the Bixby key on Samsung devices?
@Arun Topez , did Zac say this is replacing an existing key? I didn't see that in the article. On standalone keyboards, there's probably room to add it without removing anything else. Laptops would have a tougher time, but laptop manufacturers are always making their own decisions to insert non-standard keys into their keyboards anyway. Another official key could (maybe a long shot) lead to better standardization across laptop keyboards as they have less leeway to still fit everything. My current HP keyboard has a fingerprint reader and a power button (along with the fairly laptop-standard Fn key) all in the keyboard.

On the other hand, many laptops ignore official keyboard standards anyway. Many, for example, don't include the Menu key, which I find quite frustrating, because that's a key I use almost as much the Ctrl key (and more than the Alt key).
 
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mavthewolf

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Why does Microsoft think anyone has any interest in this? Whatever Copilot can answer for you can simple be done with a Google search and a bit of patience. Copilot is nothing but a glorified Bing search with extra steps. It's just Cortana all over again, except Cortana was significantly more useful while Copilot is not.

So explain to me why I should be interested or even care about it? If gaming keyboards start throwing this key on the keyboard, I'm absolutely going to find some way to replace that key cap and reprogram the button to do something more useful.
 
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Laura Knotek

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I have no use for Copilot. The only use I have for Windows is gaming, but if I'm able to run Steam and GOG on Linux, then I'll have no use for Windows at all. Microsoft is making me more interested in Linux with every new 'feature' in Windows that I don't want it need.
 

Arun Topez

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@Arun Topez , did Zac say this is replacing an existing key? I didn't see that in the article. On standalone keyboards, there's probably room to add it without removing anything else. Laptops would have a tougher time, but laptop manufacturers are always making their own decisions to insert non-standard keys into their keyboards anyway. Another official key could (maybe a long shot) lead to better standardization across laptop keyboards as they have less leeway to still fit everything. My current HP keyboard has a fingerprint reader and a power button (along with the fairly laptop-standard Fn key) all in the keyboard.

On the other hand, many laptops ignore official keyboard standards anyway. Many, for example, don't include the Menu key, which I find quite frustrating, because that's a key I use almost as much the Ctrl key (and more than the Alt key).
It replaces the right Context Menu key (on newer keyboards, Ctrl key on older keyboards), that's how Microsoft announced it, and that's how OEMs such as Dell have already shown. The Context Menu key is an important key for powerusers and for people with accessibility needs and for people who don't have mouse or touch screen. Now that context menu key is optional and Dell for example has made it an Fn+Copilot key in order to access that context menu function which is not accessibility friendly. Copilot already has so many ports of entry already (keyboard shortcut, large buttons in the OS + apps, now pushing to make it launch by default when Windows starts)...
 

GraniteStateColin

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It replaces the right Context Menu key (on newer keyboards, Ctrl key on older keyboards), that's how Microsoft announced it, and that's how OEMs such as Dell have already shown. The Context Menu key is an important key for powerusers and for people with accessibility needs and for people who don't have mouse or touch screen. Now that context menu key is optional and Dell for example has made it an Fn+Copilot key in order to access that context menu function which is not accessibility friendly. Copilot already has so many ports of entry already (keyboard shortcut, large buttons in the OS + apps, now pushing to make it launch by default when Windows starts)...

In that case, I agree that it's a problem, but perhaps not exclusive to addition of a Copilot key. My HP Spectre already lacks the menu key, forcing me to use Shift+F10, which is a fairly cumbersome workaround even for someone without accessibility needs. I must conclude that MS' telemetry data shows that this key doesn't get much use. Personally, I use it all the time: every time a word gets red-underlined as misspelled in any app, I hit that key to correct it (except the new beta Outlook doesn't support this or right-click, grr....).
 

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