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Microsoft wants to upgrade your PC keyboard to include a Copilot key



Microsoft wants to upgrade your PC keyboard to include a Copilot key

Microsoft has declared that 2024 will be the “year of the AI PC.” To emphasize this, the company unveiled a new Copilot key today. This is a physical key that will soon be added to your keyboard, joining the Windows key, Control, Alt, and that Insert key you’ve never used on purpose. According to the picture that Microsoft provided, the new Copilot key will appear to take the position of the right Control key on a typical PC keyboard, fitting in between the Alt and left arrow keys.

“The introduction of the Copilot key marks the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, Executive Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, writes in today’s announcement. “We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily. The Copilot key joins the Windows key as a core part of the PC keyboard and when pressed, the new key will invoke the Copilot in Windows experience to make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day.”

When using the Copilot key, Windows Search will open in areas where Copilot is not available. The first keyboards using the new key will probably begin shipping in late February, and they will likely be unveiled during this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

The fact that Microsoft has added a new button for the first time since the Windows logo key initially appeared on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard in 1994 should be enough to convince you that the company is fully committed to the AI hype train.

In order to “unlock new AI experiences on the Windows PC,” Microsoft and its chip partners, AMD and Intel, anticipate that a large portion of AI inferencing will soon be offloaded onto local silicon. “This as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC,” says Microsoft, never one to mince words.

Fortunately, your old keyboards will keep working exactly the same. If your keyboard lets you, you might even be able to remap your right Control key to behave similarly to the Copilot key. Of course, you might also choose to disregard everything.

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