Microsoft sets its sights on 2024 as “the year of the AI computer,” initiating a groundbreaking shift in PC technology with a pivotal adjustment to the keyboard layout for forthcoming PCs and laptops from its partners. The pivotal change manifests in the form of the Copilot key, offering users direct and swift access to the AI capabilities embedded within Windows Copilot.
The Copilot Key: A 30-Year Revolution
The Copilot key marks the most significant deviation from the traditional Windows PC keyboard layout in nearly three decades. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, compares this milestone to the historic introduction of the Windows key, foreseeing the Copilot key as the gateway into the realm of artificial intelligence within the PC ecosystem.
This key supplants the menu key (application key) that has endured on keyboards since the inception of the Windows key. Typically situated adjacent to the right Alt key, its placement will vary depending on the manufacturer and target market. Functionally, the Copilot key serves as the entry point into Windows Copilot, a Windows 11 feature that hosts a ChatGPT-style chatbot capable of answering inquiries and executing tasks within the operating system.
Functionality and Future Prospects
In scenarios where Windows Copilot isn’t accessible, the Copilot key seamlessly redirects to launch Windows Search. Presently, its functionality is confined to initiating the Start menu, leaving its potential for combination with other keys uncertain in future updates.
Details concerning the integration of the Copilot key by specific OEMs remain undisclosed, notes NIX Solutions. However, speculation hints at the possibility of Microsoft unveiling this innovation with the release of potential new models such as the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 in the upcoming spring, potentially introducing this groundbreaking keyboard alteration to the broader audience.