Microsoft is betting everything on artificial intelligence and also demonstrates it with a design choice: the Copilot button, an addition to Windows PC and laptop keyboards. The first in over 30 years requested by the Redmond company. A choice that comes after months in which the company integrated Copilot’s AI into various products, from the Edge browser to Word, Excel and the other products of what was once the “Office package”. And which for Microsoft serves to launch 2024 as the “year of AI PCs”.
Microsoft brings the dedicated Copilot key to Windows PC keyboards
The Copilot button represents the first substantial change in Windows keyboard layout in nearly three decades, as he recognizes Microsoft itself. The last time the Redmond company asked PC manufacturers to change keyboards was in the 1990s, withintroduction of the Windows key An important change: today several Windows 11 features and shortcuts use that key (our favorite is Win+V).
According to Microsoft, the Copilot button will have an even bigger impact: it will be the new access point to artificial intelligence on PCs.
A button dedicated to AI
The Copilot key will occupy the place previously dedicated by the menu button, introduced along with the Windows key years ago. Located next to the right alt key on US keyboards and between the Fn key and right Ctrl in the Italian onesits positioning will vary depending on the distribution market and the manufacturer.
Its purpose is to initiate theWindows Copilot experience, integrated into the Windows 11 operating system, which offers an AI-based interface similar to ChatGPT, capable of answer questions or perform actions within Windows.
However, in certain geographic areas where AI is not currently available, the Copilot key will activate instead Windows Search. Unlike the Windows key, which allows you to access the Start menu or perform combinations with other keys to access specific Windows featuresthe Copilot button functions exclusively as a start button. It’s not yet clear whether Microsoft plans to allow the Copilot key to be used in shortcuts with other functions in the future.
Many details still to be discovered
As The Verge points out, Microsoft has kept information about which partners will include the Copilot button confidential. But perhaps we could see the first PCs and laptops with this button at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We will certainly see the Copilot button in the next Microsoft Surface devices. Microsoft is expected to launch the new models Surface Pro 10 e Surface Laptop 6 in primavera, both equipped with the dedicated Copilot key. But we expect that starting from spring we will find the new keyboard layout in physical stores and online.
This announcement follows the widespread integration of Copilot during 2023 and marks the beginning of an ambitious year for Microsoft in the field of artificial intelligence. From Word to Edge, from Outlook to Windows, Copilot’s AI will become increasingly present in the Microsoft experience – you might as well have a dedicated button to activate it.