Microsoft to add Copilot AI key to Windows keyboards

Microsoft Copilot physical key on Windows keyboards
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's focus on artificial intelligence continues into 2024 as it seeks to push Copilot in Windows AI assistant front and center. Or, more accurately, front and right of center — with a dedicated Copilot key to feature on all future Windows keyboards.

Copilot: A key to the new Windows experience

It's the first major change to the Windows keyboard layout in nearly 30 years, with 1994 hailing the inclusion of the Windows logo key (responsible for several shortcut keypresses to quickly navigate and interact with the operating system).

The new Copilot key will take the place of the Menu key on the right-hand side of the space bar between the right Alt key and the Left Arrow navigation key on laptops. For full-size desktop keyboards, the Copilot key is likely to replace the second Windows key often found next to the Menu key.

There's no word yet on the Windows key introducing new keyboard shortcuts, but Microsoft EVP and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer Yusuf Mehdi believes the AI-invoking physical key will "empower people to participate in the AI transformation [of Windows] more easily" and make it "Seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day."

Outlook

The inclusion of a dedicated key for Microsoft's AI assistant fittingly acts as a keycap onto a slew of new Windows tools and features included in the 23H2 update. These AI-boosted features included everything from Cocreator in Paint for image generation, an AI video editor in Clipchamp, and of course the Copilot sidebar giving Windows 11 users quick access to interact with their new artificial assistant with all of the functions of Bing Chat readily at hand.

Expect the Copilot key to feature on Windows laptops and Windows-supporting keyboards soon. With the first devices featuring it ready to be shown off at this year's CES 2024.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.