Microsoft is aiming for 2024 to become “the year of the AI PC,” and they’ve made a significant move to emphasize this vision. Today, the company unveiled a new addition to your keyboard – the Copilot key. This physical key will soon find its place alongside the familiar Windows key, Control key, Alt key, and the often-neglected Insert key. In a provided image, it appears that the Copilot key will replace the right Control key on the standard PC keyboard, positioning itself between the Alt key and the left arrow key.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and consumer Chief Marketing Officer, states, “The introduction of the Copilot key marks the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades.” This addition is seen as a way to facilitate people’s engagement with AI transformation. When pressed, the Copilot key will activate the Copilot in the Windows experience, making it effortless to integrate Copilot into your daily computing tasks.
In regions where Copilot isn’t available, the Copilot key will serve as a shortcut to Windows Search. These new keyboards, featuring the Copilot key, will make their debut at CES in Las Vegas this year and are expected to be available for purchase in late February.
This move underscores Microsoft’s strong commitment to AI. The addition of a new key to the keyboard, the first since the Windows logo key in 1994, is a clear indicator of their dedication to AI development.
Microsoft, alongside chip partners like AMD and Intel, envisions a future where much of the AI processing is offloaded onto local hardware. This shift is expected to “unlock new AI experiences on the Windows PC.” Microsoft sees this as a transformative moment where Copilot becomes the gateway to AI integration on the PC.
For those who prefer to stick with their existing keyboards, there’s good news – your old keyboards will continue to function as usual. If your keyboard allows customization, you may even have the option to remap your right Control key to function as the Copilot key. Of course, you’re also free to ignore this change altogether if it doesn’t align with your computing needs.