Microsoft Introduces Copilot Key to Windows Keyboards

Microsoft has announced its first significant keyboard change in nearly three decades with the addition of the Copilot key to its Windows keyboards. The Copilot key, which features a Copilot ribbon logo, will be located near the space bar and will summon Microsoft’s AI-powered chatbot, Copilot, with a single click. The key will replace either the menu key or the right control key on some keyboards.

Copilot, which integrates AI into Microsoft’s software, is currently accessible with the keyboard shortcut Windows + C. The tool is integrated with Microsoft 365 and works alongside Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. The addition of the Copilot key is part of Microsoft’s efforts to make AI more accessible to users and to empower them to participate in the AI transformation more easily.

The Copilot key is the biggest change to the Windows PC keyboard since Microsoft added the Windows key back in 1994. The key will launch Copilot, which helps users perform tasks like summarizing documents, recommending music, and answering questions. The AI-powered assistant is propelled by OpenAI’s underlying technology after Microsoft’s $13 billion investment into the AI company.

The Copilot key will be coming soon to some new PCs made by Microsoft and its ecosystem partners. The key will also be included on some upcoming Surface devices. Microsoft did not specify which computer manufacturers would be adding the button, only saying the key would be on “many of the new Windows 11 PCs from our ecosystem partners”.

The addition of the Copilot key is part of Microsoft’s efforts to make AI more accessible to users and to empower them to participate in the AI transformation more easily. The company believes that the key addition will move the technology world closer to a future where AI is “seamlessly” woven into Windows, from the system to the hardware.

The Copilot key will ultimately “make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day-to-day,” according to Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer. The key will help users engage with Copilot more easily and amplify their computing experience, making 2024 the year of the AI PC.