Microsoft is making its biggest change to Windows keyboards in decades

How much does Microsoft believe in Copilot? This new key says it all.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Dell XPS 15 Display
Max Buondonno/ZDNET

In 2023, Microsoft established itself as a leader in the AI space with several major AI developments, including its GPT-powered AI chatbot assistant -- Copilot. As the new year begins, Microsoft is redirecting its efforts towards the vision of an AI PC, starting with a significant change to Windows keyboards. 

On Thursday, Microsoft announced the introduction of the Copilot key to Windows 11 PCs, the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades, according to the release. 

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"Nearly 30 years ago, we introduced the Windows key to the PC keyboard that enabled people all over the world to interact with Windows," said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft CVP & Consumer CMO. "We see this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC."

When pressed, the new Copilot key will open the Copilot in the Windows experience, making it easier for Windows 11 PC users to implement Copilot in their day-to-day workflows. 

Copilot in Windows can help users perform a series of tasks on their PCs and beyond, including adjusting PC settings, organizing windows, summarizing text, generating images, and more, all from a single prompt. 

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This implementation is only the first step in what Microsoft is calling "the year of the AI PC." 

"In this new year, we will be ushering in a significant shift toward a more personal and intelligent computing future where AI will be seamlessly woven into Windows from the system to the silicon, to the hardware," said Mehdi. 

Both leading to and at CES, you will begin to see the Copilot key appear on many of the new Windows 11 PCs from Microsoft's ecosystem partners and on its own upcoming Surface devices, according to Microsoft. 

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