Microsoft starts shipping its own keyboard with built-in Windows Hello sign-in

Microsoft is rolling out its own Windows Hello-compatible keyboard for Windows 10 devices. And it's unsurprisingly consolidating its mobile-keyboard strategy around SwiftKey.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has begun shipping its previously announced new keyboard with built-in Windows Hello fingerprint sign-in.


The Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID enables Windows 10 users to sign into Windows devices and compatible apps. (The 12 existing Windows Hello compatible apps, which include Dropbox, OneDrive, and ShareFile are listed here.)

Windows Hello is Microsoft's technology for signing into Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones using facial recognition, fingerprint sensing, and selected companion devices. Microsoft officials told OEMs late last year that making Windows Hello-compatible PCs and devices should be a top priority, as they would distinguish "hero devices" from non-hero devices.

Microsoft is selling the Bluetooth 4.0 (and higher) keyboard -- which can be used wirelessly or wired -- for $129.99. It's also now selling a new Microsoft Modern Mouse (not a Hello-compatible peripheral) for $49.99. The two peripherals are available currently in the US, Canada, and China from the Microsoft Store.

In other keyboard-related news, Microsoft is dropping support for one of its Garage projects, the Word Flow keyboard that it made available for the iPhone. The company is now putting its mobile-keyboard focus on SwiftKey, which it acquired last year.

The move makes sense, given Microsoft is requiring SwiftKey support in order to use the coming Windows 10 cloud Clipboard feature. The Clipboard feature -- which originally was slated to be part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, but has now slipped to some future Windows 10 release -- will allow users to copy and paste text, photos, maps, GIFs, and more between their Windows PCs and iOS/Android devices as long as they have SwiftKey installed.

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