Microsoft to Windows 10 users: Want a dedicated Office key on your keyboard?

Microsoft considers Office key for shortcuts to Office 365 apps in research it's conducting among users.

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Keyboards for Windows 10 PCs could soon include a new Office key, if Microsoft follows through with an idea it's seeking feedback about. 

Windows watcher WalkingCat spotted the proposed Office key in a survey Microsoft is running among Office users who have a school or work Microsoft account.  

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The image suggests that an Office key could replace the Windows key on the right-hand side of the keyboard adjacent to the Alt key. 

Examples of new functionality Microsoft envisions include an Office key + S to share a document. Other shortcuts suggested in the survey include Office key + O, T, W, X, P, D, N, Y, and L. 

As suggested by Petri.com, this feature could provide Office 365 users with a quick way to launch key Office apps like Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Yammer, and so on.

The proposed Office key is aimed at desktops, but the survey also asks respondents whether they'd like the Office key on laptops too. 

It would be a fairly significant change to the keyboard layout, which The Verge notes has featured the Windows flag key on keyboards for the past 25 years. Additionally, Microsoft requires the Windows key for all keyboards

The move would also align with Microsoft's ambitions to change its image as 'the Windows company' and reflects the importance of Office 365 and its hugely popular Teams app to its broader commercial cloud business.