Microsoft is making a significant change to Windows keyboards by introducing the Copilot key, marking the first major update in nearly 30 years. This key is part of Microsoft’s push for the “year of the AI PC” and will be featured on new Windows-powered laptops and PCs.
It provides direct access to the AI-powered Windows Copilot experience, replacing the menu key and sitting next to the right-hand alt key. The Copilot key simplifies access to Copilot or launches Windows Search if Copilot is not available. Microsoft plans to unveil the Copilot key on new Windows 11 PCs from ecosystem partners, starting later this month.
Overview of Microsoft’s New AI Button for Windows Keyboards
The Copilot key is the first major change to PC keyboards in 30 years, since the introduction of the Windows logo key in 1994. The Windows logo key allows users to perform shortcuts and commands related to the Windows operating system, such as opening the Start menu, switching between apps, or taking screenshots. The Copilot key, on the other hand, will allow users to access AI-powered features and services that are integrated with Windows 11, such as voice assistants, translation tools, smart suggestions, and more.
The Copilot key is part of Microsoft’s push for 2024 to be the “year of the AI PC”, a term coined by the company’s CEO Satya Nadella. According to Nadella, the AI PC is a new category of devices that will use artificial intelligence to simplify and amplify the computing experience, by providing personalized and contextual assistance, insights, and recommendations. Microsoft aims to make the AI PC accessible and affordable for everyone, by offering a range of devices that will run on Windows 11 and support the Copilot key.
The Purpose of the Copilot Key
The Copilot key is designed to make the computing experience easier and more efficient for users, by integrating AI technology into the Windows 11 operating system. By pressing the Copilot key, users will be able to access various AI-powered functions and services, such as:
- Voice assistants: Users will be able to use voice commands to control their PC, launch apps, search the web, dictate text, set reminders, and more. Users will have the option to choose between Microsoft’s own Cortana, or third-party voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, or Apple’s Siri.
- Translation tools: Users will be able to translate text, speech, and images from one language to another, using Microsoft’s Translator service, which supports over 70 languages. Users will also be able to use the Copilot key to access live subtitles and captions for videos and audio, as well as real-time translation for online meetings and calls.
- Smart suggestions: Users will be able to get personalized and contextual suggestions for various tasks and activities, such as writing emails, creating presentations, editing photos, or browsing the web. Users will also be able to use the Copilot key to access Microsoft’s Power Automate service, which allows users to create and run automated workflows for common and repetitive tasks.
- And more: Users will be able to use the Copilot key to access other AI-powered features and services that are integrated with Windows 11, such as facial recognition, object detection, sentiment analysis, text summarization, and more.
Potential Impact of the Copilot Key
The Copilot key has the potential to transform the computing experience for users, by providing them with improved productivity and enhanced accessibility. Some of the possible benefits of the Copilot key are:
- Improved productivity: Users will be able to perform tasks and activities faster and easier, by using voice commands, translation tools, smart suggestions, and automated workflows. Users will also be able to multitask and switch between apps and functions more seamlessly, by using the Copilot key as a shortcut.
- Enhanced accessibility: Users will be able to access and use their PC more comfortably and conveniently, by using voice assistants, live subtitles and captions, and facial recognition. Users with disabilities or special needs will also be able to benefit from the Copilot key, as it will provide them with more options and support for their computing needs.
The Copilot key is expected to be available on Windows 11 PCs starting from the second half of 2024, as part of Microsoft’s vision for the AI PC. The Copilot key will be compatible with existing and new PC keyboards, as well as with touchscreens and other input devices. Microsoft hopes that the Copilot key will enable users to enjoy a more simple and powerful computing experience, powered by artificial intelligence.