Microsoft adds an AI Copilot key to all future PCs, “most significant change to the Windows keyboard” in 30 years.

New Windows PCs going forward will include a dedicated AI key on the keyboard deck.

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Microsoft has unveiled a new hardware key for Windows Copilot AI that will be available on future Windows devices starting next month, marking the “first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades,” according to the company.

Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, Yusef Mehdi, claims the firm is getting ready to launch an AI-driven age of more intelligent and personalized computing that will be seamlessly integrated into Windows spanning OS, applications, and hardware.

The business predicts that 2024 will be the year of the “AI PC.” To reinforce this concept, it is launching the Windows Copilot key, which will be available for purchase on brand-new Windows computers in February. It is anticipated that the first PCs to use this new key will be unveiled at CES 2024 as early as next week.

Although Microsoft has not yet announced any new Surface hardware, it has confirmed that the new Copilot key will be included in future Surface PCs. With next-generation Intel and Arm CPUs and a fresh design for the Surface Laptop series, we anticipate the release of the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 as the next Surface PCs.

These new AI PCs will feature a dedicated Copilot key on the keyboard, which is typically located where the context menu key is on the right side of the keyboard. Microsoft informed me that at some time shortly, OEMs delivering Windows PCs would have to use this new Copilot key.

According to Microsoft, the Copilot key will make it simple for users to access the Windows Copilot interface. In our study of Windows 11 version 23H2, we saw that most users were able to access the Windows Copilot interface at that time. When the Copilot key is pressed by a user without Copilot enabled, Windows Search is opened.

Windows and AI are about to become a lot more intertwined

Microsoft is getting ready to release a significant Windows upgrade later in the year, with the main goal being to provide “next-gen” AI experiences on Windows. Yusef Mehdi even hinted at what Microsoft is working on for 2024 in his blog post from today:

With a new AI Explorer that uses natural language to search for apps and files and a new user history/timeline feature that allows you to find conversations, apps, and documents you’ve previously had on display, Microsoft has big plans for AI in Windows this year.

The next big Windows update, codenamed Hudson Valley, will include certain AI experiences that I’ve already written about, and it’s safe to assume that the AI Copilot we have today is only the beginning. Microsoft is fully committed to artificial intelligence, and Windows is the next platform to receive a “AI upgrade.”

According to the corporation, 2024 will be the year of the AI PC, made possible by the impending release of Windows Hudson Valley and new Windows PCs.

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