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Microsoft's Latest AI Feature Marks the First Keyboard Addition to Windows in Three Decades

Ahead of the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft has unveiled a significant update to Windows keyboards, marking the most substantial change in nearly thirty years. This innovation introduces a dedicated key for its AI tool Copilot, positioned to the right of the space bar.

The Copilot key's function is to activate Microsoft's recently launched Copilot service, designed to assist users in various tasks such as document summarization, music recommendations, and answering queries akin to those posed to a search engine or AI chatbot. On some keyboards, it will replace either the menu key or the right control key.

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's Executive Vice President and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, expressed the belief that this new key will facilitate easier engagement with AI transformation. He stated, "We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily," adding that it will seamlessly invoke the Copilot in Windows experience for day-to-day use.

This addition underscores Microsoft's commitment to artificial intelligence, as evidenced by the integration of generative AI into critical products like Windows 11 and the Bing search engine over the past year. Copilot relies on advanced language models, particularly OpenAI's GPT-4.

The AI key is set to debut on the initial batch of Windows 11 laptops and PCs from Microsoft's partners leading up to CES, including the upcoming line of Dell XPS laptops. A broader release is expected between late February and spring, encompassing upcoming Surface devices. Eventually, the Copilot button will become a standard feature.

For users without Copilot or in regions where it is not available, the new key will activate Windows Search. Presently, Windows users can access Copilot by pressing the Windows key + C. Yusuf Mehdi anticipates that this introduction will not only simplify but also enhance users' computing experiences, declaring 2024 as the year of the AI PC.


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