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Home / Hot Stuff / Here’s how Microsoft is changing the PC keyboard for the first time in 30 years

Here’s how Microsoft is changing the PC keyboard for the first time in 30 years

Microsoft is going all in on AI, with a new keyboard button that opens the Copilot chatbot. It's replacing the menu key.

New Microsoft Copilot keyboard button

If you’ve managed to avoid dipping your toes into AI until now, you might be thrown into the deep end when you next replace your PC machine. Microsoft is replacing the good old Menu key with something a bit more 21st century – the ‘Copilot key’. The Menu key, long the unsung hero for right-click enthusiasts, is getting the boot in favour of something snazzier.

The Copilot key is Microsoft‘s latest trick to seamlessly integrate AI into every aspect of Windows, from the system to the silicon, and now, the hardware. It’s like having a mini Jeeves at your fingertips, ready to assist with your computing needs. Microsoft is banking on this little gem to usher in a “significant shift” towards a more personal and intelligent computing future. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a smarter sidekick while slogging through spreadsheets?

The idea is that this new key is a shortcut to Copilot AI on Windows laptops and PC desktops. With a single press, you can summon your AI companion to assist with everything from mundane tasks to creative endeavours. It’s like having a genie in a bottle, but instead of three wishes, you get unlimited AI assistance.

What’s the big fuss about swapping out the Menu key, though? It’s a bold statement from Microsoft, marking the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades. Microsoft is betting big on AI being the future of computing. It’s arguably the first move to put AI in front of everyone – even if they’re not sure what it even does. How will it play out? It’ll be interesting to see if this is the sort of move that can push AI into the mainstream.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Copilot key making its grand debut on new Windows 11 PCs and laptops at CES. They’ll start making their way onto shelves starting from late February through to spring. This includes those shiny upcoming Surface devices from Microsoft, and devices from third-party partners.

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Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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