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Microsoft Unveils New AI 'Copilot' Key, Its Biggest Update To Windows Keyboard Since 1994

Microsoft is set to revolutionize PC interaction with its introduction of the "Copilot" key, an AI-powered assistant activation button on select new PCs, making 2024 the "year of the AI PC." This innovative addition represents the most significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly 30 years.

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Microsoft is introducing a 'Copilot' key, in its Biggest Update to the Windows Keyboard in 30 years.
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In its biggest update to the Windows keyboard in 30 years, Microsoft is introducing a "Copilot" key that instantly activates an AI-powered assistant when pressed.

Microsoft has announced that the Copilot key will soon be available on select new PCs manufactured and sold by various companies, all running on the Windows operating system. This move aligns with Microsoft's vision for "the year of the AI PC."

This means that in the near future, PC users will have the convenience of interacting with Copilot, Microsoft's AI-powered chatbot, simply by pressing a single button. They can use it to ask questions or receive assistance in drafting emails.

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Copilot can be used to ask questions or receive assistance in drafting emails. Courtesy: Microsoft

“This will not only simplify people’s computing experience but also amplify it, making 2024 the year of the AI PC,” Yusuf Mehdi, the executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft, said in a company blog post announcing the Copilot key.

Yusuf Mehdi, the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Consumers at Microsoft, stated in a company blog post introducing the Copilot key, “This will not only simplify people’s computing experience but also amplify it, making 2024 the year of the AI PC."

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"Nearly 30 years ago, we introduced the Windows key to the PC keyboard that enabled people all over the world to interact with Windows," the executive said. "We see this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC."

Mehdi further emphasized that the new key will ultimately  “make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day." It's worth noting that Copilot is powered by OpenAI's foundational technology, a result of Microsoft's substantial $13 billion investment in the AI startup.

About The New 'Copilot' Key 

The new key showcases a Copilot ribbon logo and is positioned on the lower right side of the keyboard, close to the Space bar and Alt button.

If Copilot is currently unavailable in your country or not activated on your device, pressing the Copilot key will initiate the Windows Search feature. While the current Windows key can either open the Start menu or be combined with various other keys to create shortcuts for Windows features and functions, the Copilot key serves as a dedicated launch key for now. It remains uncertain whether Microsoft intends to enable the use of the Copilot key in combination with other keys in the future.

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This addition represents the first major alteration to the Windows PC keyboard since Microsoft introduced the Windows key in 1994. The Windows key became a standard feature on laptop and desktop keyboards offered by companies like Dell, Lenovo, and HP.

Where Will The Copilot Button Be Officially Unveiled?

The introduction of the Copilot button will take place at the CES technology trade show in Las Vegas later this month. However, Microsoft has not disclosed the specific computer manufacturers that will incorporate the Copilot button.

Microsoft's effort to enhance the AI experience for PC users follows a lawsuit filed by The New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft. The lawsuit alleges that these companies utilized The New York Times' content to train AI models without obtaining permission, thus violating the outlet's copyrights.

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Other Rumoured Releases From Microsoft

There have been rumors about Microsoft releasing new Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 models in the spring. The previously rumored dedicated Copilot key on Surface devices has now been officially confirmed.

In the blog post where Mehdi introduced the Copilot key, he hinted at a “significant shift” expected in 2024 for Microsoft. This transformation will involve the seamless integration of AI into Windows, spanning from the system itself to the silicon and hardware components, according to the post.

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