Hardware / News / Windows

The dedicated Copilot keyboard key: it’s all about AI

  • After almost 30 years since the introduction of the Windows key a new Copilot key will join future keyboards.
  • Microsoft introduced us to the concept of the AI PC and centerstage is the AI Copilot which will feature a dedicated key on our keyboard.
  • The Copilot key will replace the contextual menu key, usually found on the right side of the spacebar.
windows copilot keyboard key

To say that Microsoft placed their biggest bet on AI is an understatement. We already see that with the rushed AI Copilot, which was recently added to Windows 11. Rumors point to Microsoft preparing Copilot for Windows 10 as well, even if support for the old operating system is set to stop very soon.

Everyone expects Windows 12 to focus on AI and I can’t say that I’m happy about that. I still believe AI is just a hype, and the “AI will replace workers” may soon be replaced by “AI will help us with some of the boring stuff”. But that’s a debate for another time.

Right now, we’re going to talk about the latest Microsoft announcement about the AI PC. This is the first time we hear about this concept, from what I’m aware, but let’s not get too excited.

Why?

Because what the announcement is about is simple: future keyboards will soon feature a dedicated Copilot key. That’s about it.

Yes, everyone is “excited”, silicon partners are already adding AI to their chips. And by that we mean AMD, Intel, Qualcomm are adding dedicated hardware units that are able to run AI code faster. But make no mistake, AI is still software and will always be software.

Cinism aside, we know a few things about this new keyboard key and how it will work.

Where will the Copilot key be located?

The new Copilot key will be placed at the right of the spacebar key and will replace the contextual menu key (application key).

If you miss the old key, you can still press Shift + F10 for the contextual menu.

If you own a keyboard with a dedicated Office key, another attempt from Microsoft to change our beloved keyboard from a few years ago, the Copilot key will replace that instead.

It’s not a big loss for me, since I never use the Right Alt, Menu, and Right Ctrl keys anyway.

What happens when you press the Copilot key?

It’s as if you press the copilot icon next to the Start menu button. Or like you press Win + C now. This shortcut may disappear in the future once we’ll have a dedicated key for opening the Copilot key.

microsoft ai copilot panel in windows

Frankly, I would prefer to see the Copilot panel as an overlay, not a panel that resizes all my windows, then puts them back once closed.

What if I run an operating system that doesn’t support AI Copilot?

Microsoft thought about the possibility that you’re not using a Windows operating system with AI Copilot. If that’s the case, the Windows Search will open instead.

If that’s not OK with you, it’s very easy to just remap any key to another function using the free PowerToys utility.

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm a writer and Editor-in-Chief at BinaryFork. I am passionate about technology, science, space exploration, and movies. I started writing about tech more than 20 years ago, after graduating in Computer Science.
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