Windows laptops are getting AI on the keyboard this year

Copilot header
Pictured: Microsoft Copilot
// Microsoft makes a key-change.
Fergus Halliday
Jan 04, 2024
Icon Time To Read1 min read

Published on January 04, 2024

Just how big a deal does Microsoft think Copilot is? Enough to add a new key to this year's crop of Windows 11 laptops. Much as you'd expect, this new key will seamlessly launch Microsoft's Copilot AI chatbot at the press of a button. 

In a blog post announcing the move, Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi framed it as the most significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades.

"We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily," he said.

Given that the change was announced just days ahead of this year's CES in Las Vegas, expect to see plenty of new laptops from brands like HP, ASUS, Lenovo and Dell featuring the new Copilot key at the show itself.

"Over the coming days leading up to and at CES, you will start to see the Copilot key on many of the new Windows 11 PCs from our ecosystem partners, with availability beginning in late February through Spring, including on upcoming Surface devices," Mehdi said.

"This will not only simplify people’s computing experience but also amplify it, making 2024 the year of the AI PC," he said.
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While it is a pretty bold move to make changes that go against what people expect when it comes to Windows laptops, it's also true that removing a layer of potential friction between consumers and Copilot could result in more people using it. It's also true that keyboards have evolved over time and even the likes of the Windows key were at one point unfamiliar.

That said, the road to modern keyboard design is filled with plenty of dead ends. For example, Apple introduced the Touch Bar in 2016 and retired it in 2023. Not every big change to what works pans out and while the tech industry remains in the throes of AI fever, it's hard to say how this one will fare in the long run.

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Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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