In its most significant keyboard update in three decades, Microsoft is introducing a “Copilot” key that activates an AI-powered assistant with a simple click. The tech giant announced on Thursday that this Copilot key will soon be available on new PCs produced and sold by various manufacturers running the Windows operating system, marking what Microsoft is calling “the year of the AI PC.”
This innovative feature enables users to interact with Copilot, Microsoft’s AI-powered chatbot, by clicking a single button on their PCs. Whether seeking assistance, asking questions, or drafting emails, the Copilot key aims to streamline and enhance the computing experience for users.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, emphasized the simplification and amplification of the computing experience, declaring 2024 as the year of the AI PC in a blog post announcing the introduction of the Copilot key.
Mehdi emphasized that the new key aims to “effortlessly integrate Copilot into your daily activities.” Notably, Copilot operates on the foundation of OpenAI’s technology, a result of Microsoft’s substantial $13 billion investment in the AI startup.
For users in countries where Copilot is not yet available or on devices where it’s not enabled, pressing the Copilot key will initiate Windows Search.
Positioned on the lower right side of the keyboard, adjacent to the space bar and alt button, the new key showcases a distinctive Copilot ribbon logo.
This addition represents the most significant alteration to the Windows PC keyboard since Microsoft introduced the Windows key in 1994. Over the years, this key became a standard feature on laptop and desktop keyboards from manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, and HP.
Microsoft’s move precedes the upcoming CES tech convention, where numerous companies are anticipated to reveal AI product updates. Over the past year, major tech companies have been in a race to incorporate AI tools across their product portfolios.
In the blog post unveiling the Copilot key, Mehdi hinted at a “significant shift” expected in 2024 for Microsoft, indicating a seamless integration of AI into Windows, spanning from the system to the silicon to the hardware.