Your next PC may have a Windows Copilot key on the keyboard

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 4, 2024
Windows 11 News

Microsoft announced today that (many) future Windows 11 PCs will ship with a new key on the keyboard. The Copilot key is the first major change to the keyboard since the introduction of the Windows key almost 30 years ago.

Microsoft has big plans for 2024 in regards to AI. While the company has been tight-lipped, it is almost certain that it plans to release a new version of Windows in the year. Whether it will be called Windows 12 or something else is up for debate. It is also unclear if it will be provided as an update for Windows 11 or launches alongside Windows 11 as a separate system.

What is clear is that Microsoft is going to push AI in that new version of Windows. While Microsoft did introduced Copilot in Windows 10 and 11 already, it feels more like a rushed response to AI taking over the world by storm. Whether the next iteration in Windows Next will change that remains to be seen.

Microsoft did introduce several Copilots already in its products. There is Microsoft Security Copilot, Microsoft Copilot, GitHub Copilot, as well as Copilots for Microsoft 365, Sales, Viva or Service among others.

The company's next Surface devices will come with dedicated AI chips and it is almost certain that many Microsoft partners will follow the lead.

The Copilot key "joins the Windows key as a core part of the PC keyboard" according to Yusuf Mehdi, Executive Vice President, Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft.

Windows Copilot Key

Some might argue that it will become another key on the keyboard that most users will ignore for the most part. A tap on the key opens the Windows Copilot interface. Mehdi did not reveal if Microsoft is adding more functionality to the key than that. It is possible that certain shortcuts, e.g. Copilot key plus another key or multiple keys, could launch specific functionality.

Want Copilot to generate an image? Press Copilot + I on the keyboard, something like that. Microsoft partners will introduce PCs and devices with the Copilot key in 2024 according to Mehdi. First devices will ship with the dedicated key as early as February 2024.

Dell, which is a Microsoft partner, published its vision of a Windows AI future recently.

Windows users may interact with Copilot by clicking on the icon on the taskbar or through the dedicated keyboard shortcut Windows-C.  Users may disable Windows Copilot and it remains to be seen if this is going to brick the dedicated Copilot key on the keyboard. An option to remap it easily would certainly be welcome.

Microsoft appears dedicated to making AI the central focus of Windows going forward. All signs seen so far suggest an interesting 2024 for Windows users.

Now You: what is your take on the Copilot key? Madness or progress?

Your next PC may have a Windows Copilot key on the keyboard
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Your next PC may have a Windows Copilot key on the keyboard
Microsoft announced today that (many) future Windows 11 PCs will ship with a new key on the keyboard.
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  1. Henry said on January 8, 2024 at 5:47 pm

    I wish new computers would come without a keyboard because staggered layouts are painful to type on and 100+ keys is too many.

    44 is just right for me. Love my Keyboardio Atreus. Mine runs Dvorak and blank keycaps.

  2. OutsiderPreview said on January 5, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    Microsoft must be more strictly regulated before it is too late. The EU has already gotten a head start, and it is now up to other countries to break up this ridiculousness.

  3. Tachy said on January 5, 2024 at 5:43 am

    PC’s don’t have keys. Keyboards have keys.

    As always these days, any new ‘feature’ added by (insert tech giant name here) is not for our benefit, it’s for their profit.

  4. Anonymous said on January 5, 2024 at 4:22 am

    “Your next PC may have” was quickly turned into “Your next PC will have” by so-so journalists and bots. It’s aimed at people believing tech is made of magical items.

    In the real world, “Copilot” in nothing more than an entry in the GPE tool and 0 actual files after an update…

    Just disable your Cortana 2.0.

  5. boris said on January 5, 2024 at 12:38 am

    Hopefully SharpKeys will update their program to remap this stupid key to something useful.

  6. Micro$oft said on January 5, 2024 at 12:31 am

    Is Microsoft’s marketing team truly this dimwitted, or are we just early April fools? Give up shoving your Copilot nonsense in people’s faces. A bloated web wrapper doesn’t need a dedicated key.

  7. ECJ said on January 4, 2024 at 9:43 pm

    WTF??? Now they’re forcing bloat on hardware too.

    What a complete and utter waste of valuable keyboard real estate. If anything, Windows users could use an additional modifier key to match Macs (which have Shift, Control, Option and Command). Windows users are already struggling for shortcut key combinations in professional software due to the Windows Key taking the space of the Command key.

    Microsoft just keep getting worse and worse, to the point I’ve gone from being all-in on Microsoft in 2015, to actively despising them and wanting nothing to do with them. Windows is the last and only Microsoft product left for me to ditch, due to third-party software licencing that would need to be transferred to MacOS. Seeing articles like this just reinforce my decision to migrate away from Microsoft products and services. Microsoft are not a company who are competing, they’re a company who are abusing their position in the desktop market to grift.

    Yusuf Mehdi needs to get in the bin along with Satya – pair of f*cking rogues.

  8. Michael said on January 4, 2024 at 9:01 pm

    I have been using windows 7 Pro for years, and this is what I’m staying with until I pass away!
    I don’t do anything big online. Just watch some youtube. Check the weather. And hear online police scanners.

    1. Alex said on January 6, 2024 at 2:11 am

      Or you can you know use linux and have security and features that are up to date without nonsense …

  9. John said on January 4, 2024 at 8:56 pm

    The frustration I see coming is Microsoft locking AI into their Copilot and if you want to use a third party solution Microsoft will again be nagging and making things difficult. I can easily imagine that special AI key not being able to be linked to open anything but CoPilot. Worst case is CoPilot is a bust and annoyance on these new PC’s.

  10. upp said on January 4, 2024 at 6:01 pm

    This is beyond stupid

  11. Sputnik said on January 4, 2024 at 4:03 pm

    The use of this future special keyboard key as an utility for the users is a thing, but the question to know if this new AI will also be a mean by which the users will be controlled is another one.

    Who knows if we will lose the use of our computer for a week, a month, a year or definitly if we go on a “forbidden website” (in the view of Microsoft and other big companies), if we write a comment that the AI is abilitated to sanction, etc…

    Will this AI have the ability to spy on a large part of what we are doing and send us messages telling us to do or to think otherwise ?

    Will we have the possibility as users to completely inactivate this AI on our computer ?

    1. Naimless said on January 6, 2024 at 4:01 pm

      oh no doubt about that…everything we will do online the AI will know…and I mean everything. It is scary. And this is just the beginning. Better stock up on Computer hardware now before the AI is implemented and can never get rid of it. That’s my plan…and install Linux on all of them.

      1. Sputnik said on January 7, 2024 at 4:37 pm

        I am about to change my computer which is getting old (12 years). Before hearing about the introduction of AI in Windows 12 but also inside Intel’s chipsets in their next generation, I figured to wait for the next Z890 motherboards which are coming later this year.

        Now I’m asking myself if it wouldn’t be better to buy a Z790 motherboard (I saw one which is absolutely perfect for my present and future needs). My only concern here is when Windows 11 will be in its end of life, will this Z790 motherboard be able to run Windows 12 or its successor, the same as right now my actual motherboard is not able to run Windows 11 because of the TPM 2.0 affair.

        Maybe Windows 12 will not run on Z790 motherboards because these don’t probably have the adequate AI technology implanted in it and that would mean that this Z790 motherboard would be usable just as long as there will be updates on Windows 11 which is already 3 years old.

        That would mean that I would be obliged to change again my hypothetical Z790 computer in maybe 7 or 8 years, while I like to keep my computers at least 10 to 12 years, arrgh !!!!

      2. Karl said on January 7, 2024 at 2:45 pm

        ” Linux Foundation now spends only 2% of their revenue on Linux

        Spending on A.I. is roughly 6 times that of Linux.”

  12. Karl said on January 4, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    Oh wow. Just stop with all the fancy new stupidity already. I very much hope that Apple won’t dive head first into all this AI crap that many other corporations seem to be doing at the moment. Do I want anything to do with AI? (or its brother or sister) No I do not. Each user/customer is an individual with different preferences, and one thing I hate is getting force fed with stuff that I have not asked for and have a hard time to actively stay away from, no matter how hard one may try. Let the browser be a browser, let the computer OS be a computer OS, etc etc. It is very easy.

    -“The Copilot key “joins the Windows key as a core part of the PC keyboard” according to Yusuf Mehdi, Executive Vice President, Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft.”

    PC stands for personal computer. It does not need to run Windows. So Mehdi would be more correct if he called it a Windows keyboard. A Windows keybord with a copilot and windows key. One key can be called Jekyll and the other can be called Hyde.

  13. Ashwin said on January 4, 2024 at 3:48 pm

    Martin, we’ll wait for your article about “How to remove the Copilot key from your keyboard”.


    1. RG said on January 5, 2024 at 12:02 pm

      Two words article:

      Use hammer

    2. John G. said on January 4, 2024 at 5:36 pm

      @Ashwin LOL, thanks for your always pretty kind sense of humor!
      Happy New Year 2024 for you and your family and friends! :]

      1. Ashwin said on January 5, 2024 at 7:16 am

        Happy New Year John :)

    3. Sputnik said on January 4, 2024 at 5:25 pm

      @ Ashwin

      Hi Ash, that’s as simple as “Hit the key !”… ;-)

  14. John G. said on January 4, 2024 at 3:27 pm

    OMG, this the final countdown to the complete decay of the human beings.

    1. Karl said on January 4, 2024 at 4:01 pm

      Do you need it? No. Do you want it? No. Do they care? No. :(

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