Copilot-key: not mandatory and no fixed placement
When it comes to recent announcements regarding AI by Microsoft, none discussed as controversially here on Ghacks as the announcement of the dedicated Copilot key.
The Copilot key is a new key on hardware keyboards that triggers the Copilot AI when pressed. Part of the criticism came from the position of the Copilot key on the keyboard.
Microsoft showed it on the left side of the cursor keys on a keyboard of a mobile device. It was placed in the position of the right Ctrl key, which was removed from the layout as a consequence. This was bad especially for users who use the right Ctrl-key on their devices.
Martin Geuß over at Dr. Windows asked Microsoft about the Copilot key. The answer sheds some light on the key.
Microsoft reveals the following in its answer:
- Manufacturers are free to choose the location of the Copilot-key on the keyboard. Most will aim for a location on the right of the Spacebar on the keyboard.
- In some cases, Copilot's key may replace existing keys. This can be right-Ctrl or the Menu-key, that is available on some keyboards.
- On large keyboards, Copilot-key may be added without removing any other key from it.
- In some instances, Copilot may share a key with Menu. Menu would then be triggered using the Function key (Fn) on the keyboard.
Here is a full translation of Microsoft's answer from German:
"The placement of the Copilot key varies depending on the manufacturer, but it is generally located on the right side of the space bar opposite the WIN key. In some cases the key replaces the right-hand CTRL key, on some larger keyboards there is space for both the right-hand CTRL key and the Copilot key and in other cases the Copilot key is combined with the "Menu" key (the menu key is called up secondarily with the Fn + Copilot key)."
In other words: not all upcoming Windows devices and keyboards will feature the Copilot-key. The key may replace existing keys on some, but not on all, and there is no Microsoft specification for its placement on the keyboard.
Pressing the Copilot key opens its interface. Users who disable Copilot will trigger Windows Search instead according to Geuß. The same is true for regions in which Copilot is not available.
Microsoft is testing a change in the most recent Insider build that launches Copilot's interface automatically on widescreen setups.
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