Evidently Microsoft wants to be your copilot

Microsoft wants to add a Copilot key to your PC keyboard

Microsoft would like 2024 to be the “year of the AI PC,” and to put a point on that, the company today announced a new key for Copilot – that is, a physical key that will soon make its way to your keyboard and join the Windows key, together with its friends the Control key, Alt and that Insert key you’ve never purposely used. Based on the image Microsoft sent over, it looks like the new Copilot key will replace the right Control key on the standard PC keyboard, where it will slot in between the Alt key and the left arrow key.

“The introduction of the Copilot key marks the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president & consumer chief marketing officer, writes in today’s announcement. “We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily. The Copilot key joins the Windows key as a core part of the PC keyboard and when pressed, the new key will invoke the Copilot in Windows experience to make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day.”

I’m wondering how they’re planning on dealing with issues with other languages, such as Korean, where the right-hand side CTRL key already has a specific function (calling up Hanja). I’m also wondering how long legacy keyboards (the ones everyone’s using right now) will still be usable.

That’s a good question. I don’t really think MS has quite looked that far ahead.

Fun fact: I started using Bing to get Microsoft Rewards Points, which over a number of years have added up to pretty substantial rewards, in the form of gift cards to various well known retailers.

I’ve grown to prefer Bing, and haven’t touched Googol Google [sic] aside from gmail, and all the other things since (much). However, MS is winding down their Rewards program bit by bit.

As it is, Bing is barely usable with its chatbot “feature” enabled (its idiotic chatter can be rendered invisble to the user, but it takes a few keystrokes).

My only reaction is to laugh at this bit of “news.”

As to the keyboard itself…well…I suppose people will adapt.

Honest question, though: I do use Windows at work, but I don’t have permissions to change much on my system.

Windows does provide some way of completely remapping the keyboard to whatever configuration one desires, do they not? They must, right? Powershell commands or something?

I think the more useless keys they add, the better. On an unnamed operating system I’m typing on right now, using a Windows keyboard, the little “Windows” key that brings up the start menu or whatever is very convenient to enable one to compose characters with diacritics or various other symbols.

The “search” key on Chromebooks has, for me, always served that purpose.

The more keys the merrier, seems to me. Just so long as used contrary to purpose.

I think I’ll use that key about as often as I use right-alt, Pause|Break, or SysReq.

Perfectly fine keys, I say!

Make one print out a silcrow or a pilcrow, or whatever else the kids are typing these days!

Yes, ever since Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, Windows itself is capable of keyboard remapping via a bunch of values in the registry key noted below. Since the values aren’t intuitive, tools like Windows PowerToys or KeyTweak can be used to do it easily, but all they really do is add the appropriate values to the registry.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout\Scancode Map

I remember using the pause button to pause the computer while it was booting up so I could troubleshoot something or another. However, Win+Break brings up the System Information, which now that I think about it, accomplishes something similar. Also, I just realized my current computer doesn’t have a pause/break key.

That sounds acceptable to me.

So, what’s the argument against having more free blank keys to do whatever with?

Either the external keyboards will become larger (bad), or the keys become smaller (also bad), but I can see tossing in an extra junk key to not be so bad in itself. Some keys are too big anyway, IMHO, and could do with being cut down to size.

One more extra key. Like a Bösendorfer or whatever.

OK, just what is it supposed to do? Take you to an AI web app?

They are taking away the right “cntl” key. I’m left handed. If i need to cntl-click, i use that key.

The article says:

Based on the image Microsoft sent over, it looks like the new Copilot key will replace the right Control key on the standard PC keyboard

According to that, they’re not adding a key, just replacing a little-used one. They seem vague on what they’re actually doing, but if this is correct, it amounts to nothing more than a change in how Windows interprets the key code from the right CTRL key, and that they’d like future keyboards to have a different label on that particular key. That’s just speculation, but that’s how it looks…


Well, then I’m agin it!

Put it to a vote, and I’d vote agin it.

It’s just one of the many groups some random company screws over on a daily basis.

The LH thing is especially compelling. RH myself, but I like both CTRLs and both ALTs just where they are.

This looks to have been a bad call, MS. A bad call.

Is it game over for MS? No. But they seem to be moving full steam ahead with a fair amount of hubris, pride, and not for no reason, given a somewhat captive audience.

They always got to keep their audiences riveted! (belated birthday call out to the comedy!)

I use a Mac, so kind of different, but they can pry the right hand side option key and command key out of my dead hands. (Or fingers, technically)

I use a model from 2 years back, prior to the M1, which has the touch bar, which changes according to context. It could be the “fn” (function keys), it could be the spell checker, it could be the volume control.

I’d love a second “fn” key on the right side but there is no space.

Why don’t they just use one of the two existing ‘Windows’ keys?

How do you play Doom?

I ran into it yesterday searching for a HVAC term. It just prints results slowly, like some super AI being were typing. I switched to google and found my results more quickly. (HAU=Air Handling Unit")

Say again? Not quite sure if that was a response to me.


I call it Talky Tina, but some folks call it “Dude, bro, it just wrote all my homework! It’s a wizard like in that movie about the hobblits or whatever.”

OK. We stream through Starlink from our TV. We also have Alexa. We play music through both systems. It’s scary because I know Alexa is always listening, but I have nothing to hide. Anyway, all we ever do with Alexa is to ask it to play an album. We have come up with our own nick name for it when talking about what to play next. In those situations, we call it Henry. “Honey, what would you like Henry to play?” Otherwise Alexa interrupts our conversation if it hears it’s name.

It activates Clippy.

I am so tired of Microsoft deciding how I want to use my computer including
Making formatting decisions for me in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
Making me work around OneDrive. I want my files on my computer not in the cloud dammit. I can’t even nuke OneDrive from orbit
And now it seem using CoPilot will be the standard as far as Microsoft is concerned.