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The Microsoft Copilot key will start appearing on new Windows 11 PCs later in January

windows copilot key

In September 2023, Microsoft launched a major feature update for Windows 11 that officially added the Copilot generative AI assistant to its list of features. Later in 2023, the company launched a public preview of a Windows 10 update that included Copilot support.

Today, Microsoft announced a new development that will see a new Copilot key added to new Windows 11 laptop PCs and keyboards over the coming months. In a blog post, Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi, its Executive Vice President and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, writes that the company believes the introduction of the Copilot key "will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily."

windows copilot key

As you might have guessed, pressing the Copilot key on a Windows 11 laptop, or on a keyboard made to work with Windows 11, will automatically launch the Copilot AI assistant. In the blog post, Mehdi writes:

We see this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC.

It should be noted that if the Copilot key is pressed on a Windows 11 PC where Copilot is either not available or not enabled on that computer, Windows Search will be launched instead.

Microsoft Windows natural keyboard 1994

Mehdi states that the new Copilot key is the "first significant change to the Windows PC
keyboard in nearly three decades." He is likely referring to the introduction of the Windows key, starting with the launch of the Windows Natural Keyboard in September 1994.

Pressing on the key launched the Start menu in Windows 95. The Windows key became a standard button for most Windows laptops and most desktop keyboards, with the logo changing alongside the logo of each Windows OS release.

The blog post stated that in the coming days leading up to the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft's partners will show off new PCs with the Copilot key. Consumers will be able to purchase new Windows 11 PCs with the Copilot key starting later in January and through the coming winter and spring months. The Copilot key will also be added to future Microsoft Surface devices.

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