Windows 11
Microsoft is set to bring the new Copilot-equipped keyboard to future Windows PCs. Pixabay

Microsoft is gearing up to add a dedicated Copilot key to upcoming Windows PCs. The Copilot key will serve as a shortcut for summoning Microsoft's large language model (LLM) based chatbot.

In a new blog post, Executive Vice President, Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, Yusuf Mehdi described the introduction of the Copilot key as the "first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades".

According to the top executive, we can expect to see the Copilot key on most of the new Windows 11 PCs from the company's ecosystem partners beginning later this month. Aside from PCs, upcoming Surface devices will feature a Copilot key as well.

In 2024, Microsoft is set to mark the beginning of a major shift toward a more personal and intelligent computing future. The company plans to incorporate AI into various aspects of Windows OS including the hardware, the silicon and the system.

These improvements to Windows, PCs, the chip and the overall system will make 2024 "the year of the AI PC," Mehdi noted. To strengthen its commitment to enhancing people's computing experience, Microsoft is introducing the Windows Copilot key.

Microsoft could shed light on its AI plan at CES 2024

New PCs featuring this key could be unveiled next week at CES 2024. While the Redmond-based tech giant noted that future Surface PCs will come with the new Copilot key, it is worth noting that no new Surface hardware announcements have been made lately.

Nearly thirty years after introducing the Windows key to the PC keyboard, Microsoft is set to equip the keyboard of upcoming AI PCs with a dedicated Copilot key. In most cases, the Copilot key will be placed on the right side of the keyboard alongside the context menu key.

Microsoft told Windows Central's Zac Bowden that it plans to make the new Copilot key mandatory for OEMs shipping Windows PCs in the near future.

Microsoft planning to integrate AI into Windows

Just like other major companies including Google and OpenAI, Microsoft has been trying to become a force to be reckoned with in the AI space.

Also, the company is on the verge of shipping a Windows update that will deliver next-gen AI experiences across Windows. Notably, Microsoft has big plans for AI in Windows this year.

Past leaks indicated that the tech behemoth is working on a new AI Explorer that will simplify and expedite the process of searching for apps and files using natural language.

This AI-powered Explorer will reportedly also offer a new user history/timeline feature to find documents, apps and conversations that had been on display in the past.

While the company is still mum on its plan to launch the purported browser anytime soon, it recently rebranded its Edge browser to Microsoft Edge: AI browser.

Also, the company revealed that Edge and Bing users engaged more than 1.9 billion Copilot chats in 2023. So, it is safe to say that the AI Copilot we have today is just the start. It is no secret that Microsoft is betting big on AI and Windows is next on its list for an AI upgrade.