New Windows laptops introduced in 2024 will feature a dedicated Copilot key. Microsoft believes that the Copilot key will “simplify” and “amplify” users’ computing experience, as it believes that 2024 is the “year of the AI PC.”

The Copilot key will be located between ALT and CTRL on the right-hand side of Windows keyboards. It replaces the under-utilized Menu key. Pressing the Copilot key will launch the Copilot software panel, which contains some basic preset actions and an AI chat interface. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t announced any keyboard shortcuts that include the Copilot software.

For those wondering, you can open Copilot from any keyboard by using the Windows + C shortcut (previously the Cortana shortcut). If you’re envious of someone’s Copilot key, map Windows + C to your Menu key, and it’ll give you the same effect.

According to Microsoft, the Copilot key is “the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard” since the Windows key’s 1994 debut. But dedicated emoji keys have become commonplace over the last decade, and Microsoft-branded keyboards replaced the Menu key with an Office key in 2019. Still, Microsoft’s statement isn’t total hyperbole. The Copilot key represents a new era of Windows, and every laptop that contains this key is an endorsement of the Copilot AI.

Microsoft seems to think that it’s got everything figured out. It’s shoving Copilot into every corner of the Windows operating system, as it believes that AI will be a routine part of professional and everyday tasks. Copilot is still a new feature, though, and we don’t know how average people will take advantage of AI functionality. If the future of computing doesn’t meet Microsoft’s vision, or if Microsoft takes drastic steps too early (it wouldn’t be the first time), the Copilot key may be remembered as a mistake.

Microsoft says that the Copilot key will appear in new Windows 11 laptops throughout 2024. The company hasn’t announced which laptop OEMs will use this key, but we should learn more at CES 2024. Previous rumors indicated that the Surface Laptop 6 and Surface Pro 10, which have not been formally announced by Microsoft, will use a Copilot key.

Source: Microsoft