The 'era of the AI PC' is here as Microsoft adds AI button to Windows 11 keyboards

Microsoft copilot key
(Image credit: Microsoft)

AI in one way or another is now a staple in our everyday lives, whether it's asking our virtual assistants for directions, unlocking our phones with facial recognition, or generating new artwork - it has changed the way we live our lives, and after thirty years of being untouched, changed the Microsoft keyboard. 

Microsoft has announced the addition of an AI button named the 'Copilot Key', that will allow users to make commands via Microsft's AI companion - Copilot. The change will be made to all new Windows 11 PCs and start the 'significant shift' toward AI being integrated into all aspects of new Microsoft technology - aiming to both simplify and amplify user experience in the modern age!

• Check out our helpful guide on the best photo-editing laptops

Microsoft states, "We are energized by the stories that have been shared on how Copilot has inspired and empowered people across the last year – and we know our work is never done in our relentless pursuit to continue to innovate on behalf of our customers."

Microsoft has continued to develop Copilot through 2023, integrating it into its Bing search engine and Microsoft 365 where it can be used as a powerful productivity tool, offering assistance in writing documents, email organization, and much more.

Moving forward, a touch of a button and a conversational command will unlock creative options on your Windows PC. Some of the ways Microsoft has advertised the use of Copilot can be seen in the promotional video and advertising images. Microsoft states "Whether it’s turning your ideas into songs, creating beautiful images, and adjusting your PC settings...get started with Copilot today".

Where the Copilot Key may play a significant role for photographers, is with image generation and editing. Commands such as 'remove background' and 'adjust brightness' make small fixes easier. The Luminar AI app can also aid in AI editing and enhancement, such as changing the sky in an image. Copilot will make this much easier to incorporate into the everyday workflow. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

It's not the first time an assistant button has been added to a laptop device. Apple's virtual assistant Siri, had a button included on the touch bar of the Apple MacBook Pro, however, was not given its own established key and certainly not across all new Apple models.

The new Copilot Key is the first since the introduction of the Windows key over 30 years ago. This shows how much AI has had an effect on tech and gives an insight into the importance Microsoft places on it moving forward.

More Windows 11 PCs will be announced during CES 2024 from Microsoft's 'ecosystem partners', and they will all harbor the Copilot Key, including the Surface devices. Availability will start later this month and more information can be found on the Microsoft website.

You may be interested in our guides for the best Dell laptops, the best HP laptops, and the best Lenovo laptops, as future Windows 11 iterations are set to include the new Copilot key. 

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Kalum Carter
Staff Writer

Kalum Carter is a UK-based photographer, writer, and photo editor. Kalum has been working as a freelance photographer for the best part of ten years, covering a wide range of assignments for well-known brands and publications in areas including portraiture, fashion, and documentary. 

Between commercial assignments, Kalum is currently working on a personal photography project exploring his connection to the Gower region of South Wales UK, as part of an MA in Photography from The University of West England.