Microsoft: The Copilot key is not required for Windows 11 device certification

Microsoft has confirmed that device manufacturers do not need to replace one of the Win buttons on keyboards with a button to launch the Copilot AI assistant in order to be officially certified for Windows 11. The location of the Copilot key may vary by manufacturer, but it is typically found to the right of the space bar opposite the Win key.

It may replace the right Ctrl key or be combined with the Menu key on larger keyboards. However, Microsoft has clarified that the Copilot key is optional and not required for device certification at this time.

Using the Copilot key, Windows 11 users will be able to interact with applications and services of the operating system. It is also expected that the AI ​​assistant will be able to answer user questions in much the same way as the ChatGPT chatbot does. The button has an icon with thick and thin stripes with a shape like a Möbius strip. It is located next to the right Alt key.

On January 4, Microsoft announced that it would be replacing one of the Windows buttons on new computer keyboards with a button to launch the Copilot AI assistant. Acer has already introduced laptops with the Copilot key on the keyboard.

As it comes from the description of the technical characteristics of the new keyboards, the Copilot key will not work in Windows 8.1/7. Also, for Windows 10 it will be available if Copilot is installed in the OS. Devices running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions will not be eligible for Copilot deployment. If the Copilot option is not available to the user, pressing the Copilot key will launch Windows Search.

It is worth noting that Microsoft has not changed the default keyboard layout since the release of the Microsoft Natural keyboard in 1994, which includes two Win keys and a context menu key. Keyboard manufacturers must include these keys in order to receive official certification for Windows. Currently, if a keyboard is missing at least one Win button and a context menu key, then its manufacturer cannot officially certify this device for use with Windows.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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