While Microsoft’s Surface event focused on some innovative products from the tech giant including the Surface Neo and Surface Deo, the company launched two new keyboards in the event for customers in the US.
The two new keyboards joining Microsoft’s lineup of keyboards are the Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard and the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard. The key attraction (no pun intended) of these new keyboards is that they come with a dedicated Office key and an emoji key.
In case you’re curious to know how these keys work, the Office for Windows 10 app opens up as soon as you press the Office Key. You can also quickly open the app you want by using key combinations, Office Key + W for Word, for instance, as reported by The Verge.
Pressing the emoji key will trigger the emoji picker present on Windows 10. For those unaware, the same can be achieved from your current keyboard by using the shortcuts “Win Key + . (Period)” or “Win Key + ; (Semi-Colon)” key.
“Be more productive with dedicated function keys for Office 365, emojis, search, easy access to media controls”, says Microsoft on the product description page.
Microsoft has realized the increasing usage of emojis even in the corporate world which led them to dedicate a key for accessing the same. However, we will have to wait to see how effective that turns out to be in real-world usage conditions.
In my opinion, the Win Key + Period shortcut was already convenient enough to access the emoji picker. Microsoft perhaps wanted to make the emoji picker more accessible as not everyone would be aware of the keyboard shortcuts. Also, there is no information if industry-leading keyboard makers will adopt these new keys in their keyboard design.
The keyboard is already available to purchase in the Microsoft Store. The Ergonomic keyboard is wired and is priced at $59.99 while the Bluetooth Keyboard comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and is priced 10 dollars cheaper at $49.99.