The modern keyboard has undergone a lot of changes over the years. From its days with the earliest typing machines and typewriters to virtual, software-based keyboards of the 21st century, they've taken many different forms.
While many users prefer the full-size, QWERTY keyboards that are common with desktop and laptop computers, some manufacturers add their own buttons. In fact, it's rather common to see modern keyboards with volume controls, email capabilities, and even the ability to control power to the entire computer.
A prominent example of this can be seen in the Windows key. What was once considered a luxury or niche button has now become commonplace. In fact, the Windows key itself is so useful that it's difficult to find a keyboard without it. Its core functionality of loading the Start menu can even be altered by holding down another button, like CTRL, at the same time.
To this extent, the development team with Windows has been quietly considering the idea of adding another button – the Microsoft Office key. But is it necessary?
Although most users are perfectly happy with their current keyboards, the popularity of Microsoft Office – which has become the standard for producing professional documents, reports, and spreadsheets – could warrant the addition of an Office key. According to some sources, Microsoft is already making preparations to implement the change in upcoming desktop keyboards.
The dedicated Microsoft Office key would likely act the same as the current Windows key. A single press of the Office key – without holding down any other keys – will instantaneously launch the Office app. It's certainly convenient for those who use Microsoft Office on a daily basis.
But the usage wouldn't stop there. They could add different key combinations to achieve even more functionality. Holding down the S key while pressing the Office key, for example, might save a copy of the document to your local drive. Another example is the V key, which, when used in conjunction with the Office key, might automatically paste text from your clipboard into your current Office document.
However, there are some potential legal issues to worry about, too. Microsoft was already named the defendant in a monumental court case in 1999, when a judge ruled that they illegally tied Internet Explorer to their Windows operating system. Although the ruling was eventually overturned, the team with Microsoft – including the Windows operating system – received a lot of bad publicity as a result.
It's important to note that this situation is different from the situation in 1999. In this case, the Office key would only be included on keyboards that ship with Windows-based desktop computers. Since the purchaser is specifically opting for a Microsoft product, they likely wouldn't face such problems.
While it's still unclear as to whether or not Microsoft plans to follow through with the proposed Office key, top industry insiders insist that the idea is actively being considered. What are your thoughts? Would a dedicated Office key make it easier for you to do your job on a day-to-day basis? Or would you rather stick with the standard format that you're already familiar with?
Will Keyboards Soon Have a Key Dedicated to Microsoft Office?
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