Despite all the noise surrounding the new Surface devices that Microsoft unveiled last week, the company apparently announced a pair of new keyboards with two new keys: one for Microsoft Office and another for emoji.
Keyboards are of two types. One is a sleek, minimalist design with extra-thin keys and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, while the other model is a full-size wired package with Microsoft’s ergonomic split layout for keys and a wrist rest in fabric underneath. On the two new keyboards, you’ll find the new Office and Emoji keys on the right side of the spacebar.
The Office key is located at the right Windows key location and can be used for Microsoft Office-specific shortcuts, such as pressing the Office key + W to open Word or the Office key + X to open Excel. Right next to the new Office shortcut, you will find the new emoji key, which can be used to open a menu of emojis available in Windows 10.
At first glance, it can be easy to dismiss emoticons as an immature means of communicating, yet some of them manage to express things that are not so easy to say with words. Whatever your position on the subject, Microsoft apparently added the key at the request of Windows users interviewed about this idea.
We do not have the results of the Microsoft survey to discuss. However, it is interesting to note that 9to5Mac asked its readers to add an emoji key to Mac keyboards and 775 people responded: 38% of users answered yes, 53.5% said no, 8.5% answered declared uncertain or otherwise. The majority vote remains the most disapproving answer, “No, absolutely not,” but it is easy to see from these results how Microsoft has received positive feedback on the idea of adding an emoji key to its keyboards.
Razer is also starting to sell a new microphone with a light emitting diode grid to display custom emoji for Internet streaming watchers.
Both Microsoft keyboards are currently available for pre-order and should be shipped on October 15th. The thinner Bluetooth board is priced at $ 49.99, and the largest ergonomic board at $ 59.99.
[Microsoft via The Verge]