News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • “Microsoft Reinvents the PC Keyboard with a Brand-New Button”

    Home Forums AskWoody blog “Microsoft Reinvents the PC Keyboard with a Brand-New Button”

    • This topic has 34 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago.
    Viewing 25 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2289761 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        Sorry. My cynicism is showing. But that’s a for-real headline. According to a great little item picked up by WalkingCat on Twitter, MS may put a new k
        [See the full post at: “Microsoft Reinvents the PC Keyboard with a Brand-New Button”]

        9 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289766 Reply
        LoneWolf
        AskWoody Plus

        I understood the Windows Phone; I’m sad Microsoft killed it once it was finally a good (aside from the telemetry) product, though the fact that it took them so long to get it good was probably the real issue.

        I understood the SurfaceBook, and kinda-sorta understood the Surface (despite its many flaws) until the quality control went into the waste bin, rendering it a high-priced useless device.

        I didn’t really understand Microsoft Fitness, as it was far outside their core and really didn’t make sense for who they were, any more than Windows 8.1 made sense as a desktop operating system.

        This…this is just sad.

        We are SysAdmins.
        We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
        We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
        We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
        We live for the LAN.
        We die for the LAN.

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by LoneWolf.
        • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by LoneWolf.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289772 Reply
        John
        AskWoody Lounger

        Wonder how many worked on such a project as this? It does explain a lot about what is happening at Microsoft and what is not.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2289776 Reply
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        I second your cynicism, @Woody.
        I will always prefer keyboard with “context menu button”, cause I simply love it. It can ease and speed up my work. Superb for using just keyboard and let the mouse sit still. Which is exactly how I like to work. Keyboard is so effective, mouse is for beginners 🙂

        This new button is suitable for procrastinators who need to save 10 seconds a day – so they can procrastinate more.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2289811 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          This new button is suitable for procrastinators who need to save 10 seconds a day – so they can procrastinate more.

          Surface devices are aimed, more or less, at the enterprise market, are they not?

          Is there a lot of emoji use among business users? Are they using a little poop emoji to tell each other that they don’t like some idea being offered? Are they sending pictures of eggplants around while chuckling to themselves about how clever they are with the “hidden” meaning (which isn’t that hidden if even I know about it)?

          I’ve never used an emoji such that they are (I did previously use “smileys” when they were called emoticons, a colon with a a closing parenthesis kind of thing, no pictures, but I dropped that a long time ago), and really, I don’t want them even to exist on my system. I would just as soon have them rendered as the “missing character” box, or turned into the equivalent text.

          My desktop environment, KDE, has an emoji chooser dialog that comes up sometimes when my cat walks on the keyboard, as they do, and I would just as soon remove it (the emoji picker, though removing the cat from the keyboard is a good idea too), but it’s a dependency of some more important things.

          Not everyone is a 12 year old. It’s okay to have some things meant for adults.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux, User Edition).

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2289989 Reply
            doriel
            AskWoody Lounger

            Surface devices are aimed, more or less, at the enterprise market, are they not?

            MSFT states that it is:

            Designed for home, school, play, and everything in between

            (MSFT Surface devices)

            Maybe some people (10 year old kids, who completely communicate in hieroglyphics and abbrevs) will really appreciate this.
            Maybe everything was already invented, so it is time to invent buttons for emoji 😔

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

            HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

            2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289777 Reply
        howardagoldberg
        AskWoody Plus

        Actually, MS ‘reinvented’ <ahem> the keyboard some time ago. The latest version – amazon.com: Microsoft-RJU-00001-NEW-Ergonomic-Desktop – of the ergonomic keyboard has two ‘new’ keys:

        The first is a ‘Office’ key that launches the Office 365 ‘store’ app (not the full on-disk suite, even if you have it installed). That key is to the right of the ‘Alt’ key which is to the right of the space bar.

        The second is an ’emoji’ key which launches the emoji panel on Windows 10, which is to the immediate right to the new ‘Office’ key.

        I have found the emoji key to be somewhat useful, actually – although the headline makes it sound much more exciting than it actually is.

        The Office key is a royal PITA, since accidentally hitting it while typing quickly is easy to do … and since I have the full-blown Office 365 suite installed, I have no desire to use the stripped down cloud versions (at least not while on my laptop with an internet connection). The Office key is most certainly a ploy to get more people to download and use Office 365.

        In fact, if you removed the store Office app, and hit the key – Windows helpfully (cough, cough) downloads and reinstalls it for you without asking.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289795 Reply
        BobT
        AskWoody Lounger

        Actually, MS ‘reinvented’ <ahem> the keyboard some time ago. The latest version – amazon.com: Microsoft-RJU-00001-NEW-Ergonomic-Desktop – of the ergonomic keyboard has two ‘new’ keys:

        The first is a ‘Office’ key that launches the Office 365 ‘store’ app (not the full on-disk suite, even if you have it installed). That key is to the right of the ‘Alt’ key which is to the right of the space bar.

        The second is an ’emoji’ key which launches the emoji panel on Windows 10, which is to the immediate right to the new ‘Office’ key.

        I have found the emoji key to be somewhat useful, actually – although the headline makes it sound much more exciting than it actually is.

        The Office key is a royal PITA, since accidentally hitting it while typing quickly is easy to do … and since I have the full-blown Office 365 suite installed, I have no desire to use the stripped down cloud versions (at least not while on my laptop with an internet connection). The Office key is most certainly a ploy to get more people to download and use Office 365.

        In fact, if you removed the store Office app, and hit the key – Windows helpfully (cough, cough) downloads and reinstalls it for you without asking.

        Disable the button, I did with my left Windows key with a reg script. All gamers know the pain of being sent back to the desktop with the start menu popped up, otherwise.

        As to Emoji & store buttons, really shows where their priorities lie. Seems their entire mentality and focus is around casual mobile use.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2289810 Reply
        Carl D
        AskWoody Lounger

        After many, many years I’m still waiting for them to put an ‘Any’ key on the keyboard.

        Then, I’ll finally know exactly what to do the next time I see an onscreen message which says “Press any key to continue” 🙂

        (I know… I know… its as old as the hills but still a good one)

        Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H Motherboard, Intel i5-7600 CPU, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Professional 2004 64bit.

        9 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289820 Reply
        LoneWolf
        AskWoody Plus

        After many, many years I’m still waiting for them to put an ‘Any’ key on the keyboard.

        Then, I’ll finally know exactly what to do the next time I see an onscreen message which says “Press any key to continue” 🙂

        (I know… I know… its as old as the hills but still a good one)

        I want “Esc” to help me do what it actually says.

        We are SysAdmins.
        We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
        We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
        We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
        We live for the LAN.
        We die for the LAN.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2289840 Reply
          zasdman
          AskWoody Plus

          You want to Esc…. I do not get it….

           

          (Escape I know :p )

      • #2289826 Reply
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Has 19-21 model dependant keys missing for my liking that are very useful.
        for one key I’d have:
        PauseKey

        Win8.1 Pro | Linux Hybrids | Win7 Pro O/L | WinXP O/L
        Attachments:
        6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289832 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        A Microsoft keyboard with an emoji button? Brilliant! What a mind-blowing super-duper-fantastic idea! Certainly a once-in-a-generation advance in the field of computing!

        Now, if only they’d tackle that one last remaining obstacle to a perfect computing experience, and add emoji support to Windows Terminal… wait a sec, hold on… it’s already been done? Hallelujah! Oh happy day! Will the good news never end?!?

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2289851 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          I think Microsoft has patented the new key as they have patented Print Screen, PageUp, PageDown…keys

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Page_Up_and_Page_Down_keys

        • #2290083 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          I know it sounds dumb, but emojis in the Terminal might not be a bad idea.  Not that I need egglant, black person waving, or sailboat but I could see checkmark, yield, warning, and stop being useful in some return code.

          And pizza and beer.  It’s always good to know when you can start partying.

      • #2289834 Reply
        Biiljoy
        AskWoody Lounger

        If I could have an extra key it would be one touch screen lock.  Mine the right alt next to it is a second Windows key, making windows and L closer, but one press is better than hold and press no matter how close.

      • #2289864 Reply
        lurks about
        AskWoody Plus

        One word: pointless. It is not something that will make the vast majority rush and buy as it pretty much pointless and useless.

        • #2289999 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I remember my old PS2 keyboard with special buttons for calculator, buttons for internet navigation and few programmable buttons. Keyboard today could have 1000 programable buttons, no big deal. I remember “Macro” button too, whis is hilaroius since macros are “unwated child” today..

          If I could have an extra key it would be one touch screen lock.

          Locking with one button could be dangerous for gamers..

          In czech we say: “They are making camel out of moquito.”
          It means MSFT is overacting and try to impress us with cosmetical changes again and again.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • This reply was modified 2 months ago by doriel.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2290084 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          There’s a “Turn off Display” in Power options for the power button.  This should lock your screen.

      • #2289900 Reply
        Tom-R
        AskWoody Plus

        You can see the same panel right now by holding down the Windows key and pressing the period.

        Actually, this appears to be true only for Win 10 systems.  When I tried this on a Win 8.1 keyboard nothing popped up.  (Not that I care.)

        And even if I wanted an emoji on Win 10, it’s no big deal to press <Win><.> together.  I mean really, how much time are you actually going to save with a dedicated emoji key?  You’d have to be typing lots of emojis to notice any benefit.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2289926 Reply
        Seff
        AskWoody Plus

        I have no interest in an emoji key, but then I don’t buy Microsoft keyboards, not least because the independent ones that I use have the ability to disable the Windows key, the accidental touching of which otherwise causes more problems with any running applications or games than any possible advantages from its use – which I’ve yet to discover.

      • #2289938 Reply
        RamRod
        AskWoody Plus

        I haven’t finished thinking this all the way through, but I want to get it out there on Woody’s site so that 20 years from now I get the credit. Here goes.

        Computing was invented by humans millennia ago – about the time fingers and toes showed up. Long about the 1930’s some ingenious folks with a mechanical bent figured gears and sprockets could speed the computing experience. And they were just in time to fuel the technological advance of the military industrial complex prior to WWII. Maybe the military simply saw the advantage of analog computing before anyone else. The military was certainly financed to take advantage of the gains in computing.

        Following WWII and the scientific advances spurred by that conflagration, another set of ingenious folks with a bent towards electrical thingy’s managed to leap frog analog computing and invented first the capacitor and then the chip. Digital computing was on its way. The space program certainly used its generous financing to focus the development of digital computing.

        So, long about the time I came about, computing was prospering with the newest device – the Computer. Then in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a branch of computing came about – called Personal Computing and the Personal Computer (Thanks Radio Shack & IBM!). I am mostly familiar with the growth of this industry since it is within my memory.

        Then about 2010 or so, a great blurring occurred, derailing computing as we all knew it. Slowly, inexorably, driven by the need for ever expanding profits, aided by more than marginal improvements in digital hardware and software methods, computing began to be taken over by the idea of socializing. Phones blended with computers. And voila – we now had a whole new branch of hardware that I am now defining as Socializers. We have socializing as the intensified behavior of billions on the planet, thus we require new hardware to facilitate the socializing throngs – the Socializer.

        Think about it – this is where much of my confusion generates: I look at the hardware and see a computer. But when it operates, it doesn’t operate primarily as a computer – it operates as a Socializer. It uses computing hardware and computing elements – but its primary purpose is not longer computing, it is socializing. And the interface with the hardware dictates this new primacy of function.

        My hypothesis is thus: Socializing is now more important, and thus profitable, than computing, so the manufacturers primarily produce socializers rather than computers. The corollary is that software has always been more important than hardware, but just not first in order of production. Hardware comes first – software determines usage. The manufactures of software get to set the terms for use of hardware. Microsoft and Apple now focus on socializing over computing.

        Alas for the old days.

        Maybe this should be in the Rant section – but MS did add a key to the keyboard for emojis and Woody did announce it on the front page.

        Regards, RamRod

        6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2289972 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        But, uh, there’s already a key to the right of the alt key that is rarely used. The Application Key. It just doubles the effect of the right mouse button in some apps.

        I’ve already remapped mine to allow me to type special characters using an AutoHotkey script. But I’m sure most people don’t need to type characters from the International Phonetic Alphabet very often. It would work fine to open the Emoji menu.

        Plus there’s the right Win key, which is so unused that I’m seeing keyboards stop including it.  There’s also Scroll Lock and even the keypad 5 when Numlock is off.

        • #2291221 Reply
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Application Key, also known as the Menu Key, because it’s used to call up a context menu.

          -- rc primak

          • This reply was modified 2 months ago by rc primak.
      • #2289994 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        A compact laptop keyboard similar to most other device manufacturers with a silkscreen icon does which does not convey meaning of its intended function, they should have used a smiley face. What would be the inflated ERP, $200?

      • #2289998 Reply
        Biiljoy
        AskWoody Lounger

        @ramrod what’s the alternative go back to when encryption was classified as a munitions?  I’d rather have Whatsapp and the society of today. 🧠 yolo

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2290001 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I think, I understand what @ramrod is trying to say.
          I will put it this way. By my experience some young people today are not capable of thinking by themself and they just pull out their mobile phone when you ask them a question. Two young people sit together but they do not talk, they just tap their phones. I am 33, I am old now 😉

          Its awesome that I have clock, map and music player in one place, but nothing is more distant from reality, that electronic world. Look at 85% of the population. They dont have such opportunities as us. What you will do when your phone breaks? Will you re-invent paper and pencil?

          @RamRod does not want to go back. He just does not want us to be sheeps. All these surface, iPhones and such are just way how rich people get richer – You purchase service, cloud storage, microtransactions in “free games”, … socializing is good, but better face to face.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2290044 Reply
            RamRod
            AskWoody Plus

            I don’t resent the advent of socializers or socializing. I resent the demise of computing and computers, specifically personal computers. I am finding it more and more difficult to find a computer with software oriented towards computing as opposed to the current fixation on socializing.

            Computing is/was aimed at performing the calculations necessary in simulations of systems, usually a system representative of a portion of the world around us. For example, some of the the first calculations the military made were the ballistics of projectiles. There are accounting applications, transportation applications, chemical reaction calculations, structural engineering applications, etc. These are all aimed at humans increasing the ability to manipulate the world around them in a way that leads to a higher standard of living i.e. implementing your world view of the set of actions necessary to increase ease of living and lessen suffering and death in the long run. When was the last time you used your current digital device to do something like that?

            Oh, wait a sec, I’ve got to update my Facebook page after I answer the phone and send a WhatsApp.

            3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2290091 Reply
              anonymous
              Guest

              I think the issue is that we’re seeing systems becoming more and more decoupled.  Not long ago if you needed to do work there was an application that had a lot of features for you to use.  With our current system we now follow a more Unix-like philosophy: every task is a new app.

              For businesses this is lucrative as now they can sell features piecemeal.  For mobile devices this is great because it requires a lot less computing power to handle.  For people trying to work, it just complicates things.  From a Small and Medium Business (SMB) admin perspective, you need to now know a lot of commands and mess with a lot of tools to get the information you want.

              The old tools of 2003 and 2008 are no longer; their replacements are generally pared down features-wise while much of the new functionality requires powershell, WMI, or third-party tools to access.  Thankfully it’s not quite as bad as it could be, but I do remember a few times messing around with MS Storage Spaces or Exchange only to find out I need to drop to CLI to run some fairly basic tasks.  This does have the upside of being a lot more scalable and a lot easier to automate.  Not that useful to smaller businesses, but as you start to get larger this becomes a bonus.

              This ends with apps becoming more like SAP or a Rapid Application Development environment rather than a fully-fledged application in and of itself.  Many users are now relegated to single-use apps unless they want to learn API and coding.  This might change back to multi-use platforms once we have enough developers or once interfaces become simplified enough, but then again the majority of users are now socializers, as you pointed out.

            • #2290139 Reply
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              There are accounting applications, transportation applications, chemical reaction calculations, structural engineering applications, etc. These are all aimed at humans increasing the ability to manipulate the world around them in a way that leads to a higher standard of living i.e. implementing your world view of the set of actions necessary to increase ease of living and lessen suffering and death in the long run. When was the last time you used your current digital device to do something like that?

              Last night. I ran a Folding@home job (start to finish was a few hours) on my G3 laptop. Foldin’ those proteins, battling COVID-19, all that kind of thing! <g>

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux, User Edition).

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2290181 Reply
              doriel
              AskWoody Lounger

              When was the last time you used your current digital device to do something like that?

              Depends on user.. I say, that this still exists, but its not the main usage of PC today. Examples:

              AutoCAD, PolyWorks, WolframAlpha, Blender, Excel, databases such as SAP, cloud computing (Folding@Home,…), ..
              all these can really ease our work and without these programs, nothing in our modern world would exist. Cars, movies, even computers and mobile phones are “designed” on other PC or mobile phone.

              Not mentioning weather forecast and GPS. There is lot of computing going on. But its pity to use computing for marketing and distracting people.

              Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • #2290138 Reply
            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            @RamRod does not want to go back. He just does not want us to be sheeps. All these surface, iPhones and such are just way how rich people get richer – You purchase service, cloud storage, microtransactions in “free games”, … socializing is good, but better face to face.

            Ramrod may not want to go literally back, but Ascaris would love to do just that. Give me the mid to late 80s and I’ll leave all this behind in a heartbeat! I’m kind of still there in my head anyway, and the friction between that and the actual reality in which I find myself is not pleasant. I don’t know what Whatsapp is and I don’t want to.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux, User Edition).

          • #2291223 Reply
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            Its awesome that I have clock, map and music player in one place, but nothing is more distant from reality, that electronic world. Look at 85% of the population. They don’t have such opportunities as us. What you will do when your phone breaks? Will you re-invent paper and pencil?

            Worse — those who depend on their phones that much often can’t even read an analog clock.

            -- rc primak

            • This reply was modified 2 months ago by rc primak.
            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2290003 Reply
        Biiljoy
        AskWoody Lounger

        I’m antisocial can barely do either one but it is more personal face to face.  33 is not old I’m older.  Every generation the youth are not very smart neither were we at that age.  Give the screen generation a chance they will wake up from the screens.  I do think it’s going to be like cigarettes were some day we admit cell phones are harmful to us, a harmful vice, and we need to be careful with them as if they are a cig or beer or pill or gun.  We need a human brain upgrade across the board but it has to be coming it can’t be idiocracy.  Sooner or later mankind’s moral compass and comprehension abilities will be more just like electricity and oil technology has expanded.  25 years ago no one cared about litter, now people will yell at someone if they dump out there car at the gas station.  I used to see it all the time growing up. We’re getting there it takes time (and lots of dummies reproduce before they die, it will continue to be slow).  Living a linear path forward through time it’s hard to see that more people have food shelter meds cars than ever in recorded history.  It’s actually a great time to be alive if you turn off the tv and let yourself believe it.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2290021 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I am young and I do use social media quite frequently. And this key is rather useless even to me, to be frank. How hard is it to use the Windows+period combo to fire up the emoji picker? Granted, I’m on a MacBook now, and even Apple uses the Ctrl+Command+Spacebar combo—three keys!—to bring up an emoji picker. I use it regularly and it can even print other special characters too, not just emojis. I just don’t see the need for emojis to be an accidental keypress away.

        I suppose some people may find this key to be useful, but in all honesty, Microsoft has much more pressing issues to resolve, like the stability of their updates, or providing better support for their own premium Surface devices.

        Also, reading the comments here, I’m seeing reports of an “Office” key. That’s even more ridiculous. Under what circumstances would I ever require Microsoft 365 to be one keypress away? You can’t just remap a key for the sole reason that it wasn’t being used very often; you need a design reason for it too.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2290076 Reply
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        This keyboard option is not suitable for a business or computer environment.

        For what market is this feature designed?

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3
        WindowsDefender
        online▸ Win10Pro 1909.18363.1139 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
        TargetReleaseVersion=1909
        WUMgr
        • #2290182 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Its designed for.. for.. I think some junior MSFT programmers learned something.

          I think that above all, Microsoft in these days wants to collect data. There are some teams, that has to “do something”, so the public will see, that constant “improvement” is done (new opensource calculator, brand new start menu twice a year, theme-awared icons, more security, dark theme, …). Who wants this junk? Really…

          And there maybe exist another (main) Micorsoft team, which has more honorable goal – to implement data mining principles into devices, analyze marketing data, inventing stategies of selling things,…

          Am I too paranoid?

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2290165 Reply
        Graham
        AskWoody Plus

        I have no interest in an emoji key, but then I don’t buy Microsoft keyboards, not least because the independent ones that I use have the ability to disable the Windows key, the accidental touching of which otherwise causes more problems with any running applications or games than any possible advantages from its use – which I’ve yet to discover.

        I have found precisely one use for the Windows key: it makes switching between desktops on W10 quick and easy (W-key+Ctrl+Left/Right.)

      • #2290744 Reply
        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody_MVP

        Seems to me this is an area where change is simply not needed. But I guess Microsoft saw all the buzz Apple got for free in the press by making the Esc key a “virtual” key (i.e., just a graphic on the touchbar) and felt left out.

        FWIW I still use a keyboard manufactured in 1985 – a DEC LK250aa. Been using this same key layout since the VT220 terminal came out in 1983. Some things have never been improved upon in 37 years.

        LK250aa

        No steenkin’ Windows key, no steenkin’ emoji key, just productivity, quality and longevity. I have several new old stock spares in boxes just in case. With an adapter (depending on the computer), they still work great.

        LOL, emoji key… Not what we invented computing for.

        -Noel

        Attachments:
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2290749 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Agreed, I dont need emoji panel (which by the way already exists under key combination). But emoji key seems to be advantage, when user chooses which new keyboard he should buy.

          “Good lord, look at his keyboard, dad! I want this one! It has emoji key on it! AWESOME TO THE MAX!!”

          Touch bar seems to be TRULLY revolutionary and I like that idea.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • This reply was modified 2 months ago by doriel. Reason: touch bar
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2290770 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            The Touch Bar is a bit of a mixed bag. I, as a MacBook Pro user, do not find it very useful, but at the same time I don’t find it useless either. My biggest problem with the Touch Bar is that most apps either don’t make use of it, or make really poor use of it, thus giving the Touch Bar a bit of a bad rep.

            I think designers at Apple considered the function keys to be too minimally used and decided a Touch Bar would’ve been a nice, worthy replacement. I think it has potential, but most apps don’t make good use of it. Heck, even Apple has largely left the Touch Bar feeling quite lacking, with most apps offering nothing special or unique on the Touch Bar when opened. I’ve not been bothered with having to hold and swipe in order to adjust the volume and brightness, but I can fully understand why many would not like it.

            The Touch Bar seems to be here to stay, alas. Apple at least refined the design by making the Escape key and the Touch ID/power button keys separate physical keys again. I just hope that Apple won’t try to make a silly mistake like the Butterfly switches again. Physical keys exist for a reason: the bump and travel you feel when typing is crucial for typing accurately and quickly, and that’s why touchscreen keyboards suck for any sort of serious typing. Apple might’ve gone for a touchscreen keyboard on their MacBooks in their quest for thinness if it weren’t such a horrible idea (thankfully they didn’t).

            What’s new isn’t always the best. Just because something is new doesn’t automatically make it better than the old. And I’d like to mention that just because something is “physical” and not “digital” doesn’t make it old and antiquated. There’s a very good reason why phones still have physical power buttons. What if your phone froze and won’t accept any digital input? You need a physical button to reset it. If it was a digital button that routed input through the software, you’d have to wait for the battery to run out before being able to restart the thing! Same goes for keyboards. You’ll always need that physical feel and bump when typing. Being able to feel each individual key helps not only with typing accuracy but also for those who are visually impaired. Being able to feel when a key is pressed lets you know which keystroke went through. A touchscreen keyboard cannot do either of these things. Let’s be careful before we “reinvent” something for the sake of making it flashy and forget about usability in the process.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2290969 Reply
          RamRod
          AskWoody Plus

          Not what we invented computing for – agreed. But it might be OK for a socializer and socializing.

          Live & Let Live I say. Again, why can’t MS foster both paths? Why shut off one avenue and force us down another? And by ‘force’ I mean use market forces – the Windows Key is the perfect example. MS started it and market forces spread it around to other manufactures until it became ubiquitous.

          I wonder what conclusion the marketing folks came to as far back as the Ribbon? Why not give users the option of picking one or the other, even the ability to switch back and forth?

          And the user interface began with W8.1. Why not offer both UI’s (WinXP and Win8.1) much as Linux offers multiple desktops?

          Oh well. Change is good. I guess.

      • #2290906 Reply
        dsliesse
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank goodness I don’t use Microsoft keyboards.  Of course, the first problem with the one shown is no numeric keypad; that’s a show-stopper for a number cruncher!

        The best possible improvement for a keyboard?  Add a TAB key, at least, and perhaps ESC, so they’re within reach of my right hand when I’m doing heads-down spreadsheet or tax return work.

      • #2291730 Reply
        rje81849
        AskWoody Plus

        Not a pro, just a regular everyday user, I’ve been wishing for a “checkmark” key and “degree” key.  Both of these symbols are commonly used. Who doesn’t talk about the weather? And they are checklists, not “x” lists. Yes, I know a degree sign can be found by hunting through the Character Map…every time you want to use it instead of typing out “degrees”.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2297400 Reply
        WSTimDeaton
        AskWoody Plus

        Instead of an Emoji key, how about a key that calls up a window where the user could store those special characters (checkmarks, degree signs, and whatever else that individual uses that they otherwise have to search the Character Map for.

        As for me, I’d be happy if I could just re-assign the NumLock key so that it would NOT WORK except in conjunction with the Shift key.

    Viewing 25 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: “Microsoft Reinvents the PC Keyboard with a Brand-New Button”

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.