Microsoft could add an Office key to your next keyboard

By Vignesh Giridharan | Updated 19 Jun 2019
Microsoft could add an Office key to your next keyboard
  • Microsoft is believed to be testing a dedicated keyboard key for Microsoft Office products.
  • The project is reportedly code-named Holgate Low and Holgate Mid.

Wielding the power of the popular and ever-present Windows operating system, Microsoft has been an enormous influencer in the PC peripherals industry in the past. The Redmond-based technology giant first introduced the Windows key in its Microsoft Natural Keyboard in 1994. Since then, numerous keyboard makers have included that one key we all know brings up the Start menu in a Windows PC. In a new twist, Microsoft is hinting at adding yet another proprietary modifier key to its keyboards. This time, however, it could bear the Microsoft Office logo.

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According to a tweet shared by coder WalkingCat, Microsoft has prepared an online feedback form for a project it’s working on called “Office key - Compass”. The form seems to exist for the purpose of collecting feedback from users who have tried using a keyboard with the Office key on it. The Windows 10 May 2019 Update appears to have native support for it. Key combinations possible with the Office key seem to include: Office key + Q, T, W, X, P, D, N, Y, and L.

According to Petri’s recent report on the matter, “the company has two keyboards in development, code-named Holgate Low and Holgate Mid. There is another device called Kili which may replace the Ergomax 4000 as well”. It’s not clear yet if Kili has anything to do with the Office key project Microsoft is working on. What is also not known at the moment is where Microsoft will put the new key, even if it decides to go ahead with the project. Microsoft might remove the right Alt key or the context menu key to make some room for it.

Microsoft hasn’t uttered a word about the Office key project so far. But if our guess is as good as yours, the company could incorporate the dedicated Office key in its next iteration of the Surface line-up, apart from its regular line-up of wired and wireless keyboards. For all we know, a Logitech or iBall USB keyboard that you buy three years from could come with a Windows and Office key.

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Vignesh Giridharan
Progressively identifies more with the term ‘legacy device’ as time marches on.
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