1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Microsoft could replace little-used key with a dedicated Office key on keyboards

By midian182 · 27 replies
Jun 18, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. The news comes from an internal Microsoft survey first spotted by prolific leaker WalkingCat. It appears the Office key would replace either the second Windows key on the right side of a keyboard or the dedicated Menu key, both of which are rarely used by most people.

    The survey asks if the participant has tried a keyboard with the Office key on a PC running the Windows 10 May 2019 Update version 1903, and how Microsoft could improve the experience.

    There’s mention of its shortcuts—Office key + O, T, W, X, P, D, N, Y, and L—which presumably launches Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc., and whether users would like to see extra shortcuts added, such as Office key + S to share a document.

    Respondents are asked to rate the Office key concept out of five and whether they would like to see it appear on a laptop.

    Whether people would get much use out of a dedicated Office key is open to debate, but in some cases it will probably be used more often than the secondary Windows key or Menu key. This is still classed as a concept, so we’ll have to wait and see if Microsoft decides it’s something users want.

    Permalink to story.

  2. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    If they made it configurable (a user friendly shortcuts key), I would be fine with that.
    Don't need to lock it down to something so specific.
  3. lexster

    lexster TS Maniac Posts: 466   +233

    Araeven, wiyosaya and Impudicus like this.
  4. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    Personally I use the right Windows key to lock the computer with one hand. I don't think I've ever found a use for the Menu key.
    But I agree with m4a4, having a dedicated Office key is way too specific. A remappable key where you can pick from a list of products or click a button to select your own might be much more useful (such as a calculator or Administrator command prompt). Even better if they go full macro or open a list of shortcuts.
  5. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 731   +561

    Obviously, the clear answer is to name it the "any key".
    Tanman377, Arris, antiproduct and 4 others like this.
  6. lexster

    lexster TS Maniac Posts: 466   +233

    I'd give this two "like's" if I could.
    SirDigby and Impudicus like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +808

    No thanks.

    I actually do use the menu key, though it is rare. I use it if I'm having issues with the mouse or touch, or for repetitive tasks that require a right-click.
  8. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,550   +1,767

    So they are going to replace a key that is rarely used with a key that no one would use?

    Great strategy MS.
    Impudicus likes this.
  9. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,240   +901

    My Alienware keyboard has programmable Macross. In one push of a button I can pull up Xhamster.
    kira setsu and OortCloud like this.
  10. Impudicus

    Impudicus TS Addict Posts: 138   +93

    I use this key often as it is. To open the menu, to lock the pc, to open the run box, to arrange the windows on my desktop.... I don't have office on my pc so if it were a dedicated office button then it's useless.
    Capaill, treetops and wiyosaya like this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +2,290

    On my home computer, I use Word Perfect; even the version that I have being about 4 major revisions back, is far more capable than office, especially Word, ever was. Word, IMO, is made specifically to type one page memos and nothing more. Word Perfect, on the other hand, could easily be used for writing a book and publishing it myself.

    So a key like this would be useless to me. On my work computer, I use office but having something like this as the primary key for a shortcut sequence seems redundant. That's what the task bar, desktop, or start menu entries are for.
  12. fluffydestroyer

    fluffydestroyer TS Booster Posts: 81   +41

    They should remake that Simpson episode where Homer tries to find the any key now hehe
  13. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,467   +500

    Why not just harness the Fn key on many modern keyboards (and most laptops) already? It's got a few hard-coded media and system functions assigned to it, typically, but that's about it. Make it a configurable tool where you can remap Fn+{key} commands to launch commands, and call it good.

    Why go through the extra trouble of repurposing and remapping keyboard layouts, when there are suitable solutions already available? Other than a massive sense of narcissism and raging ego that wants your special logo on everything in the world, that is...
  14. antiproduct

    antiproduct TS Addict Posts: 115   +127

    Somewhere I actually have a floppy disk from Gateway that contains the "any key" application. I find it funny that it was actually an application back in the day.
  15. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 731   +561

    Whew. All of this work is making me thirsty. I think I'll order a "Tab".
  16. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,401   +627

    I use WordPerfect too. I was first introduced to it at work but later most work offices were switched to Word. Word was installed on my work PC but I kept WordPerfect and continued to use it.
  17. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 519   +453

    What if someone using LibreOffice? Or Google Docs? Will It work, too?
    cliffordcooley and lexster like this.
  18. lexster

    lexster TS Maniac Posts: 466   +233

    Possible, but unlikely...
  19. TsVkK

    TsVkK TS Booster Posts: 32   +20

    Don't think I've ever used the secondary Windows key, so whatever.

    Then again I don't use MS products so I'll also never use anything they change it to.

    (unless they make it spawn intelligent penguins that attack objects on the screen)
  20. DwayneAK

    DwayneAK TS Rookie

    It'd be pretty obnoxious to accidentally hit a key that can open a program, especially one like Office that uses a fair amount of resources and takes a bit to open. At least make it a combination of keys...or better yet just leave it alone.
    Impudicus likes this.
  21. Crunch

    Crunch TS Rookie

    Use the menu key all the time at work.
    lexster likes this.
  22. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 523   +320

    Why not make the menu key to act as the co-shortcut office key once the office products are opened or when it's window is active?
  23. kira setsu

    kira setsu TS Addict Posts: 136   +114

    wish I had a programmable macross, let it transform, fly off and grab me a beer
    lexster likes this.
  24. gc757

    gc757 TS Member

    I use a keyboard that has 18 programmable keys... And I use them ALL! So my reply is make the change programmable for whatever we the users want to use it for. Thanks for the consideration.
  25. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 294   +89

    The key is little used because it hasn't been on ANY of my keyboards in last 5-10 years. It's already replaced by keyboard manufacturers by FN key or something such.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...