Microsoft has unveiled a new keyboard that's compatible with iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and Windows tablets -- but not Windows Phone smartphones. Dubbed Universal Mobile Keyboard, the device will be available in October for an estimated retail price of $79.95.
The keyboard can be paired with up to three devices running different operating systems, and there's a button that allows you to switch between the devices. It also offers platform-specific keys, including the Android Home button, OS X's Command key, and Windows' Control key.
The new keyboard has a protective, detachable cover that also doubles as a stand for your smartphone or tablet. Microsoft says that users can type more than double the words per minute they’d normally type using the device’s own on-screen keyboard. Closing the cover shuts the device off.
The keyboard is compatible with Apple iOS v6+, Android 4+, Windows 8+, and Windows RT devices, and uses Bluetooth to connect to the various tablets and phones it supports. The reason the keyboard isn't compatible with Windows Phone is that the OS doesn't support the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) keyboard protocol.
In terms of battery life, Microsoft claims that the device will last for around six months on a single charge. The Universal Mobile Keyboard is launching first in the US and Canada, and is expected to arrive in other markets “soon”.
Aside from the keyboard, Microsoft also revealed a new Xbox One controller and cable for Windows and two new mice: Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Limited Edition ($29.95) and Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse ($69.95).