Have you ever wondered what the little key with the Windows logo on the keyboard is when using a Windows computer? You can use it to open the Start menu and take some useful shortcuts. But why did it appear there? Let’s find out.
Origin of the Windows key
People think the Windows key has been around since the keyboard’s advent, but it’s not. It first debuted in September 1994 on Microsoft’s Natural Keyboard. This ergonomic keyboard also came out simultaneously as Apple’s Adjustable Keyboard, which split the standard QWERTY keyboard into two halves. Unlike Apple’s keyboards, Microsoft warps the corners of each half to minimize wrist problems.
When creating this keyboard, someone at Microsoft came up with the idea of adding a Windows key on it. Gradually came the design of the two Windows keys on the right and left side of the Space key today.
This Windows key is a key to enhancing desktop shortcuts, just like the Command key on a Mac. The Windows key will open the Start menu since Windows 95 (released nearly a year after the ergonomic keyboard above) when pressed separately. When combined with other keys, the Windows key can perform system-related tasks like opening File Explorer (Windows + E).
However, the Windows key wasn’t limited to ergonomic keyboards then. Microsoft has created a standard keyboard with 104 keys. With the success of Windows 95, no hardware manufacturer wanted to be left behind, so the Windows key has been on keyboards ever since (except the Mac keyboard).
Chiến lược marketing quá sáng tạo của Microsoft đã giúp thương hiệu này để lại dấu ấn trên mọi bàn phím máy tính và chiếm lĩnh toàn bộ thị trường PC. Ngay cả khi bạn chạy hệ điều hành Linux, một hoặc hai phím nhỏ có logo Windows vẫn có thể xuất hiện trên bàn phím của bạn.
Windows key feedback
Not everyone likes the Windows key, especially gamers when they soon realize that this key impedes them a lot in playing MS-DOS games (having to use the Control and Alt keys a lot). Like playing Doom.
When playing an MS-DOS game on Windows or only a game that has to open full screen, if you accidentally press the Windows key, it will cause the Start menu to pop up, push the player out, and sometimes even. It even ruined the entire game.
However, many people still prefer Windows keys because they use shortcuts a lot on their computers. The considerable effect of shortcuts is undeniable, reducing the mouse’s dependence on the user, especially for those who need to work quickly and smoothly.
So the Windows key still exists today.
What does the Windows key feature?
As mentioned above, pressing the separate Windows key will open the Start menu. It’s not natural that the Start icon on the desktop also has the Windows logo on it.
When used in combination with other keys, the Windows key performs a lot of different tasks on Windows 10, including:
- Windows+I: Opens Settings.
- Windows+E: Opens File Explorer.
- Windows+D: Shows/hides the desktop.
- Windows+F: Opens the Search box.
- Windows+M: Minimizes all open Windows.
- Windows+Tab: Shows Task View.
- Windows+L: Locks the screen.
- Windows+A: Opens Action Center.
- Windows+Period: Opens the Emoji panel.
There are also many other shortcuts. If you remember, they help you with many Windows tasks, including controlling virtual desktops or rearranging windows.
The Windows key is a distinctive landmark that marks one of Microsoft’s most successful marketing methods. Until now, nearly 30 years later, this is still a beneficial key in the Windows ecosystem.