Tags: microsoft | universal | keyboard | cross platform

Microsoft Universal Keyboard Helps Bridge the Gap Across Platforms

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 07:58 AM

Microsoft's new universal keyboard appears to have solved the challenge of using different mobile devices and operating systems from different manufacturers at the same time.

In an announcement on its Fire Hose blog, Microsoft said the keyboard will allow users to operate across platforms, whether it's an Android or Windows tablet, with ease and convenience.

"The Universal Mobile Keyboard has an OS switch that lets you change from one operating system to another while maintaining a fully functional keyboard," Microsoft said. "And with the physical 'chiclet' style keyset on this keyboard, you'll feel like you’re typing on your laptop without lugging around the extra weight or bulk."

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"It's easy and quick to set up, especially on the go. Simply open the protective cover and the keyboard automatically turns on, and connects using Bluetooth. Shut the cover, and it instantly turns off," the blog statement continued.

Tom Warren, of TheVerge.com, wrote that Microsoft has continued to be aggressive in making products that can bridge multiple operating systems, even if they are rivals. He said the new keyboard could be a nice win for Microsoft.

"Supporting iOS and Android isn't unusual for Microsoft's keyboards, but the company has gone a step further this time," he wrote. "The Universal Mobile Keyboard includes an Android home key and a CMD key typically found on Apple keyboards. Although it also works with Windows tablets, Microsoft hasn't even stamped a Windows logo on the keyboard — a rare move for the company. That makes this tablet keyboard the only one in Microsoft’s range of wired and wireless keyboards without the traditional Windows key."

Even though Microsoft is pushing the keyboard as a catch-all, Mary Jo Foley of the tech site ZDNet.com did find some exceptions Tuesdays.

"The keyboard does not currently work with Windows Phone because Windows Phone doesn't support the Bluetooth Human Interface Device keyboard protocol at this time, Microsoft officials confirmed," Foley wrote.

"A few readers have noticed there's no touch pad on this keyboard. I've heard from my contacts that this is due to the fact that Microsoft wanted to create a single keyboard that would work with iOS, Android and Windows. That meant they opted to build a keyboard that did not include support for gestures/inputs that were not enabled on all three platforms," she continued.

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Microsoft's new universal keyboard appears to have solved the challenge of using different mobile devices and operating systems from different manufacturers at the same time.
microsoft, universal, keyboard, cross platform
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2014-58-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 07:58 AM
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