In spite of the fact that Microsoft already had touchscreens on keyboards for a while now, it was Apple that made it cool with the touch bar on the new MacBook Pros. Now Microsoft wants to catch up, by preparing a physical keyboard + touch combo of its own. A patent from MS confirms this.


A Microsoft patent application has appeared online and the Redmond firm apparently applied for it quite some time before the MacBook Pro was even unveiled, back in July. It relates to a “keyboard with input-sensitive display” and it’s meant to make it easier for the user to input text in Asian phonic languages. Usually such input comes with an error rate of 20% or worse, so manual correction is required.


Usually, the writer has to stop what he’s doing and correct everything, while moving the hands from keyboard to mouse. Microsoft’s invention brings in the extra screen, that may be detachable or be part of the keyboard. It’ll show suggestions for characters entered and also simplify the process of correction. Of course other purposes are available, like drawing, notification manager and UI navigation.

The patent is found here.