Think Apple’s Touch Bar is neat? Then you’ll love Microsoft’s ‘Adaptive Keyboard’

Apple held its October 27 event and introduced the newly refreshed MacBook Pro line, largely as expected. In addition to new high-end MacOS notebooks that are thinner and lighter, the most important announcement was the new OLED Touch Bar that replaces the old-school function keys with a new app-specific touchscreen running on top of the keyboard.

Apple’s timing was a little unfortunate, as it had to follow Microsoft’s Windows 10 Creators Update event just the day before where Microsoft introduced the innovative Surface Studio AIO for creative professionals. And it turns out that Microsoft had already considered developing a very similar keyboard touchscreen concept of its own.

The video above demonstrates that Microsoft had created what it called an “Adaptive Keyboard” as part of a Student Innovation Contest at the User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) Symposium in 2010. The keyboards basic concept was very similar to Apple’s Touch Bar — an LED touch display sits above the keyboard and is modified in real time by applications to customize its functionality.

While Microsoft’s version is less refined than Apple’s, that’s to be expected for a prototype device. Even so, it’s an equally functional device that would offer precisely the same advantages. In fact, Microsoft’s Adaptive Keyboard is arguably even more functional, with a larger screen that’s capable of providing more capabilities.

One might ask why Microsoft never produced a shipping version of the device. The answer is relatively simple — Microsoft opted instead to implement the entire main display as one large customized touch input device. Today, most Windows 10 notebooks, and all 2-in-1s, offer at least the option of a touch screen, and Windows 10 itself is highly optimized for touch.

Apple may or may not have been aware of Microsoft’s Adaptive Keyboard, but no matter. They clearly see the benefit of such technology, and MacBook Pro users will be able to reap the benefits. Time will tell if Apple’s minimal approach or Microsoft’s full speed ahead strategy regarding touch input will win out in the market.


New ‘Battlefield V’ patch gives Nvidia’s ray tracing support a chance to shine

‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to use Nvidia’s ray tracing support, now available with the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards. The feature can, in an ideal scenario, make the game look better, but the performance hit may not be…

We checked out Samsung’s 5G concept phone. Here’s what it’s like

5G is been all talk for years, but it's finally becoming a reality. At Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit, Samsung showed off a concept of its first 5G device, which will ultimately go on to be released to the public in the first half of…

Apple’s refurbished 15-inch MacBook Pro gets a $450 price cut on Amazon

Amazon is selling Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with a $450 discount. The laptops, which start at $1,549 after the discount, are sold through Amazon's Woot deals, and applies to Apple's mid-2017 laptops.

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, and it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?

These Raspberry Pi 3 bundles will cover everyone, from coders to gamers

The Raspberry Pi 3 is a low-budget computing platform capable of doing just about anything. We rounded up a handful of the best Raspberry Pi 3 bundles to get you started on a variety of DIY projects.