Microsoft is exploring the possibility of adding an Office shortcut to the PC keyboard, it has emerged.
The company is currently undertaking an internal survey to example the use cases for a dedicated key on keyboards for PCs running the latest version of Windows 10.
The survey was spotted and posted by the WalkingCat Twitter account and shows the company is testing the key alongside shortcut keys like O, T, W, X, P, D, N, Y, and L to open up the various apps within the suite.
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So, for example, Office + W would open Word, Office + P would do likewise for PowerPoint, and so forth. The company is even testing Office + S hotkey, which would enable users to quickly share a document.
Microsoft is also asking employees how they could improve the Office key experience, while asking for suggestions to add new cross-app shortcut keys, or to speed-up a multi-step task. The survey, which is accessed via permissions-only, ends with Microsoft asking employees whether they’d like to have the Office key on a new laptop in the future.
Whether the company would simply add this key to their own Surface-branded products, or would seek to work with hardware manufacturers to integrate the key across all PCs, remains to be seen. The likes of HP and Dell would need to make changes to the keyboard without upsetting the user experience consumers are familiar with, presenting somewhat of an ergonomic challenge.
However, Microsoft is increasingly reliant on Office 365 subscriptions as a major part of its business model, as opposed to one-off sales of the productivity software. It would make perfect sense for the company to integrate a button that would boost functionality over competitors for those dollars, like Google Docs.
Would you like to see Microsoft add a dedicated Office key with associated shortcuts? Or would this be a case of Microsoft being pushy with its own products again? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.