Does it make sense for a company like Microsoft to make a keyboard that can be used with Windows, iOS, or Android tablets? Microsoft certainly thinks so. The company has just created a Universal Mobile Keyboard that work with all competitor tablets in addition to Microsoft’s own Windows tablets.
Universal Mobile Keyboard Details
Microsoft’s Universal Mobile Keyboard includes a button that allows users to switch from iOS to Android and to Windows Bluetooth. With the tap of that one button, you can use any one of the three tablet types supported.
While there’s nothing mind-blowing about a universal keyboard that can be used with all types of tablets, Microsoft’s newest keyboard option also includes a “CMD key,” which is usually found on Apple devices, and an “Android Home” key. The inclusion of those two keys makes the Universal Mobile Keyboard different from all the rest.
Interestingly, Microsoft hasn’t included a “Windows” stamp on this keyboard, which is somewhat unusual for the company that likes to brand everything. The keyboard itself is nicely designed, and comes with a rechargeable battery that Microsoft claims will last six months on a single charge. The keyboard is also supposed to last for an entire day if you charge it for approximately 10 minutes - not bad battery life.
Where to Get It
The Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard has just been released, but you can pick one up at stores or online in October. The keyboard will retail for $79.95, and, again, works with any iOS, Android, or Microsoft tablet.
The Competitor Decision
Why has Microsoft decided to build a keyboard that works with competitor devices? Because universal keyboards sell, and Microsoft seems to be moving into the accessory business. It’s also important to note that most people that use a tablet tend to shop for keyboards that make typing easier. By creating a keyboard that is easy to use for typing purposes, but also works with any tablet, Microsoft has gained the best of all markets - or will, once this keyboard is released officially.
The quick buttons that Microsoft has included also allow people with a competing device to quickly return home or use a key that’s familiar to them (like the “CMD” key). It was a good plan for Microsoft to include these keys, and it’s what people will likely be looking for. The price tag on this keyboard might seem a bit high, but most tablet keyboards are in the same range unless you can find one on sale.
From high tablet keyboard sales, it’s clear to see that these accessories are still in demand, though, so that means that Microsoft will have an upper hand where keyboards are concerned, since this one has those quick keys that people will likely want. Would you pay nearly $80 for a universal tablet keyboard?
Presumably, you’d have to have more than one tablet to really get a lot of use out of this keyboard, but some people may want the option of switching back and forth.