The Latest Windows Keyboard Is a Piece of Crap

Behold the inexplicably useless new Windows on-screen keyboard.

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

I’m about to post some serious stuff—honest—but first I have to get something off my chest. I have never been as pissed off about an operating system “upgrade” as I am over the new on-screen keyboard in Microsoft’s latest Windows update.

The old OSK was fine. It took up about a third of the screen (vertically), included both letters and numbers, and the keys were plenty big even for me.

The new OSK takes up nearly half the screen, and it can’t be moved offscreen temporarily. If you try, it bounces back so the whole keyboard is visible. This means there’s very little screen space available when the keyboard is active, and there are times when you can barely see stuff in the middle of the screen no matter where you put the OSK. What’s even worse, the new OSK doesn’t allow you to highlight text. You can’t hold down the Shift key and use the arrows for highlighting. Since double tapping text is a very hit-or-miss affair on a Windows tablet, this means there’s literally no way to highlight text anymore.

I know how petty this sounds, but why? Why ruin a perfectly good keyboard? And even if Microsoft needed a new one to satisfy complaints of some kind, why not keep the old one around too? It’s still there in the code, after all. I know this since it pops up during boot when I need to enter my password. But there’s no way to access it during normal use.

This single, seemingly trivial change has made it all but impossible to blog on the tablet. I can still do it, but it’s hardly worth the effort, and it inflates my blood pressure every time I try. It’s really infuriating.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate