Software

Upcoming Windows 10 SwiftKey integration could boost productivity for office workers

The new keyboards will autocorrect and even offer predictions after learning how you write.

After acquiring SwiftKey for around $250 million in 2016, Microsoft unveiled its first major updates to the SwiftKey keyboard in March, showing off new features that gave users access to new stickers, GIFs, and calendar add-ons.

The tech giant announced in a Friday blog post that SwiftKey will be fully integrated into Windows 10 and available in English (United States), English (United Kingdom), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Portuguese (Brazil), or Russian. It's currently part of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17692.

Brining SwiftKey to Windows 10 will help with typing on many of the available 1-in-1 convertible laptops running the OS. It will also ease adoption of dual-screen laptops like the Asus Project Precog, as noted by our sister site CNET.

Before its acquisition, SwiftKey was among the most popular mobile keyboard apps, first on Android in 2010 and iOS in 2014. Although Microsoft had its own keyboard app, The Financial Times reported that they were interested in SwiftKey's artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which reportedly used neural networks to predict words instead of regular algorithms.

Microsoft has now put that tech to use, adding it to Windows 10 to give touch-based keyboard users better predictions for their next word.

"SwiftKey gives you more accurate autocorrections and predictions by learning your writing style - including the words, phrases and emoji that matter to you," Microsoft wrote in the post.

SEE: Four things every IT pro needs to know about Windows 10 (Tech Pro Research)

Microsoft has been battling Google's GBoard app for keyboard supremacy, hoping to leverage SwiftKey's connections to Samsung—they had an office in Seoul solely to work with the smartphone giant—into a bigger share of the market.

The Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17692 also originally included a feature that would allow you to control whether videos can play automatically. But, in an update to the post, the section was crossed out and included a note under it saying, "Woops! We got a little too excited about this - this change is actually coming in a new build in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!"

The company has also made it easier to enlarge the text across the OS after complaints from users, and added new options to Game Mode for desktop PCs, the post noted. Users will be able to toggle through a menu listing the system RAM, GPU, and CPU usage as well as framerate. You will also have access to a menu that can change the audio outputs or the game's volume.

It will also be simpler to find official download pages for Windows software you want to install, according to thepost. Microsoft has been working on improving the search function and said they are continuing to work on it.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Microsoft's SwiftKey keyboard is coming to Windows 10, giving users better autocorrect and prediction features.
  • SwiftKey on Windows 10 will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Also see

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Image: CNET

About Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.

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