Talking tech since 2003

The company behind Windows is getting pretty good at releasing slick looking hardware. Today, news spread around tech sites about a new Bluetooth keyboard made by none other than Microsoft that’s built for all your devices, ranging from Windows tablets, to Android devices, and even to your iPhone and iPad.

The Universal Mobile Keyboard is available on the Microsoft Store for $80, and it’s got some really solid solutions for users with multiple devices running on different platforms. The keyboard can be paired with up to three different devices on three different platforms. The best part is that it’s got a toggle switch that allows you to switch between each one. If you’re going to town on a document on your iPad, and a buddy is talking to you via Google Hangouts – which you can see on your Android phone – you can make the switch easily without having to change apps on your device.

This is the kind of problem that’s a bit more frequent than you might think. Switching between apps on the iPad is a massive pain, especially when it comes to non-Apple apps like Hangouts. Being able to switch on the fly like that is a big help. And not needing to buy lots of different keyboards for multiple devices means that you’re saving money and space if you carry lots of gadgets around (I know I do).

The keyboard also has a built-in slot that lets you slide whatever device you’re using right in. It may look kind of silly to see someone typing away while staring at a tiny smartphone screen. But at the same time, you’re going to get a ton more done on, say, the Android or iOS version of Microsoft Office than you would have by tapping away with your thumbs on the touchscreen keyboard.

Overall, this looks like a nice piece of hardware, continuing what’s becoming a growing tradition from Microsoft. Sure, it’s not going to win any beauty contests the way that Apple’s devices do. But for actually getting stuff done? The Universal Mobile Keyboard might be exactly what you were looking for.

The great news here is that it looks like Microsoft is taking hardware seriously. The Xbox family of consoles has been important for them in terms of rehabilitating their overall brand among users. The Surface Pro 3, meanwhile, is the best argument yet for Microsoft to keep making computers built specifically to highlight its software. The Universal Mobile Keyboard is far from revolutionary, but it’s a great idea, and it looks like it’s being executed pretty well. Again, this device is built in order to showcase its Office Suite of software – and it’s hopefully a sign of things to come from Redmond with Windows 9 right around the corner.

What other hardware goodies do they have up their sleeve? Is Microsoft almost cool now?

[Universal Mobile Keyboard]

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