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Microsoft is bringing its Windows phone keyboard to Windows 10 PCs and tablets

Build 16212 for Windows 10 PC includes a few interesting internal tidbits that Microsoft appears to be working on. One such thing is a new virtual keyboard, that according to @h0x0d on Twitter, is based on Microsoft's own Swiftkey technology. The new keyboard is part of CShell, and will be available on PC and phones when ready.

Windows Central can confirm that internally the new keyboard features the same swipe typing capabilities on PC that's found on Windows phones today. This makes sense, considering the new keyboard appears to be part of CShell, and therefore is a universal component that will be shared across devices.

Sources also say that the new virtual keyboard will support input via pen too, just like the current Windows 10 PC virtual keyboard. Outside of that, we don't know much else about it. The keyboard is currently in development internally at Microsoft, so hopefully we'll learn more about it over the coming weeks.

One of the most requested features for the virtual keyboard on PC was for Microsoft to introduce swipe support found on Windows phone. Now, it appears that's exactly what's happening. Are you interested in using swipe on a Windows 10 PC or tablet? Let us know in the comments!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

151 Comments
  • Finally!!! My very old feedback has been answered!! Thanks MSFT 😁😇🐱‍💻🐱‍🏍🐱‍👤
    .
    As @gerzhwin said, hopefully we should also get voice text input just like in W10M already.
    .
    Edit - I also hope that the PC keyboard is resizeable because it'll be difficult to swipe your fingers around a 12" display like the Surface series or any other 2-in-1, x360 device. They should make it so that we can crop it to either one of the bottom sides. Easier to type by swiping with one hand while you hold the tablet. 🙂 If they don't implement this, there's FEEDBACK HUB!! 😄
  • Yes this is amazing news!! I did upvote your feedback a long time ago lol
  • MS is building out our next generation of Windows on Phone.... For anyone who thinks "mobile is dead" look at all the writing on the wall......... HELLO WOA!
  • I love your comment!
  • Yes, WOP doesn't die, it only multiplies.. It doesn't succeed, but it don't DIE!... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Possibly, but who will buy it..... Most people are in too deep in Apple and Google ecosystem, highly unlikely they will switch.
  • My wife is getting sick of android. She said she is jealous of my phone and how I barely ever have issues. She will probably be one of those to jump on board when the new phones/pocket pcs come out.
  • That's my main problem with android and ios. My wife went through many android/ios phones all while she wayches me still enjoying my lumia 640 to this day
  • My mom got an S7 and she can't seem to stand it, either. I really wish Microsoft pushed WP harder.
  • Who cares if they don't switch.. ****, people are born everyday... Everyday there's millions who reach the point of making their own first smartphone purchase... There's millions of enterprise customers... There's million of smartphone users antidependant of iDroid, and more coming everyday.. All of the iDroid users combined today don't hold **** to the amount of smartphone users coming in the next twenty years... Sit, and think about that...... Does MS have a market? HELL YES THEY DO!......
  • "Does MS have a market? HELL YES THEY DO!......" Hell no they don't. In desktop computing there have been two platforms for the last 30 years. Apple vanquished Atari and Commodore in the 1980's. Microsoft put the nails in the coffin for OS/2 in the 1990's. Since then no one has challenged them. Linux on the desktop, well, it's been Linux's year to be on the desktop for the past 10 years and it's still not relevant. Aside from ChromeBooks no one's mounted any serious challenge to the Microsoft-Apple desktop hegemony. It looks like mobile has shaped up the same way. Mobile is a mature market. iOS and all the Android flavors dominate 99+% of the market. Microsoft had a presence but they've abandoned it. They could pull an XBox and drop millions of dollars on competing but it's not the same. XBox entered a market where you only had proprietary hardware. You couldn't just install a new OS on your Nintendo or Sony. Plus, the market was fairly immature. Mobile is different. Android runs on any phone (aside from iPhones ;). And, there are lots of different variants of the Android handsets ranging from the super cheap to those which can beat Apple's offerings in a fair fight. Android has the choice and cheap segment locked up. Apple has the premium segment locked up. Microsoft could possibly make a dent in Android's share, with an OS that runs on commodity hardware (like Windwos) but, the problem is that that's the low-end of the market so not very lucrative. Apple is going to be a very different competitor to beat. Loyalty is huge for iOS. iPhone users are repeat customers. I think Microsoft's current strategy may be its best bet. Make the best possible apps for iOS and Android to drive users to make them want to use your cloud services. Google with Chrome and Apple with iTunes both did that to Microsoft. They made software that Windows users simply had to have and that was better than anything Microsoft offered. It would be way better for us end users if Microsoft went that route. Microsoft doesn't have much to offer the world by making yet another mobile OS, but, if they make top notch mobile services they will be doing the world a favour. And, then, if their apps really are that compelling, then they can branch out into making their own mobile OS a reality and asserting more control over their services. Heck, they will likely fork Android rather than fiddle around with their own UWP/Continuum.
  • Ed, let me ask you a question.
  • Don't bother, Rod. He's just a new guy.
  • I guess you didn't finish your question. Anyway, I do see one opportunity for Microsoft: Android is fragmented, heavily. Like Windows user loyalty is low. People use Android, not because they want to but because it's what comes on their cheaper devices*. iOS is safe in its dominant position like Mac was a good profit center for Apple. Because of its design philosophy Apple has high user retention and loyalty. Apple learned from their Mac vs. DOS/Windows 3.1 mistakes and used the fact that they were first out of the gate to their advantage to build what is a massive lead. Android is vulnerable. Its fragmentation limits its utility. How many different versions of Android are out there and still being sold? Android 4.2, 4.4, 5, 6 all seem to be versions that I encounter. What I find amazing is that, despite the fragmentation, there's still a robust Google Play Store with apps available for most of these versions (while Windows Store has nothing in it). But, the fragmentation offers opportunity. If Microsoft can make its Android offerings as good as or better than Google that will go a long way to raising Microsoft's mobile profile, even if it doesn't have a mobile OS marketshare to speak of. Microsoft has made it clear that that's one strategy they're pursuing--don't use their services to keep users in Windows or attract them to Windows. Unless you have must-have products, or services that doesn't work. Microsoft has no especially compelling services or products compared to its competitors to attract users (the one, Office is available on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android). So, instead it needs to meet users where they are at, on iOS, on Android and even Mac and make the Microsoft experience be the thing that users want. At that point, you can create a mobile OS to compete with Android--heck, you may even want it to be Android so developers have an easy time coming to your OS. Anyway, do mull it over. Don't reflexively think iPhone/iPad bad because it's not a full blown OS. In a less perjorative form, it's what caused Microsoft to completely miss the mobile revolution. Because they are and were known for their operating system, they failed to understand that, to make mobile work, you did not need or want a full blown, full service operating system. Apple's genius was in recognizing the limitations and that, while good as a desktop OS, Mac OS X was not the right model for the desktop. Microsoft's downfall was in trying to bring Windows features to the mobile world--that's not valuable in such a small form factor. Microsoft, in a way is revisitng the same mistake in reverse. They've mobilified the Windows desktop experience. In Windows 8 they got burned big time because they pushed too far. Now they're timid with 10, and, while it's a nice desktop OS, it's a mediocre tablet/touch OS. It means that the mobile phablet offerings simply won't stack up interface-wise against iOS and even Android. Anyway, have a great day. *Note: I'm not conflating the reasons that some use Windows vs Android.
  • We just have to hope it is indeed more like the Windows Phone 8.1 keyboard. The one on 10 Mobile sucks.
  • I came here to say the same thing.
  • No, we have to hope it's SwiftKey from Android ported.
  • This is Windows Central ! Shitdroid crap is strictly prohibited
  • Microsoft bought swiftkey and swiftkey is good. Its not a droid anything. Its an app Microsoft owns and can be used for the windows 10 keyboard... Why limit any quality?
  • I get you, but any reason to trash Shitdroid 😁
  • 😂😭😂😭😂😭😂😭😂 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍⛽⛽⛽⛽ 🤔😎😎😎 Hahahahahahaha❗❗❗
  • I also came here to mention how the swipe on 8.1 was WAY better than it is in WM10. On 8.1 it worked like magic. In WM10 if it's magic, it's evil magic.  :-P
  • Yeah. Even freaking Gboard has gotten better than the one on win10
  • I don't see anything wrong with the Windows 10 mobile keyboard
  • anything wrong?  stopping is a mess. You can't type recently with having to direct any text. There's always a time French all text displays badly. I need to correct there text every time. All is not are. Ate is not all. Sometimes when you type a lot, the keyboard is just showing always the wrong Austin's. How many errors do you need to correct from a text? And the words are always the same. 
  • Again I don't see anything wrong the the new keyboard as I don't have those problems. The only difference I can notice is that it takes a longer time to get used to my word choice habits than the old one. But otherwise, I don't have an issue. I guess the prediction algorithm is a bit different. You just have to get used to it.
  • anything wrong? I need to use the mobile keyboard a lot, as I moderate a forum. It is just impossible to be productive with the swype keyboard. Count how many time you need to correct / retype words that are wrongly predicted, which in essence is not wrong, a wrong prediction; But what is wrong is that these faulty predictions are happening again and again, all the time!!! The MS WM10 keyboard does not learn from your preferences. When i swype "are" 50% of the time it shows "ate". When I swype "the", 50% of the time it shows "there". Why show "ate", when both grammatically as the %-tge usage frequence in English of ate is completely the wrong word to suggest??? There are many other examples like this.
  • its getting better, it needs to work better with prediction for sure. just like tapping has great prediction. hate tapping though.
  • Mine drops whole words occasionally when swiping, then pick up the next one just fine. I go back, swipe in the word I want, still blank. I have to enter a word a letter at a time and it doesn't suggest anything. 8.1 keyboard would always correct a single lowercase i to uppercase, W10M does it rarely if at all.
  • I designed and submitted a concept to the user voice in March 2015... https://forums.windowscentral.com/windows-10/347340-wordflow-single-hand...
  • After using android, i think SwiftKey is the best. More languages, themes, suggests phrases, and remembers email addresses. It just needs the mouse stick.
  • I use Swype because they have swipe typing implemented into other languages (Japanese and Traditional Chinese) + vtrl+a/z/x/c/5/etc.
    Would love SwiftKey to have these features tho...
    Anyway, this great news!!!
  • I personally hate the mouse stick. I much prefer SwiftKey's cursor keys.
  • Those are fine but take up too much space.
  • What does the mouse stick do? Move the cursor?
  • Yeah, hold down and 4 arrows appear, works like a joystick or the mouse on ibm laptops to move the cursor.
  • Yeah how this wasn't put in Windows 8.1 I will never understand.
  • 100 times YES! I have wanted this on my tablet since I first started using one. I still sometimes try to swipe. 😀
  • That sounds real cool, i love the swipe typing on my phone.
  • Nice, even though I think that the Windows 10 WordFlow isn't as good as the 8.1 version, I'm still happy to see this come to my Surface, I'll have to retype a lot of words but it's still quicker than typing everything out.
  • Hope it supports swiping to insert symbols too
  • Hopefully they will put some focus into making it better than the Windows Phone version
  • Yeah, at least finally they are doing this which is long overdue. Though hopefully, they will improve it to at least on-par with WP8.1 version. W10M just doesn't seem to work as magically as the WP8.1 does. Antoehr thing though, they already acquired SwiftKey and yet there is still no sign of these two seperate keyboard brands being merged. I find SwiftKey predictions to be really good (even its little bit agressive at times), not to mention that the more language it supports and capability to simultaneously use it all without a need to manually switching languages. IMO, I would say WordFlow to be renamed as SwiftKey and merge their best features including the Hub Keyboard. SwiftKey is really a known keyboard brand outside Windows, and the brand is valuable here. MS can reuse the WordFlow brand to something else like "Powered by WordFlow technology" or something else.
  • @aXross. Well said
  • Search google...the Swift key is not ported of android's....MS has purchased a company that used to manufacture those keyboards for Appl and Googl with $ 200m.
  • I'm hoping they use the engine from wp8.1. W10m keyboard is horrendous in it's autocorrects and word predictions. I don't know how it could go from something SO DAMN AMAZING in wp8.1 to what it is at now. The only thing i like about the w10m keyboard is the pointer stick and mic button, neither of which are part of the actual typing experience.
  • I'm really curious about those"lot of" words you'll have to type. 😉 What's so complex that you'll need to train the keyboard? Hehe.
  • Fishy there are a lot of Austrian terms that simply aren't in the dictionary that i need to yeah it, but also, as you can se sometimes it gives me the wrong word, especially when there are words with two of the same later in them. You can't use the weight trick to tell it there are two of the same letter. That I'd an example of Swiftkey without editing. It's, ok, but it needs work.
  • OMG this is awesome. We've been waiting for this for ages. And just as golden - pen input for phones (which you can use a capacative stylus for. That's a double YUSSS!
  • I agree, from the first day I tried my Lenovo Miix I was disappointed that it didn't have swipe on keyboard. I mean, I was just wondering why didn't they include that. This will be awesome, holding your 2in1 in tablet mod in your hand, typing with swipe.😎 Can't wait for that to arrive.😄
  • The soft keyboard om Windows  mobile is a disaster.. Are, not ate.  there is not they're... Shall i continue? The windows 10 keyboard is BAD.
  • Omg finally!!! When can I put it in my surface 3?! :)
  • October?
  • Been wondering what's taken them so long to being the full WP keyboard to PCs and tablets. I hope they give us the neat little cursor control found on Windows 10 Mobile too.
  • Why is it taking them soooo long to port Swiftkey? The app is amazing on Android
  • They didn't port it.. They BOUGHT 😎 it
  • I know, but that was 2,5 years ago. Why did they not put it in Win10/M?
  • Of the two keyboards Microsoft offers for iOS, SwiftKey is the lesser one. Word Flow is far faster and more accurate (in English, anyway).
  • Phew! Finally!
  • Yeah, great news and a step closer to One Windows on every device form factor!
  • Will it support voice input as well?!
  • That would be cool
  • FINALLY! Been crying out this on my Surface Pro for way too long
  • If it works as well as it does on my phone it'll be a disaster
  • Bout damn time!
  • Waited so long for this to happen, but its useless for most since windows 10 works supper slow on cherry trail tablets, so I'm forced to use windows 8.1 but im happy cause its blazing fast.
  • I wish they added the W10M keyboard to Android as well
  • The best keyboard on the market that's for sure.
  • No, that was the WP8.1 keyboard... Predictive text on WM10 is horrible.
  • It totally is rodneyej. I type pretty quick and so the phone will either freeze or it won't register the input but go to the next letter. So I have to really, really, really slowly type... which is incredibly tiresome.
  • There's predictive text in WM10? I thought it just spit out random words. :-)
  • Oh, it does😭😭😭😭
  • Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss😹😻😸🐱‍🏍
  • So... where'd the info come from that this is SwiftKey's tech powering it? Because swiftkey had one crucial thing that almost noone else does/did; simultaneous multi-language support. That's a key feature that kept people on swiftkey for ages. Please let this mean it's also coming to windows.
  • Ah finally. Long time coming. It seems to all coming together. Exciting times ahead.
  • Yes! Finally. Good news from feedback. Can't remember how many times I have been swiping on my surface only to look like a fool. Good work! 😃
  • YES! HURRAY! THATS THE BEST NEWS EEVER
  • It only took them 3.5 years.
  • Hahaha
  • Wow... Windows 10 has been out for 3.5 years???
  • I hope it still has all the keyboard layouts that PC supports. If Dvorak is gone I won't be a happy chappie, though if it comes to mobile I'll be very pleased.
  • I just wish they'd adjust it so the keyboard by default would appear below the text instead of on top of it...!!!
  • Apparently alot of people say its the best touch keyboard out there.
  • Al fin se podrá dictar y arrastras para escribir.
  • Great news. About time and more than 3 years overdue. They must fix the wordflow word accuracy. At least with English US, UK and Dutch (NL-nl), the acuracy is worse than windows phone 8.x. Error rate for recognizing the wrong word with swype is higher than with windows phone 8.x. Perhaps use the windows phoen 8.x recognition algorithm to start with. I think the handwriting pad with ink to text recognition should be part of windows ink. The single line of ink to text conversion is too limited and has a disconnected feel to the app compared to on app canvas writing. See Nebo app for example. Much better implementation and a more natural experience.
  • Yes, anybody with a W10M phone knows how bad the current keyboard is but if they're using swiftkey technology on W10 (which would be a huge upgrade over wordflow), we can assume the same will appear on W10M before long.
  • About freaking time
  • SwiftKey keyboard for Android supports so many language. I wish this come true soon.
  • WordFlow, Swiftkey and Hub Keyboard needs to be merged! SwiftKey is indeed got more languages supported and capable of simultaneously using them without manually switching between languages. I would vote for just going with SwiftKey branding since it is more well known than WordFlow brand. The value of the brand is something they should keep, especially when it already have huge user base and recognition.
  • Yes 👍 I'm using on my phone only swipe. Love it 👍
  • This is the exact type of thing that annoys me about Microsoft. Since Windows 8, it was. Obvious and wanted by everybody to have the same keyboard as the phone. It took how many years to make this happen? Ugghhh. Come Microsoft, you can't move this slow.
  • I know. Because they do listen but they take too long. And frankly, this was pretty obvious, they could have done it way earlier. In the sake of feature parity, which they always brag about.
  • Yes!! Finally!!! It wasn't that hard, I've been asking for this since I got my original Surface back in the day.
  • I am interested in the little gem in this that mentions pen input. Because that could hopefully mean handwriting input on a foldable device (phone-like) which I've wanted for a long time. I think it's the next evolution of input for touchscreens.
  • YES YES YES!!! Thanks MS, I try to use this on my Surface all the time and forget it doesn't work there so this will be great
  • Finally, I can swipe the tablet without keyboard~😍
  • Why not integrate customization as Swift keyboard of android and iOS
  • The article says it will be "based on Microsoft's own Swiftkey technology".  That's the same technology you're talking about.
  • I asked Dan and Zac about this in a Q&A session after their podcast several months ago. So glad this is finally being addressed.
  • I am frequently guilty of trying to swipe on the Surface Pro keyboard. Always followed by a forehead slap and an expletive. This feature could get me to put my SP4 on the Insider program to get it sooner. 
  • Yes!!!! Finally!!!!!!!!!!
    Now, please also make Traditional Chinese and Japanese IME to support swipe typing!!!!!
  • Does the current W10M keyboard not support those?
  • I see that CShell brings diamonds and magic in general 😛
  • Yup!! 😄
  • About time. Felt so stupid having a massive keyboard on the screen after typing on a small keyboard in my phone. I have to move my fingers all over the screen just to reach the extents if the keyboard.
  • And yet again, we see the main reason why Microsoft failed with Windows Phone...it takes them YEARS to release anything. This feature was popularly requested on User Voice as far back as 2014.
  • This has nothing to do with the success or failure of Windows phones.  It's been a feature on phones for years.  It's just finally coming to the rest of Windows.
  • Years for such a basic and simple thing.
    On the other side, its about time i get rid of my Android tablet.
    With youtube expirience being much better on microsofts windows that on their own platform I don't know now who is really worse, MS or Google
  • What do you mean about the youtube experience being worse on Android?
  • I'm curious here as well.  What's wrong with the navtive Android Youtube experience?
  • That's a very good news. I was a bit frustrated when typing on the virtual keyboard when it was so easy on Windows phone
  • As long as that promises the reverse also and bring the pen writing to the phone too 😎💖🗽
  • Yay
  • Yay, about time. I been requesting this feature for the longest time.
  • Yesssss!
  • Yes!!! Finally!! I've been asking for this since windows mobile starting implementing it, just makes since to have it on the tablets.
  • If the numbers are not on top of the 28 letters in a single page and you keep toggling pages to access between numbers and letters especially when you type complex passwords it's useless.
    It seems minor but if minor things are adding up, it become
    major issue and nobody will keep using anything here.
    It's really moronic when complex passwords with numbers, upper and lower case letters and special characters now are common place, to switch between input pages and it's pushing users away from windows 10
    Other platforms already have that figured it out for some years already so...it's time for Microsoft technicians catch up. Start using Microsoft phones to experience the same inconveniences as everybody else and, compare with other platforma and then make decisions that's impacting entire Windows 10 mobile environment.
  • All those issues are already addressed in SwiftKey, which they own. They just need to use it.
  • If it's as bad as the swipe on Windows 10 Mobile they can leave it off . Right now its the worst its ever been
  • The article says it will be "based on Microsoft's own Swiftkey technology", which gives me hope that my phone will also see a new swiftkey keyboard soon.  It's gotta be far superior to the W10M keyboard we have now.
  • I've never had a problem using the Windows Mobile swipe keyboard.  It's been decent and as accurate as any first party ones found on Android or iOS. (oh wait, iOS doesn't support swipe natively.)
  • Compared to 8.1 this one ok Windows 10 Mobile is awful
  • Maybe that's one of the reasons why opinions on Windows phones are so varied.  I remember the beta for the Win10 keyboard, on an old 820 phone, to be sluggish.  But on a newer 640, it was decent and accurate. Hopefully the experiences will be better across the board, with this new plan.
  • I'm on a Idol 4s now and it's sad how bad it is
  • Long overdue.
  • Finally requested this feature long ago in feedback hub.
  • Speaking of the keyboard, since last week the keyboard on my phone has been smaller for some reason.  It doesn't even stretch across the screen in portrait mode.  Is this due to a recent update or is it not supposed to be like that?
  • Go to settings region and language, go to keyboard select more settings and you can change the size there
  • Thanks for the tip, but that's not fixing it for me.  I can select small, medium or large but the keyboard size doesn't change.  It seems to be stuck on medium or something.
  • Hold down space until there's an outline around the keyboard and swipe towards the place where the keyboard isn't.
  • Aha!  That was it!  Awesome.  Thank you very much.
  • are you using interop tools? there is a setting within tweaks that makes your phone keyboard smaller.
  • No, I'm not, but JeremyMN solved my problem above.  Thanks anyway!
  • Thank god. People have been screaming for workflow on the surface line forever.
  • Yeaaaaahh!!!!
  • Cool....love to have it
  • Much needed feature, I've wanted this since Windows 8.
  • It is way looooooong overdue. At least it is finally coming.
  • About body time.
  • about time!!
  • Hopefully more proof that Windows 10 will replace Windows Mobile. Exciting times. We are getting close to one OS and one app store on every Microsoft device. The smartphone is a PC.
  • This is a great step forward I will use this feature, just bought a huge new comfy couch and find I'm using my SP4 a lot more in tablet form since, so swiping on the screen as opposed to tapping will be far more ergonomic