Microsoft is working (or has worked) on a physical keyboard with a very particular layout: the numeric keypad is separate, and there is a key to call up the Emoji panel. This key is located in place of the right Windows, which is actually a bit redundant in hindsight. The images were leaked on the Net thanks to the famous WalkingCat, one of the most active leakers for everything related to the Redmond giant.
It is not the first time that Microsoft thinks of replacing the second Windows key with smileys, which are more and more widespread in today's digital written communication. A precedent was created by the latest version of the famous Ergonomic Keyboard, the one with the layout split in half and the "bulge" in the center. The version discovered today, however, is very different: in the meantime it has a much more minimalist and "clean" style, which suggests very clearly that it should be a Surface branded product (see opening image); and then the actual Emoji icon also changes.
This detail suggests that the key will open the new Emoji panel that was observed on Windows 10X. It will also allow you to insert GIFs, thanks to Tenor, and other contents; more generally it has received several updates compared to the one currently available on stable Windows (for the uninitiated, in the latest versions of Windows 10 it can be recalled by pressing the Windows key and the period). Microsoft is also starting to test it in regular Windows 10 Insider builds, and it shows exactly the same icon – a square with a stylized heart in the top right corner.
As we said at the beginning of the article, we have no information on the status of this particular project: in other words, we do not know if it has been abandoned, if it will be released and if so, with what timing.