The accidental release of a Windows 10 Insider build last week has revealed some new features that are coming to the OS. Build 16212 contains references to the Composable Shell Microsoft is working on, and part of that is a new keyboard.
According to Twitter account WalkingCat, the build contains references to a CShell TextInput component and will be based on SwiftKey. Microsoft acquired the popular Android keyboard in February last year, gaining access to its powerful neural net predictions.
For those unfamiliar, Composable Shell scales Windows 10 dynamically depending on device and display. It means Windows can be built on one branch, and users will have the same, consistent experience. For example, the Start menu will come to Windows 10 Mobile, along with Live Tiles and context menus. For the keyboard, this means that it should be available on any Windows 10 device.
However, development is allegedly by Microsoft’s WordFlow team, and the keyboard should contain many similarities with it. Windows Central reports that it will have swipe typing functionality, as well as Pen support.
Users have been waiting a long time for the Windows 10 Mobile keyboard to be ported over, so they should be very pleased. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when exactly it will land. Microsoft has not even acknowledged the feature, and presence in the Insider build doesn’t necessarily mean it will launch with the Windows 10 Fall Creators update. In fact, it seems more likely that CShell won’t launch until sometime next year.
Until then, we’ll keep an eye on Microsoft and latest Insider builds. With hope, this leak will lead to more information from the company.