In an effort to allow their users to personalise their Windows experience, Microsoft has announced the release of smart Phonetic keyboards for 10 Indian languages for Windows 10 users in its May 2019 update. The updated keyboards are available in Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Odia, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam languages.
The updated virtual keyboards allow users to transliterate the text as soon as it gets typed from the users’ existing keyboards. It converts the text from one script to another depending on which language the user wishes to use. For example, the company explains that if a user types ‘Bharat’ in English characters, the Phonetic keyboard will transliterate the word to भारत (Hindi), ভারত (Bangla), ભારત (Gujarati) or ਭਾਰਤ (Punjabi) depending on the language chosen by the user.
These Phonetic keyboards will also allow the users to work in their native languages without having to purchase customised keyboards or use any other font. The company claims that this new feature will not only help in making computing inclusive but also likely to improve the typing speed and accuracy in local Indian languages by at least 20 per cent. It will also make it easier for users to input regional symbols like Indian numerals, the company said.
The updated keyboard learns from behavior patterns and preferences of the user and accordingly offers suggestions of words in the target local language. These keyboards can also work in computers with low/no internet connectivity. The new update integrates the virtual keyboards within the Windows operating system and there is no need for downloading or installing any other external fonts or tools.
The updated keyboards have been automatically made available with the recent Windows 10 update (19H1). If users wish to update their Windows 10 system to avail the latest Phonetic keyboards, they need to go to Settings> Updates & Security> Windows Update. They must note that updating requires and access to the internet. Once the update is installed, users can activate the Phonetic keyboards by going to Language settings.
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