Shock! Horror! Microsoft release usable keyboards!
Many of us at Microsoft have hated our own keyboards for a number of years. I personally am a natural keyboard fan, and I hoarded the original "good" Natural Keyboard and the only decent follow-up, the Natural Keyboard Pro. Since these great keyboards were produced, the MS keyboards went downhill fast for me.
The first sign of insanity was the rearrangement of the cursor keys from an inverted T, as they have been since the dawn of time, into an actual cross arrangement. Then the insert/delete pad was randomly re-arranged on each new model, and LEDs for caps lock etc seem to get very hard to find. But the final straw was the F-lock feature for sure: this made the function keys not work as function keys until you pressed F-lock. And if your machine rebooted, F-lock was off again.Trying to get into a BIOS via F1 was an exercise in futility with one of these things.
Here on MS Campus there are occasional "fire sales" and I did buy a pile of not-current MS keyboards for $10-$20 a pop, and I have to say that many of them were not worth even that much. They suffered some of the above ailments and all of them had the dreaded F-lock. I did adopt a wireless natural one at home, but its F-lock still bothers me immensely and the oversized Delete is a huge pain.
However, today I am very pleased to announce an apparent end to the insanity: Microsoft has released some new keyboards including a sensible looking natural keyboard that I am highly likely to pay money for! Hoorah! Its F-lock remembers its status across a reboot. It has the classic insert/delete/cursor key arrangement. It even has a USB plug. I don't know what its like to type on yet, that will have to wait for another day, but at last someone seems to be listening. Thank You Microsoft Hardware.
The main Hardware web site hasn't yet been updated, but go here for further info.