Windows 11 loses keyboard shortcut for Copilot, making us wonder if this is a cynical move by Microsoft to stoke Copilot+ PC sales

What’s going to drive Copilot+ PC sales, do you think? Superb AI acceleration chops? Windows on Arm getting emulation nailed for fast app and gaming performance (on Snapdragon X models)? No – it’s the Copilot key on the keyboard, dummy.

Surprised? Well, we certainly are, but apparently one of Microsoft’s selling points for Copilot+ PCs is the dedicated key to summon the AI on the keyboard.

We can draw that unexpected conclusion from a move Microsoft just made which seems pretty mystifying otherwise: namely the removal of the keyboard shortcut for Copilot from Windows 11.

As flagged up by Tom’s Hardware, the new Windows 11 preview (build 22635) in the Beta channel has dumped the keyboard shortcut (Windows key + C) that brings up the Copilot panel. This is an update that just happened (on June 19), after the preview build initially emerged on June 14.

Microsoft explains very vaguely that: “As part of the Copilot experience’s evolution on Windows to become an app that is pinned to the taskbar, we are retiring the WIN + C keyboard shortcut.”


An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Analysis: A cynical move by Microsoft?

What now? How is removing a useful keyboard shortcut part of the ‘evolution’ of Copilot? Surely, it’s a step backwards to drop one of the ways to invoke the AI assistant to the desktop?

Now, if Microsoft had big plans for the Windows + C shortcut elsewhere, say another piece of functionality that had come in which required this particular combo, the reasoning might at least be a little clearer. But by all accounts, there’s no replacement function here – Windows + C now does nothing.

As for the reason somehow being tied to Copilot shifting to become an app window, rather than a locked side panel in Windows 11, we don’t see how that has any relevance at all to whether you can open the AI with a keyboard shortcut or not.

As Tom’s Guide points out, seemingly the driver for this change is to make the Copilot key on the keyboard a more pivotal function, replacing the shortcut, but guess what – you only get that key on new Copilot+ PCs (right now anyway). So, the logical conclusion for the skeptical is that this is simply a fresh angle on helping to stoke sales for Copilot+ PCs.

It’s not like you can’t just click on the Copilot icon, of course, so you’re not lost at sea with no AI assistance all of a sudden – but that’s not the point. It is a lost convenience, clearly though, and it feels like a cynical move by Microsoft.

Tom’s Guide points out that you could use third-party key mapping software to restore the functionality of this particular shortcut, but the point is, you really shouldn’t have to bother jumping through such hoops. Come on, Microsoft – don’t pull stunts like this, or, if there is a good reason behind the change, share it, not some waffling soundbites about evolving Copilot.

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Meta Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery sales are paused due to a charging fault

If you've bought a Meta Quest 3 and are thinking of buying the Elite Strap with Battery, you can't – at least for the time being. Meta has paused sales of the accessory while it investigates issues with device charging.

The Elite Strap add-on offers a more ergonomic fit that's easier to adjust, and it's also available with a battery pack for longer gaming sessions between charges. It's that latter version that's been pulled, as Road to VR reports.

This hasn't come out of nowhere, either. Complaints of reliability issues have been rumbling for weeks, with users reporting that after an initial period during which everything is fine, the strap suddenly stops charging the Meta Quest 3 completely.

Meta has confirmed to Road to VR that it's manufacturing a new version of the Elite Strap with Battery that won't have this fault. Sadly, this has happened before – there were issues with the accessory straps for the Meta Quest 2 as well.

What you can do

As for what you can do as a Meta Quest 3 owner, clearly not buying an Elite Strap with Battery is a good start. Meta won't sell you one right now, but these straps still seem to be available from third-party retailers at the time of writing.

If you've already got one that's faulty, you can try returning it to Meta for a replacement, though Meta admits that this “may not necessarily resolve the problem”. It seems to be a bit hit and miss as to whether you're going to end up with a working unit.

It's not a great look for an accessory that costs $ 130 / £130 / AU$ 220, although Meta does at least now seem to be working on the problem. In our Meta Quest 3 review, we were hugely impressed with the headset itself, so it's a shame that accessories are letting it down.

Apparently there's an issue with the firmware on certain units, so hopefully new and improved versions of the strap should be out soon. Meta hasn't put a timescale on it, but it told Road to VR that these would be available “as soon as possible”.

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Amazon was the big winner from 2021’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales

If you bought something on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, maybe a little Christmas present, you definitely weren't alone in 2021. Millions of people took advantage of the sales bonanza this year, receiving big deals on loads of things in return. 

To help make sense of how huge the occasions are, TechRadar Pro commissioned a survey one OnePulse, which asked 500 respondents some questions about the festivities. 

Amazon is the winner and it's not even close

According to our survey, carried out by OnePulse, of the 500 respondents a whopping 34.6% bought items from Amazon, the largest group, followed by those who did not participate (33.4%), bought from a high street retailer (14.6%), or bought from Wish, Aliexpress, Shein, or elsewhere (17.4%). 

In terms of sourcing the deals, respondents were more divided: 29% went straight to the store (on or offline); 22.6% used Google; 11% used promotional emails; 8.4% used WhatsApp; 6.4% used Facebook and/or Twitter; and the remaining 22.4% did something else entirely. 

But were all of the deals worth it? 30.6% were either very or somewhat happy; 30.4% were ambivalent; 22.4% were either very or somewhat unhappy; and 16.6% had no opinion at all. 

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The best Father’s Day sales 2020: deals from Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe’s, more

Father's Day is this coming Sunday, which means you have less than a week to score a last-minute gift for dad. To help you find the perfect present (and save money), we've found the best Father's Day sales from retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy. You'll find record-low prices on everything from grills, lawnmowers, and appliances to TVs, headphones, and smart home devices.

To help you sort through all the offers and promotions, we've rounded up the best Father's Day sales that are happening right now. Our top picks include up to $ 100 off grills at Home Depot, deals on tools, lawnmowers, and appliances at Lowe's, and discounts on TVs, laptops, and smart home devices at Best Buy.

We've also included standout deals for dad like a $ 100 price cut on the Apple Watch 5, the best-selling Fire TV Stick on sale for just $ 29.99, the all-new AirPods Pro down to a record-low price of $ 219.99 and the Amazon Fire tablet discounted down to $ 39.99.

Make sure to bookmark this page as we'll be continuously updating it with all the best Father's Day deals leading up to dad's big day. You can also see our roundup of Father's Day Gift ideas, which include the 10 best gifts for tech-savvy dads.

The best Father's Day sales 2020:

  • Amazon– save on a large selection of gifts for dad
  • Adidas – 30% off select shoes
  • Allswell – take 20% off bedding with code DADS20
  • Apple save on the new iPhone with select trade-in
  • Best Buy – save hundreds on great tech deals
  • Casper – $ 25 off $ 100+ or 10% off mattress orders with code FORDAD
  • Dell – Father's Day tech deals on a range of laptops, TVs, and more
  • Dick's Sporting Goods – deals on clothing, shoes, and more
  • Home Depot – save on tools, grills, outdoor furniture, and more
  • HP – deals on a whole range of laptops, desktops, and printers.
  • Lenovo – up to 62% off on select laptops, tablets, and more. 
  • Levi's – 20% off + free shipping on your first order
  • Lowe's – save on tools, appliances, and more
  • Microsoft – deals on gaming consoles, laptops, and tablets
  • Nordstrom – shop a large selection of Father's Day gifts
  • Overstock – save on watches, clothing, electronics, and more
  • REI – save on clothing, shoes, camping equipment, and more 
  • Target – save on a wide selection of gift ideas for dad
  • Walmart – gifts for dad at every price point

Our best Father's Day sale picks:

Shop more deals with our roundup of the best 4th of July sales happening now and see our Father's Day gift ideas: the 10 best gifts for tech-savvy dads.

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EOFY 2020: the best tech deals from Australia’s end-of-financial year sales

The end-of-financial-year sale is one of the biggest shopping events in Australia, with a wide range of products discounted quite steeply, including cars, household appliances and, of course consumer electronics.

Shopping during Australia’s end-of-financial-year sales means you’ll be able to get your finances in order before filing your tax paperwork as a lot of the discounted items will be tax deductible. So not only will you save some cash on the purchase, you’ll also be able to pocket some extra savings in the form of your tax returns.

And while lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted, it’s still a very good idea to shop online. After all, you’ll be able to stay off your feet and shop from the comfort of your own home, and you’ll have more time and energy to trawl through various online storefronts for the best offers. Or, you could let us do the hard work.

TechRadar’s Australian team is on hand to sift the chaff and find the best bargains on electronics over the entire month of June. We’ll list them all right here and keep this page updated with new offers as and when they’re made available. There is a strong possibility that a lot of the EOFY sales will end before June 30, so you will need to be quick to snag a great deal.

Retailers offering EOFY deals

EOFY 2020 deals

EOFY 2020 sale: what and when is it?

Unlike the calendar year, Australia’s end of financial year is June 30. That means, from July 1 to the end of October, individuals and businesses will need to file their tax forms with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Prior to that retailers will be racing to shift old stock to make way for fresh ones, and they’ll be slashing prices on plenty of items, many of which will be tax deductible.

Australia’s EOFY sales traditionally begin June 1 and end on June 30, although many retailers tend to jump the gun, offering a few tempting morsels to lure shoppers in. However, the best EOFY offers are during the month of June, although not all retailers have month-long sales. Moreover, the offers also change through the month, so you will need to keep checking back to see if whatever you need is being discounted or not.

Australia's EOFY 2020 sale: what to expect

If you’re looking to save some money on electronics during Australia’s annual EOFY sale, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve had our finger on the pulse of tax-time deals for a few years now and can safely predict what you can get for a cheaper price.

So, what kind of tech can you find during EOFY sales Down Under? Plenty. From computers to gaming gear, the best flagship smartphones to personal audio. To get an idea of what to expect in 2020, let's take a look at what was on offer last year.

Laptops and PCs: Computing gear has always been some of the most popular items to purchase during EOFY. Manufacturers like Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and HP will host their own sales on their sites, but you’ll also be able to grab laptops and desktop PCs from major retailers as well, with average discounts of about 15% to 20%. You’ll even be able to snag bargains on accessories as well, with printers, keyboards, SSDs and external hard drives all going on sale during this time.

Gaming
From Nintendo to Sony and Microsoft – there were plenty of deep discounts on gaming gear last year and we’re expecting to see more of the same again in 2020. The best price we saw on the Switch during EOFY 2019 was AU$ 379, which isn’t quite as low as it’s gone during other big sales like Black Friday, but it’s still a darn good price. There’ll also be some blockbuster gaming titles available for cheap, if you’d like to expand your gaming library, but keep an eye out for console bundles.

Smartphones and tablets
While there’s usually not a lot of variety when it comes to smartphone discounts, there are always some very intriguing offers to consider during EOFY if you’re looking to upgrade your handset. Last year saw some great discounts on Samsung’s flagships, as well as the Google Pixel 3, so if you’re an Android user, you may be able to score a new phone without having to pay full retail price. 

It’s also a great time to see if you need a tablet as well, as more often than not they too are tax deductible if you use them for work.

Home entertainment and personal audio
There were plenty of TVs, sound bars and speakers on sale during the last couple of EOFY sales, and we don't expect that trend to change any time soon. And with some excellent 4K UHD smart TVs already seeing price drops outside of big sales, we're looking forward to seeing how much more affordable they'll be during the 2020 tax-time sale.

It's not just home entertainment setups that you'll be able to save on but portable Bluetooth speakers and the best wireless headphones as well. The premium audio products retail for about AU$ 500 a pop, but there's a good chance you'll see them drop well below the AU$ 400 mark. While discounted prices may not match Black Friday offers, tax-time deals still see a decent chunk of change saved on premium products.

Cameras
The EOFY sales are also a great time for photographers – beginners, pros or hobbyists – to grab the latest gear. Last year saw plenty of cameras go on sale, particularly from Fujifilm and Nikon. In 2018, we saw action cameras also drop in price, so keep your eyes peeled for some excellent bargains on DSLRs, compacts and more. If you’re happy with the camera body you already own but need some accessories, we’re also expecting lenses, tripods, filters, bags and SD cards to see some decent price drops as well.

Smart home devices
These nifty voice-activated products have been flooding the market – from internet-connected lights to smart security systems, and the speakers and displays to control them all. Amazon discounted its Echo range of smart speakers last year and we're quite sure that will happen again, along with the other smart devices the e-commerce giant stocks, such as Philips Hue smart lights. You'll also find plenty of retailers offering discounts on Google's range of smart speakers as well.

Home appliances
If you’re looking to renovate your home, the EOFY sales will help you save plenty on the new appliances you’ll need. You can expect to see bargains on not just Dyson vacuum cleaners, but also fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and plenty more.

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Dyson V8 Animal gets $200 price cut in massive cordless vacuum cleaner sales

We know cleaning isn't exactly the first thing on your mind when the weekend rolls around, but these Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner deals can save you a wad of cash for when you do get around to doing the hoovering. The Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum cleaner, in particular, can save you $ 200 this weekend, hitting a fantastic $ 289 price tag at Walmart. Plus, there are plenty more cordless vacuum cleaner sales hitting above and below that price point to get excited about. Excited for the savings, that is, not necessarily the hoovering. 

If the thought of bringing out the hoover fills you with dread, though, you'll be happy to learn that the Dyson V8 Animal offers an incredibly easy experience. You'll get 40 minutes of powerful suction out of this cordless vacuum cleaner, with a lightweight body and a crevice tool to help you attack all those hard to reach corners. 

While the Dyson V8 Animal deal on offer today represents a great saving on a truly powerful machine, we're also seeing discounts on the Dyson V7 Animal, the Cyclone V10, and the V11 Torque Drive models across Walmart and Amazon. 

If you're still dreading running the hoover round, it might be time for you to take a look at the best robotic vacuum cleaner deals

Not in the US? Scroll down for the best Dyson deals where you are. 

The best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner deal this weekend

More Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner deals

Looking for more? We've got all the latest Dyson vacuum sales right here on TechRadar, and we're also counting down the best robotic vacuum cleaner sales going as well. 

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