I was glad to see Microsoft announce a new ergonomic keyboard, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, for a couple of reasons. For a while, it looked like they were deemphasizing their standalone ergonomic keyboards. Microsoft introduced a lot of wireless ergonomic keyboard/mouse sets in the past few years, but I’m only interested in wired keyboards. (The last thing I need to do is use more batteries.) This announcement renews their commitment to standalone ergonomic keyboards.

Also, almost all of Microsoft’s recent keyboards, such as the Natural MultiMedia Keyboard, have a strange layout for the keys above the inverted-T cursor keys, including Home and End. I used the Natural MultiMedia Keyboard when I was pair-programming with Scott, and it drove me nuts. Then I started getting used to it, which was worse, because it screwed me up on every other keyboard, including my own Natural Keyboard Pro. I started hoarding every Natural Keyboard Pro I could get my hands on, since Microsoft discontinued it. But now it looks like I don’t have to worry anymore.

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