The Chrome OS Notebook’s Revolutionary Feature: No Caps Lock
By Jared Newman
In terms of technical specs, Google’s Chrome OS notebook isn’t much different from other 12.1-inch laptops, except for one thing: There’s no caps lock on the keyboard.
Okay, two things: The function keys are gone as well, but nobody cares about that. Caps lock is getting all the buzz, and rightfully so. It’s easily the most reviled key in modern computing, a waste of space in a tragically convenient location. It’s the reason that, when someone on this Website writes something too nice about Apple or too mean about Microsoft, the comments section becomes a shouting match.
With all due respect to every other keyboard in existence, it’s time for a little peace and quiet.
Back to the Chrome OS notebook, dubbed Cr-48. Google didn’t simply leave an empty space where the caps lock would be. Instead, there’s a search button — pretty logical given the importance of search to Google’s livelihood, and useful to boot.
But Google must know that banishing caps lock brings side benefits. “We expect this will improve the quality of comments across the web,” an unnamed employee reportedly told Business Insider.
Of course, caps lock has some practical uses for niche groups. Programmers might like to write bits of code in all caps. Television stations tend to use caps in their headlines and news tickers. But the many needn’t suffer for the needs of the few. I don’t know whether Google plans to have a software caps lock, but that would be fine if it’s hidden far from the sight of your average comment spammer.
Frankly, I didn’t want to be so harsh in this blog post. It’s much cooler to play the contrarian. An article along the lines of “In Defense of Caps Lock” would be a fascinating read, but I certainly won’t be the one to write it.
Send Jared your best 140-character, caps-laden rant on Twitter.