QWERTY, AZERTY, Dvorak… why aren’t all the keyboards unified?

In Europe and more specifically in Spain we are used to the fact that when we look at a PC keyboard, the layout is always the same: QWERTY. It is called like this precisely because leaving aside special keys and numbers, the first letters that appear at the top left (which is where we begin to read) are precisely Q followed by W, E, R, T and then Y, but in other countries we can find very different keyboard layouts.

Keyboard layouts… a matter of habit

In the image above you can see a keyboard with distribution AZERTY, widely used especially in France and in which the position of some of the keys is changed especially in the left section of the keyboard. Curiously, the way we activate the numbers also changes, because if on a QWERTY keyboard we are used to the fact that if we press 1 or 2, 1 or 2 will appear, on an AZERTY keyboard what comes out when pressing these keys is the symbol that normally it would come out if we pressed the combination of keys SHIFT + the number; On the contrary, if you want to enter a number on an AZERTY keyboard, you will have to press SHIFT to do so.

On the other hand, we have the Dvorak keyboards, also known as simplified keyboards and that you can see in the image below. Although it seems somewhat “strange” this distribution was patented in 1936, so it is almost 100 years old, and its creation was to try to improve the ergonomics of the keyboard and reduce typing errors when typing. Although it is obviously not a widely used type of distribution, it is currently used in many areas around the world.

Dvorak keyboard

And now comes the question: why are there different different keyboard layouts and not unified into one? We have given you the answer to this question in the subtitle: out of habit. If you give a French accustomed to an AZERTY keyboard a QWERTY keyboard, he will need a long time to adapt to be able to write without making mistakes, and the same would happen if you give a Spanish accustomed to a QWERTY keyboard an AZERTY keyboard.

In each site we are used to certain keyboard layouts and they are the ones we use and are sold. If all the manufacturers suddenly decided to use a single keyboard layout, new users would have no problem learning how to use it, but those of us who have been using a certain layout for years would be in big trouble to adapt to the new layout.

Comparatively, it is as if suddenly it was decided that English is the universal official language, and everyone was forced to learn it and use it, leaving aside the native languages ​​of each one … it would be a tremendous chaos and those who did not have native English they would have enough problems until they managed to adapt; In the end it would be achieved, but the chaos created in the meantime would cause too much trouble. With keyboards it is the same: keyboard layouts could be unified but it will never be done because in each site users are already used to a certain layout and if they give us another it would be quite problematic, neither more nor less.

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