The Windows International keyboard is a Windows utility from Microsoft which allows users to enter a variety of accent codes with combinations of keys like ‘+e (for é) instead of memorizing a list of numeric ALT codes. If you are typing a lot of accented characters on a Windows machine, it’s a godsend.
The interesting thing is that you can now download a Mac version of the Windows International keyboard. As a longtime Mac addict, I find it amusing because I am so used to the Apple Option keys. To me it’s an interesting reduncancy.
But I can imagine that if you are a long-time Windows user, you may not want to re-learn a new set of Option codes. I can relate, because I’ve been struggling with my new phonetics keyboard which is very different from my old one. There’s some serious retraining needed before I could use it.
What’s really important is that there are utilities out there which allow users to customize their keyboards to just the way they want it. Vive la différance.