The QWERTY keyboard, called such because the first five keys in the top letter row form the word, is the standard English keyboard used by hundreds of millions of computer users world wide.
The modern QWERTY keyboard is based almost entirely on the typewriter keyboard layout designed by Christopher Sholes in the late 19th century. One of the principle criticisms of the design in the present is that the keyboard layout is inefficient and requires typists to reach their fingers further for common keys and travel longer distances across the keyboard for common letter arrangements. In the past, however, when keyboards were mechanical it was necessary to introduce such inefficiencies to prevent speedy typists from jamming the typewriter mechanism.
Alternative formats, which are more efficient but were never widely adopted, include the Dvorak and Colemak layouts.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 03/15/13