The term QWERTY (pronounced ” quirty “) is used to define standard Western (or Latin-based) keyboards . If you pay attention to your keyboard , then the first six letters are also below the numbers QWERTY, so understand that you have a QWERTY keyboard.
In almost all the keyboards used in the western hemisphere, you will see a QWERTY layout. While some countries use slightly modified versions, such as the Swedish keyboard, which include the letters Å, Ä, and,, the Spanish keyboard includes the letters Ñ and Ç. But still in these keyboards you will find QWERTY characters in the upper-left corner.
The original QWERTY keyboard layout was developed about 150 years ago by Christopher Latham Sholes. It gained greater prominence by Sholes and Glidden typewriter, which was initially produced in 1867. Remington bought the rights to this typewriter and made some minor changes to it as an updated version before mass-production in 1974.
The main goal of QWERTY layout is to make the most common keys easily accessible (this is why Q is visible in the corner). By keeping the vowels close together, it helps the typewriters to avoid jamming them while they are typing fast.
There was a big competitor of QWERTY keyboard in 1932, when August Dvorak developed a new layout. His design placed all vowels and five more used consonants in the middle row.
The goal in this was two fold:
- To make most common keys more accessible so that it is easier to type.
- There is also an alternating rhythm between left and right hands.
While the Dvorak keyboard was technically more efficient, but even in the early 1900s, people did not show interest in learning the new new keyboard layout. This resulted in the QWERTY layout surviving for more than a year and a half. You can see it in almost all places such as typewriters, desktop computers, laptops, and touchscreen devices that we still use today.