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What Is a QWERTY Keyboard?

Despite various technological advancements, this keyboard layout has remained a constant in our lives. This post goes over the QWERTY keyboard, its history, and how it compares to other keyboard layouts such as Dvorak.

What is a QWERTY keyboard?

The QWERTY keyboard is a keyboard layout named after the first six letters appearing on the top row of alphabetic keys. This layout is the most widely used and recognized keyboard setup in the English-speaking world. It has become so omnipresent that it is often viewed as the standard keyboard layout.

A brief history of the QWERTY keyboard

The creation of the QWERTY keyboard dates back to the 19th century. Christopher Sholes, an American inventor, gave life to this keyboard layout in 1868. Born out of necessity, the design aimed to prevent mechanical typewriters from jamming by placing frequently used letters further apart. This innovative design was patented and later sold to Remington Company, which produced the first commercial typewriter featuring the QWERTY layout.

QWERTY vs Dvorak: A comparative analysis

While the QWERTY keyboard reigns supreme, it does face competition from alternative layouts like the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. Developed by Dr. August Dvorak and his brother-in-law, Dr. William Dealey, in the 1930s, the Dvorak layout places the most commonly used keys on the ‘home row’ where the fingers rest, aiming for increased speed and accuracy.

However, the transition from QWERTY to Dvorak is not without challenges. The steep learning curve and the ingrained muscle memory of QWERTY users often prove to be significant hurdles. Moreover, despite claims of increased typing speed and comfort with Dvorak, studies have not conclusively proven these benefits.


In conclusion, the QWERTY keyboard, with its deep-rooted history and widespread use, continues to hold a firm grip on our typing habits. While alternatives like the Dvorak layout provide interesting options, they have yet to dethrone the reigning champion. It is evident that the legacy of the QWERTY keyboard is a testament to the enduring power of well-established standards in technology and beyond.

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