Is Google Trying to Kill Caps Lock?

New Google Chrome netbook replaces caps lock with search key.

Dec. 8, 2010— -- ATTENTION ONLINE COMMENTERS: Google thinks at least some of you need to work on your netiquette.

And to help get you turn over a new page, the company has omitted one conventional feature from the keyboard of its new netbook: the caps lock key.

Tuesday when the tech giant unveiled its new netbook that runs on Google's Chrome operating system, it revealed that it had replaced the caps lock key with the search key.

Sure enough, images of the sleek, new netbook on the company's site show a simple search icon instead of the Internet troll's favorite weapon.

Business Insider quoted a Google employee as saying that the key was omitted because "We expect this will improve the quality of comments across the web."

Google: You Can Restore Caps Lock Function for 'Insightful' Comments

But if you're one of those commenters prone to passionate discourse online, don't fear.

As the technology website SlashGear pointed out, Google hasn't taken away the caps lock function entirely. In a getting started guide for the new Chrome netbook, Google said the search key could be modified to serve as a caps lock.

"If you really need caps lock so you can post an INSIGHTFUL COMMENT ON YOUTUBE, click the wrench, click settings, and then go to the system section to change the modifier key from a search key to a caps lock key, the company says.

Netiquette Expert: All Caps Is No. 1 Worst Offense

Google isn't alone in taking issue with all caps comments. Netiquette experts say it's among the top online faux pas.

"All caps is the No. 1 worst offense. It's the e-mail equivalent of shouting," Anna Post, an author and etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute, told in an earlier interview. "It makes me cringe when I get an e-mail in all caps, no matter how nicely it's written."