QWERTY is the most common modern-day keyboard layout
Keyboard layout
A keyboard layout is any specific mechanical, visual, or functional arrangement of the keys, legends, or key–meaning associations of a computer, typewriter, or other typographic keyboard....

. The name comes from the first six letters (keys) appearing in the topleft letter row of the keyboard, read left to right: Q-W-E-R-T-Y. The QWERTY design is based on a layout created for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter
Sholes and Glidden typewriter
The Sholes and Glidden typewriter was the first commercially successful typewriter. Principally designed by the American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes, it was developed with the assistance of fellow printer Samuel W. Soule and amateur mechanic Carlos S. Glidden...

 and sold to Remington
E. Remington and Sons
E. Remington and Sons was a manufacturer of firearms and typewriters. Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, on March 1, 1873 it started manufacturing the first commercial typewriter.-Becoming "E. Remington & Sons":...

 in the same year, when it first appeared in typewriter
A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. Typically one character is printed per keypress, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the pieces...

s. It became popular with the success of the Remington No. 2 of 1878, and remains in use on electronic keyboards due to the network effect
Network effect
In economics and business, a network effect is the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people. When network effect is present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it.The classic example is the telephone...

 of a standard layout and a belief that alternatives fail to provide very significant advantages.