What’s Microsoft 365 Copilot? The AI coming to Phrase, Excel, and extra

microsoft 365 copilot hero

Microsoft has dominated the tech information cycle in latest months, due to its $10 billion funding in ChatGPT creator OpenAI and a flurry of latest releases like Bing Chat. The Redmond large isn’t stopping there both because it’s now poised to roll out a brand new AI-powered assistant in its workplace suite. Dubbed Microsoft 365 Copilot, the function will automate duties like writing emails, summarizing conferences, and even making lovely PowerPoint displays. All of this may increasingly sound too good to be true, however Microsoft’s early demos look promising.

So on this article, let’s take a better have a look at Microsoft 365 Copilot, what it could do, and the way you should utilize it.

What’s Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Microsoft 365 Copilot is a brand new generative AI function that assists with work duties like writing paperwork, modifying spreadsheets, and summarizing conferences. You’ll discover it inside varied Microsoft 365 apps, together with Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

For context, right here’s a fast rundown of Microsoft 365 Copilot’s capabilities:

  • Copilot can write total paperwork based mostly on a brief immediate. For instance, you would say “Draft a canopy letter for the position of a senior software program developer”.
  • In PowerPoint, Copilot will help cut back the quantity of textual content in slides, add AI-generated photographs, and cut back an extended presentation to a handful of slides.
    While you’re coping with massive quantities of knowledge in Excel, you would ask Copilot to rapidly analyze it and create an easily-digestible visualization.
  • In case your office makes use of Microsoft Groups, you may ask Copilot to summarize a gathering, make amends for unread chats, and even ask about particular person workforce members.
  • In Microsoft’s electronic mail app Outlook, you may depend on Copilot to tailor your writing to sound skilled, pleasant, or a particular tone of your selection. You may also ask the AI to put in writing a draft, eliminating all the exhausting work.
  • For digital note-takers, Microsoft has additionally built-in Copilot into OneNote and Loop. You’ll be able to consider this integration as a digital assistant which you could ask to rapidly kind, search, and summarize your notes.

Apart from these remoted examples, Microsoft has additionally developed Copilot to work seamlessly throughout all the app suite. So for instance, you would create a brand new Phrase doc and ask Copilot to draft a report based mostly on a special Excel file. Likewise, you’ll be capable of ask Copilot to convey notes from Microsoft Groups into OneNote and summarize the textual content earlier than including it to a notice.

Microsoft 365 Copilot vs Google Duet AI for Workspace: What’s the distinction?

Google IO 2023 duet ai for workspace

If the idea of Microsoft 365 Copilot sounds acquainted, that’s as a result of Google already has a competing function known as Duet AI for Workspace. Nevertheless, it’s not as absolutely featured because the examples we’ve seen from Microsoft up to now. Issues could enhance sooner or later, however because it stands, right here’s a fast comparability between Google and Microsoft’s AI-powered productiveness options:

Microsoft 365 Copilot Google Duet AI for Workspace

Supported apps

Microsoft 365 Copilot

Total Microsoft 365 Workplace suite plus Microsoft Groups

Google Duet AI for Workspace

Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Google Meet


Microsoft 365 Copilot

Can reference recordsdata throughout different Microsoft apps

Google Duet AI for Workspace

At the moment restricted; Duet AI can’t see the contents of a special doc or file

Picture technology

Microsoft 365 Copilot

Sure, by way of OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 picture generator

Google Duet AI for Workspace

Sure, presumed by way of Adobe Firefly

Language mannequin

Microsoft 365 Copilot

OpenAI GPT-4

Google Duet AI for Workspace

Google PaLM 2

Present availability

Microsoft 365 Copilot

Closed, non-public testing for paid clients

Google Duet AI for Workspace

Obtainable to common public at no cost by way of waitlist

Microsoft 365 Copilot launch date and worth

microsoft 365 copilot onenote

Copilot in OneNote

Whereas Microsoft 365 Copilot appears extraordinarily promising on paper, the corporate hasn’t opened up entry to it simply but. It first introduced the function in March 2023 however didn’t decide to a concrete launch date on the time. Quick ahead a number of months later and Microsoft has solely simply began rolling out the function to a closed group of trusted testers. We noticed Google undertake an analogous technique within the early days of its generative AI function too.

Up to now, the corporate has introduced the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Entry Program. Nevertheless, in contrast to the Bing Chat waitlist or Google’s Bard chatbot that slowly rolled out, Microsoft isn’t letting anybody from most people signal as much as entry Copilot. As a substitute, it’s an invitation-only program for an unique group of 600 paying clients. That’s proper — you and I can’t merely join to make use of Microsoft 365 Copilot at no cost.

It is unclear if Microsoft 365 Copilot shall be free to make use of.

At this level, it’s unclear if Microsoft 365 Copilot will ever change into free to make use of. However based mostly on the corporate’s aggressive AI push with its chatbot and Bing Picture Creator, it might occur. Microsoft additionally faces some competitors from Google, the place anybody can freely be part of a waitlist to entry generative AI in Google Search, Gmail and Docs proper now.

On the flip facet, nonetheless, Microsoft’s AI options value cash to function. Massive language fashions, particularly superior ones like GPT-4, devour a lot of computing sources. So from that perspective, it’s straightforward to see why chances are you’ll want a Microsoft 365 subscription to make use of Copilot.

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