What is Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Microsoft has just announced Microsoft 365 Copilot, which will combine the power of large language models (LLMs) along with user data and signals from the Microsoft Graph – calendar, emails, Teams chats, documents, meetings etc.

In the sizzle style launch, Microsoft showed how Microsoft 365 Copilot will transform the power of Microsoft 365 apps and be able to turn an individual’s words into the “most powerful productivity tool on the planet“, while leveraging Microsoft’s existing commitments to data security and privacy.

Microsoft described existing AI systems as autopilot systems. Microsoft hopes to differentiate is by offering tools that use AI in a way to support human workers with humans at the center with that they called Copilot.

“We’re moving from autopilot to Copilot. As we build this next generation of AI, we made a conscious design choice to put the human at the centre of the product. Today is the start of the next step in this journey, with powerful foundation models and capable copilots accessible via the most universal interface – natural language – which will radically transform how computers help us think, plan and act.”

Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft.

Microsoft 365 Copilot isn’t just a better way of doing the same things – it represents an entirely new way of working. Copilot will be integrated into Microsoft 365 in two ways.

“Today, we are at the start of a new era of computing. Over the past few months, powerful new foundation models have been introduced, together with accessible natural language interfaces. This next generation of AI is fundamentally different from the AI we’ve grown accustomed”.

Sayta Nadella | CEO | Microsoft.
  • Copilot will soon be embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps people use every day – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, PowerBI etc – to unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel skills.
  • Business Chat, an entirely new experience that works across the LLM, Microsoft 365 apps, and user data to do things that have never been possible before. This will use natural language to allow users to able to spend less time searching for the right document or piece of information and more time creating, collaborating, and innovating.

With Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft has set the stage for the beginning of a new AI revolution that will further reinvent how people work and interact with the tools they use everyday. Microsoft will start this journey with a limited private preview and will provide additional details partners and customers over time…

I’d also expect similar to come into other apps like Visio too. Microsofts’ new Designer App and of course the new Bing are also leveraging Copilot.

Teams Copilot sneak peak

Microsoft shows some of the new AI smarts coming to #MicrosoftTeams too. Some this is expected very soon such as meeting recap in Teams Premium. Here’s the sizzle for the new AI powered Teams Copilot.

Copilot in Microsoft Teams

Will Copilot by free?

From a cost perspective, we simply don’t know yet. Some of the features (such as meeting recap) are available soon in Teams Premium (a premium sku) but we don’t know yet what will be included across the core Microsoft 365 apps).

I suspect (this is just my opinion), Copilot will be incuded free in the core office apps (for personal and business subscribers) but corporate apps like Teams, PowerBI, Power Automate etc will be chargeable, as leveraging the wider OpenAI and ChatGPT APIs that are now available within Azure.

When will Copilot be available?

Microsoft have said the roll out will be controlled and very phased starting with small. Private previews to ensure they perfect the model and make sure the experience is the best it can be.

Update: In May 2023, Microsoft extended the pilot to another 600 US organisations.

More resources

  • Watch the recording of the March 16 event to hear Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro discuss how AI will power the next generationof modern work
  • Get full details about this exciting news by reading posts on the Official Microsoft Blog and the Microsoft 365 Blog.
  • Check out WorkLab to get expert insights and Microsoft’s research about how AI will create a brighter future of work for everyone.

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