Microsoft 365 Copilot: What is the ROI?

So, who is excited then? Microsoft 365 Copilot will be officially GA from 1st of November 2023 at a cost of $30 per user per month for commercial customers. That is THIS week!!!

How much will Microsoft 365 CoPilot cost?

Microsoft continue to be firm that any organisation that invests in Microsoft 365 Copilot from the 1st of November will pay $30 per user per month. Note that initially, the licensing will not appear on a price list and must be purchased alongside the organisations Microsoft Account team. There is a minimum number of seats of three hundred.

When will Microsoft 365 Copilot be released?

Microsoft 365 Copilot will be generally available from 1st November 2023. There have been several hundred large organisations on a paid (around $100,000) Early Access Preview since the summer who have been helping Microsoft with performance, accuracy and tuning guidance as well as helping Microsoft to capture and prove use-cases and guidance for other future organisations and to help them justify the cost of ownership. I am sure that next year, we will see a Total Economic study from Microsoft and Forrester on this!!

Note: Initially, Microsoft 365 Copilot will not be available to EDU customers or in the government/Gallatin clouds. All apps, except for Copilot in Excel, will be available in the
following languages: English (US, GB, AU, CA, IN), Spanish (Spain, Mexico), Japanese, French (France, Canada), German, Portuguese (Brazil), Italian, and Chinese Simplified. Copilot in Excel is currently only available in English. Support for additional languages will be extended through the first few months of calendar year 2024.

Copilot is very new. As such expect it to evolve quickly and get better…

The ROI of Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Even after the 1st of November, most organisations, Microsoft partners and many of Microsoft, will still not have access to Microsoft 365 Copilot. There have been those on the paid early access program, some of the global solution partners have also been involved.

Due to the minimum limit of three hundred licenses, I expect that many organisations may wait a little rather than rush in. Wait until they are ready, they can learn from other organisations successes and blips and (I imagine) for the entry point to be lowered and in fact I have heard rumours that this might drop to fifty.
Note: Smaller organisations and anyone who buys licensing via a CSP provider will also have to wait a bit.

There is plenty of information out there to help organisations start strategizing and preparing for what will be one of the most significant uplifts (both in cost of their Microsoft 365 license, and in capability) in the history of IT and IT budgets.

The questions of course that the CFO and CEO will want to understand are

  1. What will the actual cost be?
  2. How will affect our bottom line?
  3. Are the perceived benefits worth the price?
  4. How can we keep our Microsoft licensing costs under control?
  5. What do we need to do to make sure we can really get the best from Microsoft 365 Copilot.

1. Understanding the cost of Microsoft 365

Microsoft Copilot is an add-on license – meaning it is purchased (at $30 per user per month) and applied to a base-level license. Also, not every Microsoft 365 license will be eligible for a Copilot “bolt-on”. Currently Microsoft 365 Copilot can only be attached to:

  • Microsoft 365 E5,
  • Microsoft 365 E3,
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium,
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard.

Whilst the above is good news for smaller businesses (in that they dont need to upgrader to an E3 or E5 base license), the cost is (currently) the same regardless of what base-level license you are attaching it to. This means the cost uplift (as a percentage) is much higher for organisations on Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 Business. Nothing is of course set-in-stone as we are still in early preview, and we might see pricing changes or tiering as we get nearer to release. I’d also expect customers on large Enterprise Agreement to pay less (and be able to haggle!).

Frontline workers (or anyone with a Microsoft 365 “F” license) are not currently able to use Copilot without being upgraded to an enterprise E3, which means a cost difference (for M365 E3 plus Copilot) of a staggering 8.25x.

If we look at the cost of the current licenses and the effect of adding Copilot to every user, then the costs can look scary (this is based on Online RRP pricing).

Base LicenseBase CostM365 Copilot*License + Copilot% Increase
Microsoft 365 E5£52.40£25£77.4048%
Microsoft 365 E3£33.10£25£58.1076%
Microsoft 365 Business Premium£18.10£25£42.10133%
Microsoft 365 Business Standard£10.30£25£35.30242%
Costs before and after Microsoft 365 Copilot (pupm RRP).

Things to note:

  1. Microsoft 365 Copilot is optional – it’s your choice as to whether you invest in it or not, but it is not and will not be included in any of the base licences – for some AI features in Bing Chat or the use of ChatGPT may be enough.
  2. You don’t (and won’t) need to buy it for every employee – persona mapping and use case studies will be vital to determine who is likely to benefits most.
  3. The pricing for Copilot for Business SKUs may change (as will the rest of the pricing)
  4. Organisations may be able to “fund” their Copilot investment through savings in smart licensing procurement and consolidation of third-party products (especially for M365 E5 organisations). We are seeing a lot of this and makes sense if you have most of your “eggs” in the Microsoft Cloud Basket.

2. How will Copilot affect our bottom line?

One of the recurring questions I get asked when talking to organisations about Microsoft 365 Copilot is “how can we ensure we get a measurable ROI when planning for or investing in Microsoft Copilot?”

Even so, adding $30 (around £25 pupm) to your existing productivity toolset does seems a lot, especially if you are paying for M365 E5 + Teams Premium + Calling Plan already, plus of course things like Microsoft Viva Suite, etc.

At Microsoft’s recent Envision event in London, Microsoft talked a lot about usecases from customers on the Early Access programme, talking about various diffferent use cases that improve work experience, remove creative blocks and speed up decision-making across a number of different sectors including retail and finance.

So – from an ROI perspectives some of the maths you may look at are:

  • Assume a sales exec, data analyst or admin position that earns £50,000 annual salary.
  • With Microsoft 365 Copilot at $30 a month, thats ~$1 a day or ~80p in UK money. If we also assume the normal 250 working days a year then that equates to ~£200/day or ~£25/hr.
  • If these “roles” can each save just two hours a month using Copilot to sumamrise meetings, take notes, automate and send a customer propsosal out, then that is already a productivity saving (in time) of 2:1 or £50 per person per month.

I have already heard other organisations share ROI stories for the use of ChatGPT Premium since its commercial introduction with organisations reporting ROI’s of over 25:1 on a $20 pupm subscription. Given the extensive enterprise data integration and interaction into the Microsoft 365 apps and services that Copilot will bring out of the box, I would not be suprised to see ROIs (once studies are done) of more than 30:1

There is then a moral and emotional play here too. Everyone loves a productivity gain [I think there will be loads], but there may also be instances where entire roles (or aspects of roles) may no longer needed because AI will do that part of the job for us. The same goes to be honest for automation technologies like Power Automate. Then is there the case, where you as an organisation (whether you are involved in B2B or B2C) may win more business because you have “the power of AI” either helping make decisions, responding to a client/customer faster or helping you make sales faster by directly interfacing with the customer or following up on things.

Advice is to ensure you work with Microsoft and your partner(s) to identify which departments or individuals are likely to benefit the most from the features within Microsoft Copilot’s features and make sure they are part of a pilot.

This usually starts with a well thought out and managed pilot programme during which you’ll be looking at identifying, testing, and proving the potential timesaving and productivity gains it can bring to roles like sales, finance, and your data teams.

3. Are the perceived benefits worth the price?

I think so – but again this will all loop back to the point above. Whilst it wont just be about price, these GenAI tools are likely to improve the way most people work. These pilot phases, will require organisations to explore and experiment with Copilot’s features and capabilities to discover new ways to enhance their work experience.

Using these tools also requires that users are on-board, educated and informed. As such, once you have identifyied the most suitable users and scenarios for the “pilot”, you’ll need to ensure you provide adequate training and support and closely monitor and measure the outcomes and champion quick wins whilst soliciting feedback and suggestions from employees.

A report on the early findings on the promise of Generative Al put together by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group found that Generative Al in the workplace lead to a:

  • 12.2% increase in task completion rates
  • 25.1 % decrease in time spent to complete tasks
  • 12.5% increase in the number of subtasks completed
  • 40% increase in the quality of responses to subtasks

4. How do we keep our costs under control?

A good question…let’s look at cost reduction to free budget (either for cakes, salary rises, bottom line or, yes, Copilot).

Organisations may be able to “fund” their Copilot investment through savings in smart licensing procurement and consolidation of third-party products (especially for M365 E5 organisations). We are seeing a lot of this and makes sense if you have most of your “eggs” in the Microsoft Cloud Basket.

Mch of the above is general good practice but I’m seeing lots of organisations looking at this to “free” budget to drive Copilot “pilots”.

5. What do we need to do to make to get the best from Copilot?

I have covered this before in previous blogs and videos, but in short the key focus organisations need to do outside of runing a pilot, training users and streamlining how you fund it, is data data data.

The key advantage that Microsoft Copilot will have over its rivals is that it seemlessly integrates with Microsoft 365 applications and uses enterprise data to provide personalised and contextual assistance. As such, ensuring your data is accessible (in the cloud or cloud connected at least), managed correctly, classified, labelled and protected. I have covered this a few times here.

Successful adoption of Microsoft 365 Copilot is much more than the technology and licensing. Organisations need to see this as a significant technology project and not just a product you buy. As such they key activies critival to success are:

  • Having a defined vision and identification of how Microsoft 365 Copilot will be used
  • Obtain proactive support from key roles in the organisation to accelerate the use of Copilot. including senior leadership, legal, IT and key Business Development Managers.
  • Enable Champions and provide business relevant, snackable and on-demand training for end users this includes leveraging the “power of the prompt”.
  • Raised awareness through launch event & omni-channel communications planning.

Copilot Q&A

Will CoPilot be included in Microsoft E5?

No, Microsoft 365 Copilot is not included in the Microsoft 365 E5 license. Microsoft 365 Copilot is an add-on license at an additional cost [$30] irrespective of the Microsoft 365 licenses you have within your organisation. This means that even if you are on Microsoft 365 E5, you will need to pay for it separately if you decide to implement and use it.

Whats the minimum number of licenses we can buy?

Currently the minimum liceses you will be able to buy from 1st November is three hundred at a cost of $30 pupm.

Will there be free trails?

No – at the moment Microsoft have confirmed that trials will not be available.

Will I be able to get Microsoft 365 Copilot for free?

If you do – let me know!!

No… as of the information available, Microsoft 365 Copilot will not be available for free. At the time of writing, there are six hundred organisations globally that are currently on an Early Access Programme, and they all paid $100,000 for the preview. Microsoft Copilot is positioned as a premium add-on with huge substantial benefits. The initially announced price is $30 per user per month, but it’s this price is not yet finalised, and we don’t know if different sectors or license volumes will affect the price.

We don’t have Microsoft 365 – can we still use Copilot?

No, Microsoft 365 Copilot will only be available for organisations that use Microsoft 365 Business, Business premium, Enterprise E3 or Enterprise E5. I is not availbale for organisation of Office only plans, or Front-line worker SKUs (Microsoft 365 F SKUS).

We also do not yet know the intentions Microsoft have for Copilot with Education and Not for Profit organisations.

Will I be able to negotiate the price for Microsoft 365 Copilot?

It depends. The size of your organisation, the level of your base licensing and demand will all likley affect what you pay for Microsoft 365. I suspect the largest organisations – those with huge Enterprise Agreements will get a better deal than smaller organisations, but I’d expect tie ins to the higher licnese SKUs like Microsoft 365 E5.

My advice is to speak to a product and licensing specialist to work with your Microsoft Account team and who can help you assess your deployment roadmap from various angles.

Summary and Key Points

  • Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available to Enterprise customers at a price of $30 per user per month on top a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license.
  • Initially there will be a minimum license purchase of three hundred licenses, Though I have heard that this might get reduced to fifty.
  • Initially it’s only available to Enterprise sized organisations though will be coming to CSP customers and small, medium, and commercial organisations by end of the year.
  • ROI should be significant if Copilot is properly implemented, but organisations need to prepare to pay for this and it’s not “cheap”. Expect Copilot to impact everyone person in the organisation.

Microsoft Envision 2023 – AI is the fuel for the next generation of digital transformation

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Microsoft Envision in London.

Hosted by Clare Barclay [Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft UK], this was the first in-person only event Microsoft had run in some 4 years, and it was absolutely packed with a real buzz and energy I haven’t seen at an event in years.

The theme of the entire event, including breakouts and exhibitors was all centred around AI – which is hardly surprising with the upcoming 1st November date for “general availability” of Microsoft 365 Copilot

The KeynoteAI Transformation

The event comprised of a keynote delivered by Judson Althoff [Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial officer].

AI transformation is going to follow many of the same rules of digital transformation…Many of you embarked upon your cloud journeys many years ago, and one rule really applied – that digital transformation was business transformation, empowered by technology, and in that order.

Judson Althoff | Microsoft VP and CCO

His 45-minute session was all about AI about and how “to lead in the era of AI” at the keynote.

During this session. Jedson explained how generative AI technology is opening doors for any, and all business from healthcare, to manufacturing to public sector and finance to “imagine new ways to solve challenges”, while unlocking innovation and delivering greater business value that any technology has ever done before. As well as some demos and in-person interviews from some leading UK brands like Sainsburys and ASOS who talked about how they were leveraging Microsoft AI to build new shopping experiences.

Judson spent most of his time on stage bringing the audience up to speed and on the same page about Microsoft 365 Copilot, Sales Copilot, Security Copilot and then spent some time talking around GitHub Copilot and the huge benefits this is bringing to developers. He showcased the ever expanding “collaboration” between Microsoft and OpenAI, which most recently has also resulted in the creation of Llama 2, a powerful generative AI model that can generate text, images, code, music and more which will soon be available on Azure and Windows platforms as part of the expansion of the Azure AI model catalogue.

Finally, he introduced the new Vector Search, a new feature in Azure Cognitive Search that enables searching across different types of data using natural language queries with a live demo (which mainly worked), in which he showed off how Vector Search can help find relevant information from documents, images, videos and more through semantic indexing (the same powerful index too that will power Microsoft 365 Copilot.) Jedson also re-introduced Microsoft Fabric which has been in preview for six months and goes into General Availability next month.  

AI transformation is going to reshape how companies think about their employees, how they think about engaging with their customers, how they think about their own businesses, and how they think about innovation

Whilst Microsoft covered a lot of ground in this session, much of it was a rinse and repeat of things many of us had seen before. What Microsoft did though through event was kept the fire burning. Delivering this on stage in front of thousands of people had real appeal. You could feel the buzz from the audience and the conversations leaving the main hall were all of excitement and energy – Microsoft really did capture hearts and minds.

The Breakouts

I was less impressed by many of the breakouts though to be fair I only attended a handful of them. Many were met with repeats of what we had already seen earlier on, but with less passion and energy. Most demos were impressive to those that had not seen them before, but for partners and “tightly managed” Microsoft customers, there wasn’t much we hadn’t already seen before – that said, it didn’t stop the buzz and interest through, and the exhibition halls were buzzing.


For me – these events are all about the networking. We had a team of people there – some there to learn and see what was coming and how it was being presented to customers (this was not a technical event, and it was aimed at business leaders). For me it was great to meet many of our customers, who I’d previous only met over Teams) and was even nicer to get a chance to really interface with people from different industries, from Microsoft product and Client Success teams and to get some deep dive demos on some other aspects of the solutions Microsoft offer that we don’t specialise in. I was extremely impressed by just how powerful Dynamnics 365 is now for example.

Satya’s Closing Points

Unlike previous events, this even stayed busy until the end (and beyond)- this was probably due, in-part to the closing note being delivered by Satya Nadella (in person), followed by Steve Bartlett (CEO and Founder of Diary of a CEO).

Satya brought his usual passion and twist to the day, summarising the key points delivered throughout the day but homing in on GitHub Copilot and the enormous potential this has to help software developers, businesses and citizen developers have in building AI powered apps for the future. He talked about Microsoft’s commitments to ethical AI, AI for good and the new wave of AI transformation that is taking over every facet of our lives and every business big and small.  He talked about this next wave being about “digitising people, places and things with new reasoning engines that can really analyse data in seconds”.

There were a few points which you could feel really resonated with the audience.

  1. This AI wave is bigger than when the Windows PC transformed the office in the nineties
  2. We are on the cusp of interfacing with technology in true natural language where our computers can now actually “understand” us
  3. For the first time, we will be able to interface with technology in true multi-modal and multi-domain and engage in full meaningful discussions.

He finished by re-iterating the work many organisations need to do to get the best from Generative AI. Much of this was around data. He said, which I think is the most relevant bit of advice for every organisation, that “The Cloud is what makes AI possible, but it is your data that makes AI work”.

My Take: What organisations need to do next

For me this resonates as this is what we see every day and on the back of every discussion around AI we have with our clients.

Data is the fuel of AI: Many have lots of work to do to get their data in shape. Whether that is getting it in the cloud, managing stale and duplicate data, controlling security and governance, and protecting it from mis use or leakage. Many are not there yet and fear that many will miss this important step and jump straight it – resulting in poor results, low ROI, and poor adoption.

Adoption is the accelerant: Cloud Adoption is what makes AI possible . The UK has good cloud adoption the main, but it’s very hit and miss. Some are full in and others are still starting the journey. For AI to work we need good Cloud Adoption and it’s not just about migrating to the cloud. We need data and apps structured to get the best from AI -we need data accessible (but secure) to allow these LLMs to surface and make decisions or conclusions based on this data and it needs people to understand the true power of what these tools can do. I still feel many see AI as something of a fad, a promise of something and something others will do. Even looking inside our own organisation we have a lot to do – to really deeply understand and appreciate what AI will do for us.

If you haven’t used it – dive in , start interfacing with your PC via Windows Copilot, leverage Bing Enterprise Chat, get ready for Microsoft 365 Copilot by working with your Microsoft Partner.

AI is the future – it’s here and it’s for everyone and every organisation – but your data is what will make it successful and useable.

Microsoft Teams can now proactively monitor meeting quality.

Microsoft have annouced that users with Teams Premium licenses can now be proactively monitored with IT being alerted to users that are experiencing poor meeting experiences in Teams.

Users under monitoring must have a Teams Premium license to enable proactive monitoring notifications. Room devices with Pro licenses are also supported.

How it works?

IT or help desk can now set up rule-based alerts to notify them of significant quality issues that users might be experiencing in Teams meetings such as such as audio, video or app sharing problems which helps them raise tickets and troubleshoot issues quickly. The alerts are delivered by a chat bot into a team site for example and can also be picked up and routed though a power automate flow to the IT ticketing system for example.

Image (c) Microsoft

Benefits to IT and Helpdesk

Real-Time telemetry, has been available in the Teams Admin Center for a while, but required manual reviewing and repetitive admin involvement to detect anomalies and pinpoint specific issues. Previously IT needed to search for a user, check their call history, find ongoing meetings, or live events in which their users were involved, and then locate the necessary telemetry information to spot exact issues.

Benefits for users

For users with Teams Premium licenses or those joining Teams meetings from devices with Teams Room Pro licenses, Real-time telemetry data will allow IT to proactively be aware and troubleshoot transient issues that users might face with meeting quality without manually sifting through logs or waiting for the user to complain.

How to enable proactive monitoring

This functionality is configured within the Teams Admin Center using rule-based notifications. Microsoft’s instructions are:

  • Configure the “Audio/Video/App sharing quality for in-progress meeting” rule in the Teams Admin Center under Notifications & Alerts > Rules.
  • Specify the list of users to monitor.
  • Adjust default monitoring parameters based on which audio, video or app sharing quality is monitored.
  • Configure a Teams channel or webhook where you want these notifications to be delivered.
  • Save the rule.

For more information see the formal Microsoft documentation here.

For more info on Teams Premium see here.

Image and design by Microsoft Designer and Bing Image Creator.

Windows 11 gets Copilot upgrade as “moments 4” update rolls out.

Microsoft’s AI infused update is now rolling out for the masses. The update started rolling out last Tuesday and is the lastest next major feature update for Windows 11. It is bundled as part of the October’s security release for all Windows 11 users.

This update (known as Moment 4 update) is far more than security updates and includes lots of improvements and big new features to take advantage of that include a new File Explorer design, Copilot for Windows (a new AI assistant). There are also lots of improvements to the Taskbar, and notable in-box app updates as well including notepad and paint.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key new things and changes.

Major AI related stuff

  • Windows Copilot (incorporating Bing Chat)
  • AI-powered file recommendations in both File Explorer and Start
  • A new AI Hub for “AI-powered apps” in the Microsoft Store

Changes to desktop and taskbar

  • A new File Explorer design with more modern interfaces plus a new “Gallery feature”
  • System wide ability to Ink directly into text boxes
  • Taskbar app labels and other improvements
  • HDR desktop wallpaper support
  • New Windows Spotlight wallpaper UI
  • Native support for more archive file formats such as .RAR
  • New sound output menu
  • Native RGB peripheral controls

New features and UI changes

  • New account recommendations in Start and Settings
  • A new revamped Settings homepage

Inbox app updates

  • A new cloud-based backup and restore feature built in to Windows
  • Snipping Tool improvements including OCR text and ability redact / mask sensitive information
  • Improvements to Notepad including new auto save feature

When is Windows 10 end of life?

As a reminder to those still on Windows 10, this will go end of support on October 14, 2025 meaning now more feature or security updates…

Microsoft says that “Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to update, upgrade or make other changes to your software.”

Windows 11 is now on over half a billion devices as of October 2023 according to Microsoft.

The end of Windows Server 2012 – Band-aid it or innovate it?

What has happened?

Support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 ended on 10th Oct 23.

This means that the security updates that rolled out in this month’s Patch Tuesday was the last for Windows Server 2012, meaning that there will be no more security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes or technical support.

What are my options

With any end of support stages, there are always options. In short these can be summarised as:

  1. Do nothing [not the best idea]
  2. Upgrade to a supported version of Windows Server [this means upgrading to Windows Server 2022]
  3. Purchase Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for Windows Server 2012 – [these provide one to three years of security updates only – no new feature or bug fixes]
  4. Migrate the on-prem 2012 servers to Azure [by doing this and receive up to three years of free Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for free]

Option four is a logical choice for most – from an operational, cost and sustainability perspective – besides of course mitigating the immediate increased security risk (with free security updates for 3 years)

So why is now the right time to migrate and modernise with Azure?

Shifting on-prem servers to Microsoft Azure provides many benefits including reduced maintenance/support costs, less/no power usage (good for your CO2 numbers), flexible and predictable pricing, and an opportunity to migrate and modernise the workloads running on these servers to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for example Azure SQL or Azure App Services. You can of course migrate to Azure and still upgrade to Server 2022 if you are not ready to move to PaaS 😊

Your Azure / Cloud Partner can help

Many organisations are eligible for “migration assistance”, usually in the terms of funded assistance from their Azure Migrate partner or directly through Microsoft. Depending on where you are on your Cloud journey, the Azure Migrate and Modernisation Program is designed to simplify and accelerate an organisations cloud migration and modernisation projects and offers by working with a certified Azure partner.

Working with Microsoft and your Azure partner (like Cisilion) can help you by providing: –

  • A Proven Approach: We use best practices based on the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure and Well-Architected Framework at every stage of your cloud adoption journey.
  • Expert Assistance: We provide industry and hands on guidance direct from certified Azure engineers – we help by assessing your environment, planning migrations, and can support your transition.
  • Inclusive support: If you choose to use us as your Azure partner, we can also provide your Azure licensing through the Cloud Solution Provider programme (CSP) which includes inclusive 24/7 support at no extra cost.
  • Cost Savings: Our expertise in cost optimisation, platform design and fin ops means that not only can we help you minimise migration costs (with funding assistance), but we ensure right sizing, the right licensing models and the right terms – typically saving organisations more that 38%.

Bing Image Creator gets an upgrade – now powered by DALL-E 3

Bing image creator has recently been upgraded to use OpenAI’s DALL-E 3, resulting in significantly better quality, more creative and more realistic images from using natural language prompts. DALL-E 3 is a newer and improved version of DALL-E 2.

These enhancements (as a result of the upgrade to DALL-E 3 brings the following enhancements to Bing image creator:

  • Relevance and prompt following: DALL-E 3 follows your prompt with more precision and reliability than previous models. For the best results, you should provide a greater level of detail in your prompt.
  • Coherence: DALL-E 3 generates images that are more photorealistic and logically consistent with your prompt. The images are not only visually appealing, but also make sense. You also get less ‘deformed” looking images (especially with people) than before.
  • Aesthetics: DALL-E 3 generates images that are not only realistic, but also creative and artistic. The images can be uniquely styled with flair that matches your creativity.

New safety and ethics features

As well. As the upgrade to image creativity, Bing image creator now also brings improved safety and ethics by using content credentials and content moderation system.

  • Content credentials are invisible digital watermarks that confirm the provenance of the image as AI-generated.
  • Content moderation system is a trained system that removes any images that are harmful or inappropriate, such as nudity, violence, hate speech, or illegal activities. This also means its better for educators and children to use.

How simple is Bing Image Creator to use?

Here’s one I created early inspired by recent trip to Transylvania in Romania.

Created with Bing Image Creator

To get started, you can use the bing mobile app or go to and start by simply asking Bing to create an image.

What makes a good prompt?

The key in getting the image you want is to be descriptive (as much as you can). The image above was created with the following script.

Creating images with Bing Image Creator

Once the images have been created, you can choose which one you like best or ask Bing to change it, add something or change it until its how you like it… Totally awesome.

How do I access Bing Image Creator?

To get started, you can use the bing mobile app or go to and start by simply asking Bing to create an image.

Microsoft unveils OneDrive 3.0

Microsoft ran a special OneDrive event yesterday (3rd October) where they announced a major new update for their OneDrive platfom (which provides cloud file storage, management and sharing) for Microsoft 365 consumer and commercial customers.

The event was hosted by Jeff Teper (president of collaborative apps at Microsoft).

Dubbed “OneDrive 3.0 update” this includes some new design elements, AI and with many new features for IT and for users.

OneDrive 3.0 – (c) Microsoft

What’s new with OneDrive 3.0?

Microsoft’s OneDrive blog takes an deep dive at what’s coming next with the OneDrive 3.0 update, but one of the major efforts Microsoft are promising with this update is to make it easier for users to find the files they have stored and shared, which is going to result in some design changes to the OneDrive home page on the web including a new “for you” area.

“The new OneDrive Home experience reduces the time to find your files so you can spend more time doing. Our new “For you” area uses AI-powered file recommendations to surface files personalized to you, bringing the most relevant, time-sensitive content to top of your OneDrive. We’ve also added rich, context-based organization, such as views that show you recent, shared, and favorite and files from meetings“.

Onedrive 3.0

Microsoft also has a new Shared page in OneDrive, where users can see which files are shared by which people and how they were shared. There’s also a new People view page, where you can see the files shared with individuals. Other new OneDrive file pages including seeing which files were shared in different meetings, along with filtering files by their specific type.

Users will also receive a revamped Shared page, where they can see all the files they have shared or received, along with the names of the people involved and the sharing method. Another new feature is the People view page, where users can see the files they have shared with specific individuals or groups which is designed to help users keep track of their collaborations and communications. OneDrive will also allows users to see the files they have shared in different meetings, such as Teams or Outlook meetings. Users can also filter files by their type, such as documents, images, videos, etc.

New OneDrive Sharing Page coming soon.

These new features are designed to enhance the user experience and productivity of OneDrive. There also new cudtomisation options and a slew of new security enhancements, and IT tools.

Onedrive Customisation

Microsoft are also bringing more customisation to OneDrive allowing users to change the look of their OneDrive files by changing the colours of different files, folders or file types in the web interface. There is also the ability to label certain files as Favorites.

More updates on their way

Microsoft also revealed that OneDrive will soon a flux of other new features which will roll out the next coming weeks and months. These include:

  • Being able to launch your preferred desktop app to open a file stored in OneDrive.
  • Being able to view all your photos and videos in one page with the new Media view.
  • Ability to create a new document and go straight into edit mode from inside OneDrive with the “Add new” feature.
  • New offline mode which will work in the browser and then sync changes when back online, allowing users to launch OneDrive in the browser without internet access and perform various file operations.

Security and Admin enhancements

A bunch of new IT admin management and security control are also on their way…

  • Granular conditional access policies will provide IT and SecOps teams to set different access requirements for users who work with confidential files, such as multi-factor authentication and granular conditional access policies.
  • Restricted access control policies will enable IT to block access to shared files in specific OneDrive accounts by limiting them to a certain security group
  • Moving OneDrive accounts across tenants (a much requested feature) will allow IT admins to migrate OneDrive accounts from one tenant to another during mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures, while preserving the existing sharing links and permissions.
  • Block download policy is a new control that will more easily allow IT admins to prevent users from downloading, printing, or syncing files and Teams meeting recordings from SharePoint or OneDrive.
  • Collaboration insights (currently in private preview) will allow admins to identify user collaboration and sharing patterns across the organisation.
  • Data export for OneDrive sync client admin reports: Allows admins to access sync admin reports on volume, health, errors, and more via Microsoft Graph Data Connect for SharePoint. This feature will be available in public preview in Jan 2024

Copilot is coming OneDrive

Finally (and it wouldn’t be a Microsoft event in 2023 without it), Microsoft annouced that in December, OneDrive for Microsoft 365 commercial customers will also get access to Copilot, a generative AI assistant that can help you find and summarise the files you need without opening them.

This new Copilot for OneDrive will need a Microsoft 365 Copilot license.

Read the formal OneDrive blog and watch the annoucement below. 👇

Microsoft launches Teams Town Hall – Replaces Live Events

Microsoft is replacing Microsoft Teams Live Events with a new “Town Hall” in the experience. Users with Team Premium licenses will also gain exclusive access to new “advanced features”.

Teams Town Hall | Image (c) Microsoft

What is Teams Town Hall?

Town Halls is revamped experience for large-scale events in Teams called Town Halls, cv will replace Live Events. The new Town Halls experience is officially available for commercial customers from Thursday October 5, 2023.

What features does it offer over Live Events?

Teams Town Halls offers many new advanced production capabilities, a new experience offering a structured approach for attendee engagement, and a new unified experience for users. Some of these features will only be available to Teams Premium customers.

  • Teams Town Hall enables customers to host various types of internal and external events, such as company-wide town halls, all hands, global team meetings, internal broadcasts, fireside chats, and more.  It gusto provides much better support for external presenters.
  • Teams Town Hall supports up to 10,000 attendees, and up to 20,000 attendees for Teams Premium customers. It also allows up to 15 town halls to run at the same time, and up to 50 for Teams Premium customers
  • Teams Town Hall features advanced production capabilities, such as a new meeting template, third-party eCDN support, green room functionality, control over what attendees can see, moderated Q&A sessions, and more.
  • Teams Town Hall provides a structured approach for attendee engagement, such as attendee reporting, live reactions, polls, surveys, and more.
  • Teams Town Hall features Email communications and advanced customisation (for Teams Premium users). Organisers will be able to send pre-configured email templates for the event invitation and the event recording emails instead of manually creating a separate email, copying the event link, and sending a calendar invite to attendees.
  • Teams Town Hall will (soon) support both RTMP-in (so events can be produced directly from an external encoder and integrate different external media feeds) and
    RTMP-out, allowing organizers to stream the event out to a custom app or different endpoint outside of Teams such as YouTube, LinkedIn, X, Meta Workplace, and others. Note, this functionality will be available next year.
  • Teams Town Hall will create a unified experience for users whether they are hosting a small meeting, customer-facing webinar, or company-wide town hall. The current live event platform is not a consistent experience with Teams.
  • Teams Town halls will (soon) be integrated with Viva Engage to allow attendees to view the event in Viva Engage, whether the event is produced directly in Teams or with an external app or device.

When will Teams Live Events be retired?

Retirement of the current Teams Live Event service will continue to be supported over the next 12 months and fully retire by September 30, 2024.

Existing recordings will be available until December 31, 2024, but the transition to town hall must be completed before the retirement date.

Getting Started with Teams Town Hall

To help customers get started with Teams Town Hall, Microsoft are offering technical guidance and support resources including on demand and instructor-led training, and FastTrack onboarding assistance for eligible subscriptions.

To set-up a new Town Hall event, users (unless disabled by policy) can create a new Town Hall directly from Teams as shown below.

Don’t forget Microsoft Mesh

Microsoft is also rolling out Microsoft Mesh to Teams users in public preview in this month (October 2023). Mesh is a virtual reality platform that will enable richer and more immersive events. It will work on PC and Meta Quest VR devices. You can read more here.