Prompt-a-long with Copilot in Word

Goal: Perfecting Prompting in Word

The goal of this blog post is to provide some field experience tips and coaching to help you get the best out of using Copilot in Word. For this you need to have either a Copilot Pro license or a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license and be signed into Word (or Word Online).

In this example, our Goal is to take a Marketing Analysis document we have been sent, and to draw out key information we can use in a “sales meeting” that we have coming up. The document contains lots of information relevant to different parts of the business.

I have provided a link to the document I used (courtesty of Microsoft) so you can either follow along or reference the videos included in this post. Welcome your comments – so please let me know how you get on.

Scenario: Using Copilot to pull key info from a Marketing Report

Instructions:

To work on this example with me, speak to your marketing team and obtain a Market Analysis Report for other similar document. For this example, I am using a public sample document Microsoft have shared called “Mystic Spice Premium Chai Tea.docx” which you can access here. The password for the link is “Copilot”. Once you have done that, save the file to your OneDrive so you can use it to test out and experiment with these prompts.

  1. Open the document you obtained (or use my link above) in Word and then
  2. Open the Copilot pane by selecting the Copilot icon in the top right of the “ribbon”
  3. Enter the prompts below and follow along.

The Starting Prompt

Enter the Starting prompt Summarise this Word Document” or click the suggested prompt to do the same thing…

In this simple prompt, we have started with what I call the “Alexa Prompt” – we are asking a simple question with a basic goal “to summarise the Word document”.

Using a standard/simple Copilot prompt to Summarise a Doc in Word.

This has done we asked but since we gave no context or information about what we wanted and why we needed it, Copilot has just read throught the document a pilled out key bits of information from each section.


The “better” prompt

To improve on this, we are going to repeat the prompt, but this time, we will add some more context to help Copilot understand the purpose of the summary and tailor the response for us accordingly.

Write a new prompt: “Summarise this document and create a brief overview of the main points to discuss with my team during the tomorrow’s Sales meeting“.

Here we are giving Copilot some more context specific about what information we want. It now knows why we need the information (for a sales meeting) and it knows to keep the ouput brief.

Using a more specific Copilot prompt to Summarise a Doc in Word.

If you run the prompt yourself (or check the video above) you will see that this time Copilot has pulled out specific around Market Trends and Demand inluding stats around CAGR. It has told us about the key competitiors, distribution and sales channels and also Sales Strategy, Outcomes and the Challenges in selling.


The Super Prompt

For the final prompt (I call it the “super prompt”), we are going to be even more specific with the ask to get just the information we need.

Use this prompt “Summarise this word document but focus on the Competitive Analysis section only. Provide a brief overview of the main points to discuss with my team during the tomorrow’s Sales meeting. Please keep the summary to 5 key points and use simple language.”

If you compare the output of this prompt to the previous ones, you will see that since we have been specific about where we want Copilot to focus, the response we get is specific to what we have asked. It’s still a summary, but it is focussed on the just the Competitor Analysis section and we have kept the response concise and in simple language. It knows to keep this simple and make it relevant to sales…

Follow along – or check out the video below where I run the prompt.

Our “Crafted” Super-Prompt in Copilot in Word

So there you go – we have started with a simple prompt and I have hopefully shown you that by thinking about what and why we want the information and also the audience the response is indended for, Copilot can produce information just the way we need it.

Summary and Lesson

So, I am pretty happy with that result. To recap – here is what we did to perfect our prompt…

  1. We started with our Goal (which was to summarise the document)
  2. Added some Context (that we want the information for a sales meeting)
  3. Specified the Source of the information (we asked to focus on competitive analysis), and
  4. Set clear Expectations, (we asked for five key points using simple language).
Our Final Prompt: 

"Summarise this word document but focus on the Competitive Analysis section only. Provide a brief overview of the main points to discuss with my team during the tomorrow's Sales meeting. Please keep the summary to 5 key points and use simple language".

This prompt has all the details it needs to give us the results we need. It has a Goal, Context, Source, and Expectations.

Can you restrict what Copilot can search across for in SharePoint?

Starting later this month (April 2024) , Microsoft will rollout an configuration setting called Restricted SharePoint Search (RSS) that will allow Global/Tenant and SharePoint Admins to disable organisation-wide search and instead select a set of curated/specific  SharePoint sites.

“YES YOU CAN”

This feature will work by allowing admins disable organisation-wide search, and instead to enable/restrict both specific sites impacting the scope of what Enterprise Search and Copilot can seek out and index when using search or Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365.

With this configuration in place, only these specific libraries along with the users’ OneDrive files and content, will be accessible in search and within the Copilot experiences.

This means that whether your organisation has Enterprise Search or Restricted SharePoint Search enabled, users in your organisation will still be able to interact with their OneDrive information in Copilot but there will be more control over excluding old/legacy or restricted SharePoint areas.

Why do we need to Restrict Search?

Is this not against the pricipals of Copilot and Microsoft Search?

Well.. Kinda. Restricted SharePoint Search has been provided to give organisations time to review and audit their data and SharePoint site permissions. Microsoft say that…

It is designed to help you maintain momentum with your Copilot deployment while you implement robust data security solutions from Microsoft Purview and manage content lifecycle with SharePoint Advanced Management. Combined, these two solutions offer a complete solution for data discovery, protection, and governance. “

Restricted SharePoint Search capability

Once Enterprise Search is disabled, Admins are the able be to tune which content will be indexed for search from an allowed list of up to 100 SharePoint sites. This will honor sites’ existing permissions.

Once configured, content from these areas will be searchable and accessible by Copilot as well as…

  • Content stored in the the curated list of SharePoint sites as specific by the admin.
  • Other frequently accessed SharePoint sites that the user accesses.
  • Content from users OneDrive, Teams chat, email, calendars.
  • Files directly shared with the user.

Copilot users in your organisation will see this message in their Copilot experiences.


Your organization’s admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts

For more information and rollout timeline check out Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: MC726119

Does this mean Copilot can’t access files outside of the search scope?

No… Users can still directly reference a file in Copilot and access the file via manual search or navigation. This is because, restrictive search does not alter the permissions for user access, it just instead, is designed to help minimise the risk of overexposure of overshared content by reducing what they can discover in search and Copilot.

With Restricted Search configured, search results and Copilot search results will be limited but users will still able to navigate (as before) or directly link to a file to open or to “use Copilot” with.

Configuring Restricted Search

Restricted SharePoint Search is off by default.

Whilst this will be coming to the SharePoint admin pages soon… It will, at release be configurable via Power Shell only and will of course require admin privileges.

There is also an ‘allow’ limit of just 100 sites initially though I hear this will soon be expanded following early feedback from customer… Phew!

More information can be found here.

Microsoft to open new AI Hub in London

Microsoft has announced plans for a new artificial intelligence (AI) hub in London, which will be focused on leading edge product development and research. This will be led Microsoft AI Lead Mustafa Suleyman (confounder of DeepMind) who Microsoft hired last month.

This annoucement comes less than a month since Microsoft unveiled a new consumer AI division.

There is an enormous pool of AI talent and expertise in the UK, and Microsoft AI plans to make a significant, long-term investment in the region. (London).

Mustafa Suleyman

This is great for the UK and for London and will help both Microsoft and the UK become an AI  and technology superpower leveraging the hub of tech talent, access to leading and world class universities and research centres with ability to attract the best talent for the next generation of development of AI.

Microsofts AI Future in the UK

This announcement builds on Microsoft’s recent commitment to invest 2.5 Billion into data centre infrastructure and improving AI skills across the UK.

Microsoft’s AI investment in the UK includes building a major new data centre in West London and installing 20,000 high-powered processors in the UK by 2026.

Microsoft’s new UK hub will be run by Jordan Hoffmann,  (another former employee from DeepMind) and will collaborate closely with OpenAI which powers Microsoft’s AI driven Copilot System framework.

Surface Laptop Go 3 Review – Value, Quality, and Agility

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 (released at tail end of 2023) is the latest addition to the Surface Go family, along with its sibling the Surface Go 4 (2-in-1). This gorgeous, light weight device is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to delivering high-quality, agile, and aesthetically pleasing devices that offer great value for money.

Quality and Looks

Available in a wide choice of colours, Surface Laptop Go 3 sports a sleek and compact design that is both light weight, sturdy yet still premium. It features a premium aluminum chassis on the lid and keyboard deck, giving it a high-end look and feel, along with reposing touch screen (but no pen support), Secure Core Architecture and Windows Hello sign in via Fingerprint Reader. It is worth nothing that the Surface Laptop Go 3 is the only device in the Surface Family that lacks pen support and Windows Hello face recognition sign in.

Surface Laptop Go 3 is available in 4 colours – Platinum, Ice Blue, Sage and Sandstone.

Performance and Agility

The Surface Laptop Go 3 is equipped with an Intel 12th Gen processor, which provides a solid performance for everyday tasks. It’s available with up to 16GB of RAM (the model I have been using has 8GB) making it capable of handling multiple applications simultaneously without slowing down. It is a device capable of anything outside of intense gaming or complex video editing.

Despite its compact and lightweight size, Surface Laptop Go 3 doesn’t compromise on screen quality. It features a 12.4-inch touch screen with a resolution of 1536 by 1024, providing users with a bright and clear display for all their computing needs even outside.

Value for money

The Surface Laptop Go 3 brings, in my opinion, great performance and power in a sleek chassis given its price point. It it not as powerful as its bigger sibling, the Surface Laptop, but at price of around $799 you get a premium device, which is repairable, sustainable, great looking, lightweight, and practical for almost any task (work, school, or home).

Comparisons with Similar devices

When compared to similar devices, the Surface Laptop Go 3 holds its own in terms for premium feel and weight, though the slight price increase over the previous generation, and competitive nature of this market, does finds itself up against some very serious competition including last year’s Surface Laptop Go 2 and the Surface Go 3, which features a smaller chassis and a lower price point.

Using it on the Go

Using Surface Laptop Go 3 is great when on the move. The “almost” full size keyboard, makes it feel like you are working on a much larger device, but it is much lighter to carry around in a bag, use on the train, coffee shop or anywhere. To be honest, it’s a great device for working anywherem with more than enough horse power for work and home use.

Battery life is not as good as devices like the Surface Laptop or Surface Pro and lasted me a full 5 hours of constant use, including being on wireless, working in Outlook and PowerPoint, using Copilot and taking part in Teams Video Calls. I carry a USB charger with me for my phone and it’s great that I can also charge my Surface Laptop Go 3 with the same power-bank which easily gives me a full day’s work in the vent I cant get to a power outlet. For internet, I simply use free wi-fi where I am, or tether to my mobile which works great.

If you do need a device with 4G/5G built in, I’d suggest Surface Go or Surface Pro which provides options for eSIM or physical SIM.

Windows 365 – a great companion.

Using Surface Laptop 3 as a personal device (as I have here) with Windows 365 makes loads of sense here in this scenario, offering a seamless blend of seamless and secure connectivity to work resources without breaching corporate policy or compromising usability. Using Surface Laptop Go with my dedicated Cloud PC through Windows 365 is a game changer.

The video below shows me connecting my new personal Surface Laptop Go 3 to a monitor and keyboard and then using Windows 365 Switch to simply move to my highly available, secure, and persistent Cloud PC.


Moreover, the Single Sign-On (SSO) feature of Windows 365 adds another layer of security with convenience. With SSO, this means I simply launch the Windows App, (which then integrates with the task switcher in Windows 11. I sign-in with my company Entra ID SSO. This means I can simply sign-in to my personal device and then quickly to my company Windows 365 desktop to get access to my corporate desktop, applications, and resources and I don’t need to mix personal and work staff on the same device – meaning no annoying corporate policies on my personal device, no security / compliance risk for my company and only need to carry one device. The USB-C charging of the laptop is also great as I just plug into a monitor, use the keyboard and mouse and I’m off!

Conclusion

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 is a device that offers a blend of value, quality, looks, and agility. While it faces stiff competition from similar devices, it stands out with its sleek design, solid performance, and quality build. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or a casual user, the Surface Laptop Go 3 is a definitely a device worth considering.

Pavan Davuluri now in charge of Windows and Surface.

Surface Under One Roof

Following Panos Panay’s competitor move to Amazon last year, Microsoft split up the Windows and Surface management structure with Pavan Davuluri looking after the Surface division and Mikhail Parakhin leading a new team that looked after Windows and web experiences.

As of this week, these divisions have again been consolidated, like they were under Panos, with both Windows and Surface being run by Pavan Davuluri. Pavan has been with Microsoft for more than twenty-three years and was a huge driver behind the recent custom-designed Surface processors (SQ) developed in collaboration with Qualcomm.

According to a memo obtained by The Verge, Microsoft says merging the two teams will “enable us to take a holistic approach to building silicon, systems, experiences, and devices that span Windows client and cloud for this AI era.”

Pavan Davuluri – Microsoft Surface and Windows Chief 2024

Personally, I think its great to see the reunion of Windows and Surface teams under Pavan which sits within Microsoft’s Engineering and Devices organisation, headed by Rajesh Jha.

This move also comes after Microsoft’s appointment of DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman as CEO of a new dedicated AI division within Microsoft which has presumably prompted a re-evaluation of their team structures as Microsoft look forward to an FY25 fueled by new advances in Copilot, big updates in Windows and Microsoft’s new AI-PCs.

Reflection

This move is welcomed by Windows enthusiasts, as it promises increased collaboration and cohesion between Microsoft’s hardware and software endeavours and just makes sense to see development of the OS that powers Surface (and of course the other OEMs) being overseen by the same person.

Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 – The new AI-PCs from Microsoft

Microsoft has just (21st March 2024) announced their 2024 AI-powered flagship devices – the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. Both devices are AI-PCs, packed full of the latest AI hardware to designed to deliver the best performance of the next wave of AI powered apps such as Copilot for Windows, Copilot for Microsoft 365 and of course other AI powered applications from other software vendors such as Adobe. These new devices will yet again setting bar of how to make enterprise class devices for Business.

Video (C) Microsoft

Both the Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 also come with a new Copilot key, putting Copilot front and centre and showing that Microsoft means business when it comes to AI PCs and Copilot.

These new AI-PCs are aimed at business users and not consumers……currently!

When are the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 Available?

Both the Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 are available to pre-order now on Microsoft’s website. The devices will be released on April 9.

Introducing Surface Pro 10

Surface Pro 10 yet again improves on the previous version. In the case of Surface Pro 10 we see a huge improvement in power and performance boost over the previous Surface Pro 9 model thanks to the latest Intel Core Ultra processors which boost performance by 53%. As an AI-Powered PC, Surface Pro 10 also features a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) which does the core Edge processing of AI tasks, reducing load on the CPU and processing AI tasks significantly faster than a CPU does.

Surface Pro 10 | Image (c) Microsoft

The Surface Pro retains the same design and format of its predecessors, but does include a new screen which is now non-reflective and 33% brighter, making it much easier to use outside and when travelling, while also retaining the same battery life. Microsoft also provide more configuration options than ever with options for Intel Core Ultra 5 135U or Intel Core Ultra 7 165U processors and support for RAM configurations from 8GB to 64GB.

Surface Pro 10 also gets a front camera upgrade and comes with a brand new 1440p webcam with a 114-degree field of view. This, combined with the new Windows 11 Studio effects and the Core Ultra’s NPU for AI workloads enables brings new capabilities for video enabled applications and clearer images.

Surface Pro comes with Thunderbolt 4 ports as standard for connectivity and charging but still includes the staple Surface connector port for connections to Surface Docks and Surface Chargers. You also still get USB-A and microphone jack. There is no SD-CARD slot which is something I still think is a poor decision but hey – nothings perfect.

Connectivity and working from anywhere continues to be a big theme for Surface Pro, with Surface Pro 10 being the first Surface device to support 5G.

Introducing Surface Laptop 6

Available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch models, Surface Laptop 6 combines the sleekness and modern design of a premium laptop with the processing power of a desktop, supporting for the first time, Intel’s H-series processors without compromising on weight, thickness or prestige creating a power house of a laptop, second only to the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2.

Surface Laptop 6 | Image (c) Microsoft

During Microsoft’s live event in the US, they showcased the Surface Laptop 6 connected to multiple 4K screens, running video calls, complex graphics apps, Visual Studio and other apps showcasing the sheer grunt work and power of the device. Leveraging options to choose the Intel Core Ultra 5 135H or Core Ultra 7 165H processors means that Surface Laptop 6 can run at twice the performance of the Laptop 5.

The Surface Laptop 6 stands out not only in performance capabilities but also in its range of specifications catering to various user needs. At its base, the device is equipped with 8GB of RAM, which is quite generous for standard tasks, yet it offers scalability up to an extraordinary 64GB of RAM for those requiring intensive computational power for tasks such as data analysis, programming, video editing, and more.

In terms of storage, this now starts at 256GB Gen4 SSD, ensuring quick boot times and efficient data retrieval. For users with higher storage demands, this can be configured all the way up to 1TB of storage capacity, allowing ample space for large files, video, multimedia libraries, and extensive software applications.

Further bolstering Microsoft’s security credentials, Surface Laptop 6 also comes with additional (optional) security features, with options to include a smart card reader (currently available solely in the US) and near-field communication (NFC) technology, which is aimed at bolstering a client’s commitment to zero-trust security principles. These features enable swift and secure sign-in and sign-out processes, particularly vital in high-risk areas where security is paramount.

Surface Laptop 6 still of course includes support for Windows Hello for Business and of course user-specific PINs, again helping to eliminate the need for cumbersome passwords. This approach to dual-factor authentication significantly heightens security, making unauthorised access exceedingly difficult.

Sustainability and Repairability

Finally, I need to mention Microsoft’s on-going commitment to sustainability and reparability. Microsoft design all their products with the circular economy in mind, with “integrity built in across the entire product lifecycle – from design and supply chain through product usage and end-of-life management”.

The new Surface devices are fashioned from recycled aluminium, which not only provides a sleek, modern aesthetic but also reduces the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process. Internally, the device now includes QR code guidance, which simplifies repair processes and effectively reduces the overall maintenance costs, further catering to the needs of businesses conscious of their environmental impact and operating expenses.

This dedication to environmental conscientiousness and user-centric design makes Surface an exemplary devices and the most sustainable devices on the tech market.

Surface for Business… What about Consumer?

Unlike in previous years, Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 are only available for business customers. But don’t worry – Microsoft made it clear that they “absolutely remain committed to consumer devices.” “Building great devices that people love to use aligns closely with our company mission to empower individuals as well as organisations and we are excited to be bringing devices to market that deliver great AI experiences to our customers. Todays commercial announcement is only the first part of this effort.”

Are Microsoft Changing Copilot in Windows?

This week, Microsoft shipped Windows Insider preview build 26080 (in both the Canary and Dev channels), which has introduced a way for users to release the Copilot Window from being attached to the right-hand side of the screen where it has lived since birth!

Previously, the Copilot widget opened on the right of the screen, and whilst in recent preview builds, Microsoft introduced the ability to resize it (make it bigger), it was still attached to the right side of the screen as shown below.

Copilot in Windows (attached to the right of the screen)

Detaching Copilot

With preview build 26080, it is now possible to undock Copilot, so it feels like a traditional app, meaning you can move Copilot to wherever you want to. The Copilot “app” can moved and resized as needed to make it more customisation in how you choose to work in Windows – just like you would with say the Calculator app. Bear in mind this is in preview and subject to user feedback (file in the Feedback Hub), this may not be a permanent change.

Copilot in detached mode (Windows Insiders on Canary Build).

This is rolling out for Windows Insiders on the Canary Build but will make its way to Insiders on the Dev build soon following initial feedback from Canary build testers.

Note: Microsoft use Windows Insider Builds to try new things out, seek feedback from users and to gauge how well innovative ideas and changes are received, as well as to action the feedback from users.

Copilot in Windows is also getting bigger hooks

In this preview build, Windows Insiders are also going to see that Copilot is getting new abilities to act and control the underlying Windows 11 settings. This includes the ability to perform tasks such as emptying the Recycle Bin, toggle Live Captions, toggle Voice Access, and can also ask Copilot more about various system stats such as battery information, system infrormation and also has the ability to enable battery saver.

A note on Build Numbers

Regular Windows Insiders may also notice that both the Canary and Dev Channels are receiving the same build number currently. Microsoft remind users that this does happen sometimes as during the times in which the Canary and Dev Channels are on the same builds (e.g. Build 26080), it provides an opportunity for Insiders in the Canary Channel to switch to the Dev Channel. Once this windows has passed, the Canary Channel will jump to higher build numbers and the window will be closed.

You check out the recent builds and offioial blog from Microsoft here:

Microsoft’s Copilot for Security available April 1st

No – it’s not an April Fools Joke – Microsoft yesterday (13th March 2024) announced that their much anticpiated Copilot for Security will be available to buy and use from 1st April 2024.

What Does Copilot for Security Do?

Originally announced a year ago and after extensive testing in private preview, Copilot for Security is aimed at IT Security and Sec Ops teams as it brings Microsoft’s Copilot technology, Microsoft’s threat intelligence services and Machine Learning into a dedicated security service powered by Copilot. .Copilot for Security can processes prompts and responds in eight languages, with over 25 languages supported at launch.

For organisations that already invest and consume Microsoft security services such as Sentinel, Defender, Entra, Priva, Intune, and Purview this is a exciting time!

Image (c) Microsoft Security.

Copilot for Security is informed by large-scale data and threat intelligence, including Microsoft’s daily processing of more than 78 trillion security signals – a gaint increase from 65 trillion signals stated just last year. This is largest threat intelligence database in the world. Microsoft do not use any organisational data to train their LLMs.

One huge advantage of Copilot’s conversational abilities is its capacity to rapidly compose incident reports. It can also tailor these reports to be more or less technical based on the intended employee audience, say Microsoft.

Copilot for Security offers a huge variety of capabilities, including:

  • Human-readable explanations of vulnerabilities, threats, and alerts across all of Microsoft’s security products and services, aswell as, (later) third-party tooling as well.
  • Answer questions about alerts, threats and incidents in real-time and take action.
  • Automatically summarising incident analysis and offers recommendations for subsequent actions based on the tools the organisation is licnesed for and/or deployed.
  • Ability for users to edit the prompt to correct or adjust responses and share the findings with others and create extensive run books based on prompts as well as ability to share prompts with other anaysts in the team.

After nearly a year of various preview stages and vigorous testing both my Microosft Security Expert and enterprise organisations, Microsoft say the feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive.” A recent AI economic study by Microsoft demonstrated that security professionals work 22% faster and are 7% more accurate when utilising Copilot for Security. An impressive 86% of participants reported that Security Copilot enhanced the quality of their work, and >90% expressed a desire to use Security Copilot for future tasks. The report further indicates that security novices, possessing basic IT skills, performed significantly better with Security Copilot compared to members of a control group. Moreover, their superiors expressed greater confidence in their output.

Copilot for Security in Action

A year in readiness.

In the annoucement, Microsoft cited statements from Forrester VP Jess Pollard who said that “Experienced practitioners will reap the most rewards from the capabilities Microsoft offers, and while it’s unlikely to identify threats SOC [security operation center] teams would miss, it does make investigation and response faster”.

Just like Copilot for Microsoft 365 – Adoption and Training is Key

Just like any major technology change such as Copilot for Microsoft 365, adoption, training and practice is going to be vital to get maximum value anmd trust from Copilot for Security. Security teams will need to a fair amount of change management and training to ensure they can take advantage of the Microsoft Copilot for Security. Forrester cited in the report that “it takes around 40 hours of training to get security practitioners comfortable with using Copilot for Security. In addition, we heard that it takes four or more weeks — with many stops and starts — to get practitioners comfortable with the technology.”

With a global shortage of Cyber Security Skills, an exponential growth in attacks and attack surfaces and the rise of AI at cyber crimimals finger tips, Copilkot for Security has been one of the most anticipated uses for Copilot. There is no doubt that Copilot for Security can lower the barrier to entry into the cybersecurity industry, Forrester also said that “Though large language models and generative AI may level the playing field and allow for accelerated security talent development, no amount of out-of-the-box prompt books and guided response steps replace fundamental security knowledge, skills, and experience.

The Pros Microsoft Copilot for Security

Feedback from Microsoft early-access clients loved about Copilot for Security, including the following:

  • Making script analysis easier by de-obfuscating and explaining contents.
  • Accelerating threat hunting by helping write queries based on adversary methods.
  • Speeding up and simplifying complex KQL queries or PowerShell script creation.
  • Analysing phishing submissions by verifying true positives and providing inbox details.
  • Improving analyst experience by reducing the need to swap between various tools.
  • Generating leadership / executive-ready incident report summaries efficiently.

Things to be aware of at launch

There are serveral key areas which wont be available at intial launch, but epect to see rapid release cycles and updates once GA. Currently the following is not available but will be added over time.

  • Single Data Repositories – Copilot currently requires multiple instances for users / organisations that want to silo data between different business units, group companies or geo locations. These will be eventually be rolled into a single instance/interface but today will cause challenges for large MSPs and global / complex organisations.
  • Third Party Tools – At launch Copilot for Security will not provide integation into third party tools so organisations will need to be using Microsoft’s first party security tools like Defender for Ideneity and Defender for Endpoint. This is on roadmap.
  • Limited Integfration and Automation: Much of the work Copilot for Security does on day one is around reporting, alterting across mutiple signals sources and behaviour. Whilst it can execute run-books, some services like auto-quarantine and network isolation will not be available at launch.

New Features at Launch

In the annoucement, Vasu Jakkal, corporate VP of compliance, identity, management, and privacy at Microsoft said that as part of the launch, the following new features will be available to Copilot for Security:

  • Custom promptbooks,: allowing Security Teams to create and save their own natural language prompts for common security workstreams and tasks similar to the notebook feature in Copiolot for Microsoft 365.
  • Knowledge integrations: Which will enable the connecting of Copilot for Security to customers’ logic and workflow and the ability to perform activities based on company defined step-by-step guides.
  • Integration with customers’ curated external attack surface from Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management to identify and analyse the most up-to-date information.
  • Summarisation in natural language of additional insights from Microsoft Entra audit logs and diagnostic logs for a security investigation or IT issue analysis related to a specific user or event.
  • New fully customisationable usage dashboards to provide reporting on how teams interact with Copilot.

Which Organisations benefit most?

For organisations that already invest and consume Microsoft security services such as Sentinel, Defender, Entra, Priva, Intune, and Purview – Copilot for Security will likley be at tool that provides an indispensable enhancement that will not only reduce workload and increase productivity, but siginifcantly help Security Teams to work better together and detect and respond faster than ever.

Organistions that are not fully invested in Microsoft’s extensive secrtirty portfolio and choose to use other vendors will still benefit, but until wider third party support is available, runinng trials and evaluating the potential move to more Microsoft Security technologies is a smarter move. There will be increased funding pots and incentives to entice organisations to move to Microsoft Security.

Almost every Security vendor is adding Gen AI into their products and services, but today, no other organisation has built what Microsoft have (though this will likley change).

Pricing from $4 per hour

Yes, ok I saved this for the end.

Pricing will be offered through a consumption-based model, allowing customers to pay according to their usage needs. Usage will be categorised into Security Compute Units (SCUs). Customers will be billed for the number of SCUs provisioned on an hourly basis at a rate of $4 per hour, with a minimum usage requirement of one hour. Microsoft say this is an opportunity for any organisation to begin exploring Security Copilot and expand their usage as necessary.

This, lowers the entry point to the solution without a big initial license outlay and should simplify the pilot, on-boarding and rollout process. The PAYG model is also something organisations are used to, making it more accessible and straightforward and avoiding the complexity of traditional stackable licensing schemes.

Microsoft CSP partners, like Cisilion will be key in helping customers to manage their spend, working with the Sec Ops team to tweak and finetune the solution to help map, manage and plan spent.

Microsoft is saying good-bye to Android Apps on Windows

just three years after announcing they were bringing Android apps to Windows 11 (via the Amazon App Store), they have now u-turned and said they will be ending support for their Windows Subsystem for Windows from March 2025.

Amazon Apps on Windows

In a support article on Microsoft Learn, they said “Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Subsystem for Android™️ (WSA). As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025. Until then, technical support will remain available to customers. Customers that have installed the Amazon Appstore or Android apps prior to March 5, 2024, will continue to have access to those apps through the deprecation date of March 5, 2025“.

Writing was on the wall

Is this a strange move? Personally no. Even though Microsoft has been continually updating the Windows Subsystem for Android since it first launched, usage was low despite it being a big promotional item to drive value of Windows as a single OS for home and work. Microsoft had initially positioned Android apps on Windows 11 as a way to compete/align with Apple and their move to support the running of iOS apps on macOS. The main draw back of Microsoft’s approach was that their partnership with Amazon did not provide official access to Google’s Play Store, making it difficult for consumers to access download the more popular Android apps on Windows. Personally, I think this is the main reason Microsoft might be retiring support for Android Apps on Windows.

I had used it a handful of times, but in most cases defaulted to Web Apps or the Windows native app experience. I’m not really one to play loads of Android games so it wasn’t really a thing I envisaged using Windows 11 for.

It could have been better.

I think if Microsoft has managed to leverage this system using the Google Play Store rather than Amazon store, it could have been a different story. Selfishly, it is not a service I will miss, but it was a good way to enable people to access a wider set of apps not available for Windows 11 devices.

Microsoft need to spend more time on getting more developers to write apps for Windows. Its an age old problem Microsoft have experienced and whilst the best it is ever been, Windows is still not a default destination for apps with many apps being web apps for more common social media and gaming apps outside of the big hitting apps and those supported in Xbox and Windows Games.

Microsoft Surface Go 4 Review

Surface Go 4 Blog Cover Page

Whilst there is nothing new or standout about the Surface Go 4, it is the latest version of Microsoft’s small 10-inch tablet which is ideal for use at home, as a companion device, when travelling or when away, Surface Go is also extremely popular in education, Heathcare, front-line and field operations, retail and in call/contact centres. Surface Go 4 ships with Windows 11.

Being a huge fan of the Surface Family and being a fan of the Surface Go 2 LTE and Surface Go 3 for traveling and working on the go, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Surface Go 4 and put it through the paces to see how much compared to the previous version.

Introducing the Surface Go 4

The Surface Go 4 is looks very much the same when compared to its predecessor, the Surface Go 3 – Infact, the design hasn’t really changed since the original Surface Go. It measures 245 x 175 x 8.3mm and weighs just 529grams. It has a 10.5inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS screen with high quality, solid magnesium body, complete with “any angle” kickstand, single USB-C port, Surface Connect Port and headphone jack port and optional Surface Pen and Type Cover Keyboard. You can find the full spec here:

Surface Go 3 vs Surface Go 4

Being the same overall size and dimensions, the great thing if you are upgrading from a previous generation Surface Go is that it is fully compatible with the any Surface Go accessories such as keyboards or cases you may have. This iteration does get an upgraded chipset and therefore performance lift over the 2021/22 version and is still built with high-quality magnesium alloy body with a premium finish making it feel like a premium device – which Surface is. I do wish, fours on however, that Microsoft would have reduced the oversized black screen bezels a little as it does look a little dated compared to other tablets.

Surface Go is used a lot in education and with frontline workers. This is one of the reasons for the larger screen bezels. This makes it much easier to hold without accidently touching the screen.

Signature Look and Feel

As you expect with Surface 2-in-1 devices, Surface Go 4 gives you the familiar kickstand which is built into the back of the device and can be easily folded out to various angles making it extremely versatile as a tablet or a laptop with the optional (and not included) keyboard. The kick stand is smooth in operation and very sturdy. 

Surface Kick Stand

On the underside of the kickstand, you can find a MicroSD card slot. On the sides of the device, you will find the familiar Surface Connect port, a headphone jack and a USB C 3.1 port which can also be used for charging the device as well as connecting to a range of peripherals, docks or displays.

Camera, Video and Windows Hello®️

You get two cameras. At the back of device, there is an 8-megapixel camera which is good medium range camera for a rear camera on a laptop. At the front you get a 5-megapixel webcam which performs really well in various light settings on video calls and when recording in apps like PowerPoint and Clip Champ. Unlike the Surface Laptop Go, you do also get the additional sensors for Windows Hello and light adjustment and as always Windows Hello works incredibly fast.

Repairability and Sustainability

Microsoft have continued to improve on the repairability and sustainability of their devices and supply chain. Surface Go 4 is more repairable than ever, with the display, battery and back cover, kickstand, motherboard, microSDXC card reader, type cover connector, front, rear and Windows Hello camera, and speakers all being replaceable.

Screen

Surface Go 4 has the same 10.5-inch 10-point multi-touch, PixelSense display as its predecessor and has an aspect ratio of 3:2. Microsoft consistently uses this aspect, and it remains the perfect ratio for office or schoolwork.

Screen resolution supports 1920 x 1280 pixels, meaning you get a Full HD resolution on a 10.5-inch screen which makes it look super sharp and clear. The screen is bright, and colours are vibrant, and you also get great viewing angles. Gorilla Glass 3 also protects the screen. Touch is accurate and responsive as always.

For a late 2023 device, it's a shame that Microsoft didn't upgrade to a 120Hz panel as they have in the latest Pro and Laptop range. I would have also liked to have seen anti-glare screen options to help in outdoor or bright conditions.

Audio and Sound

Yoi get stereo sound with speakers located on the left and right of the display. Whilst sound quality is not studio level like you get on the Surface Laptop Studio, it is more than good enough for calls and watching videos when away or watching in bed. making it a great all-rounder and fine if you want to use it as an entertainment device.

Power and Performance

Microsoft Surface Go 4 is powered by an Intel N200 processor and comes with 8GB of RAM as a standard. This an improvement over the previous models which started at 4GB RAM which was simply not enough in my experience. Storage starts at 64GB SSD storage and provide options of 128GB and 256GB too. Strangely there is no LTE/4/5G version this time round.

According to benchmark reports I have seen, performance of the Surface Go 4 is slightly better than the Surface Go 3 due to the slightly updated chipset and is also more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE tablet. It falls short of the Apple iPad 9. which is to be expected.

Performance, like many things is subjective though. The Surface Go 4 (I have been using the 8GB/256GB) version which was more than sufficient for multi-tasking office apps and personal social media and video streaming apps.

Usage and Experience

Surface Go 4 is positioned as a work or school device and not designed (unlike a high-end iPad) for video editing or playing video intensive games. That said, for office apps and web applications, I noticed no performance lags at all and the device multi-tasked well. Microsoft’s Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote run smoothly and I was able to have many Edge tabs open at the same time with any issues.

Surface is also a great device for watching stuff on YouTube, Netflix, Disney +. This combined with good performance for multitasking with business or school apps, makes Surface Go 4 an affordable, practical, light weight and fully featured 2-in-1 device. I find this great when I travel or work away without having to take two devices.

Type Cover Keyboard

All previous generations of the Microsoft Type Cover for Surface Go are compatible with Surface Go 4 and the design has not changed with version 4. You can of course buy cheaper (non-Microsoft covers) or USB keyboards, but don’t. Microsoft’s Type Cover keyboard is excellent.

In case you are not familiar; Microsoft’s Type Cover keyboard is extremely high quality. It is made of plastic but has a very high-quality finish and a fabric-like surface. It includes a backlight and is magnetically attached to the tablet and protects the display when folded. Due to the slight angle of the keyboard that the magnetic connector creates, it makes it feel much more like a laptop than cheap ‘flat’ keyboard.

Surface Go 4 Type Cover
Surface Go Type Cover Keyboard.

The keyboard is relatively large for a small 10-inch tablet but does not feel small to use. I can easily touch type on this without effort or having to change how I type. The Type Cover is comfortable to use and much better than some of the cheap tablet keyboards I have used in the past.

There is a touchpad under the keyboard, which, while not a big as some laptops, is a good balance of size and usability whilst helping to avoid accidental touches on the touch panel.

The Surface Pen

For me, a touch screen and pen are a non-negotiator when choosing a device for work or home. Once critiqued by Apple saying that “no one would ever need to use a pen with a tablet”, Surface Pen has been a stable companion to the Surface Pro since the first Surface in 2012.

Surface Go 4 supports all previous iterations of Surface Pens (expect the ones that shipped on the first Surface Pro 1 and Surface RT devices) including the Surface Slim Pen and Slim Pen 2. The Surface Pen is very responsive and precise, and it’s fun to take handwritten notes with it. The lates

Whilst optional to buy, Surface Go 4 together with the Surface Pen and writing and graphics apps like OneNote, MS Paint, Designer, Edge, PDF etc, are what make Surface standout. Yes, you can do this on most tablets, but Surface is by far the best (and original) 2-in-1 device in my experience.

With the latest update to Windows 11, there is now also support for inking anywhere you can type in dialogue boxes.

Windows 11 brings Surface to Life

Everyone knows that Windows is not an OS designed for tablet only devices. Windows 8 tried too hard to make Tablet mode work (and was awful) and Windows 10 had various attempts at tablet mode, but Windows 11 has actually (finally) done a half decent job of adapting the OS to work with tablet devices. This includes 2-in-1s like Surface Go 4.

With Windows 11, tablet mode is switched on automatically when the keyboard is disconnected or folded back to use the device in tablet mode.

In tablet mode, the Windows taskbar becomes significantly larger so that it is easier to use with your finger or pen and the customisable on-screen keyboard opens whenever you click/tap in a text field. If have a Surface Pen, then you also get quick access to the Windows Inking features.

Within Windows, some apps are also tailored for use with Tablets, and some even adapt based on the use mode. OneNote is a good example. When using OneNote in tablet mode, the canvas gets simplified and decluttered, making it much easier to use with pen and ink.

Using Surface with Android Apps

While a Windows thing more than a Surface thing, Windows 11 supports the use of many Android apps via the Amazon App Store. To use this, you need to install the Amazon Appstore via the Microsoft Store.

Amazon App Store in Windows 11

You can then install a vast number of apps and games such as angry birds or City Mapper and use them just like any other app. Whilst you don’t get the full library of native Android apps you get in the Play store, there are thousands, and it works seamlessly once installed from the Microsoft Store.

Surface is even better with Windows 365

Windows 365 is Microsoft’s desktop as a service which is delivered as a SaaS service to business/corporate users. It is a dedicated Cloud PC which is provisioned, used, managed, and updated just like a physical PC but runs in the Microsoft Cloud. Windows 365 provides an “instant on” desktop environment than can be accessed securely from any device (or browser) and allows you to pick up where you left off, providing a seamless experience with all your corporate applications and files available wherever you need it. Since Windows 365 is a Cloud Service, access to it is secure, instantly provisioned, upgraded or updated and since it can be used on “any” device avoids the need for hardware upgrades, protects against device loss and theft and removes the data security / leakage risk of having corporate information on physical devices.

So why Surface Go 4 and Windows 365? Well, I have recently got myself a Surface Go 4 for home and family. The kids love using pen and ink and we use a Microsoft 365 Family subscription for personal, school and work stuff.

When I’m away from the office or traveling with my family, I often need to access work-related files and applications. Windows 365 allows me to securely multitask on our shared device without having to install and download apps, set up complicated VPN services, or compromise company security or confidentiality by using a personal device for work. With Windows 365, I can use my personal device as a work device and switch back seamlessly as needed. Plus, if my kids want to play with Designer or watch YouTube, I can pause what I’m doing and resume later without worrying that they will mess up any of my work.

I’ve written other posts on Windows 365 before, and for more information on Windows 365 you can check Microsoft’s official sites here.

My Conclusion

Starting at £549 in the UK (pen and keyboard separate), Microsoft Surface Go 4 is a well priced, versitile allrounder that is great for home, work, school or a combination of all (maybe combined with Windows 365).

Surface Go continues to be a great choice if you need/want a “proper” Windows based PC type device rather than “just a tablet”. This is not a device for intense gamers or graphic designers, but for everything else, it’s a great device that is well built, offers high quality, is super repairable and includes full multipoint touch, pen support and a full and versitle type cover ketboard.

The only dissapointment was battery life. Windows devices in my experience just dont have the power efficienicies that Apple iPads offer.

If you have a Surface Go 3, I would not reccommend rushing out and upgrading (unless you have an etry level one with 4GB RAM). If you do not need a Windows device or just want a tablet to watch films on and browse social media, then Surface Go may be wasted on you.

Surface Go is also a great second device. If you have a desktop for work or home (or a chunky, heavy laptop), Surface Go is a grwat choice as a flexible second device that can also be used for work with or without Windows 365 (see above).

Using Copilot in Whiteboard.

Copilot inside Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard is a blank canvas where users can draw, sketch, and write, just like a physical whiteboard. It allows multiple users to collaborate on the same Whiteboard in real-time. Whiteboard offers a range of features that enhance collaboration, creativity, and productivity in both professional and educational settings.

Here are some key features of using Microsoft Whiteboard:

  • Flexible and infinite digital canvas
  • Provides ink to shape and Intelligent Ink Recognition
  • Supports co-authoring
  • Allow simple ways to create and annotate content using sticky notes and text boxes
  • Insert images and documents
  • Fully integrated into Microsoft 365 and can be used in Teams Meetings.

Using Copilot in Whiteboard

Using Copilot in Whiteboard revolutionises idea generation and project collaboration, by helping people get started quickly with brainstorming and ideas . This is great when you want to use Whiteboard to collect and inspire ideas but don’t know where to start.

Copilot in Whiteboard makes it super easy to:

  1. Instantly generate fresh ideas and envision concepts in innovative ways to kick start a brainstorming session.
  2. Transform abstract thoughts and words into captivating end engaging visuals.
  3. Arrange and re-arrange ideas into logical categories to make Whiteboards easier to work with – improving clarity.
  4. Create new ideas and angles and overcome obstacles.

Getting Started with Copilot In Whiteboard

When you first start Whiteboard (assuming you are signed in with a Microsoft 365 account that has a Copilot license assigned). You can use Copilot on a new Whiteboard or on an existing whiteboard you have already created Whiteboards.

From a new or existing Whiteboard, you can summon Copilot by clicking on the familiar Copilot button which sits at the right of the tool bar.

On summoning Copilot, you are presenting with a “familar” Copilot prompt. From here you can simply describe what you want. In example below, I wanted to create a new whiteboard space to help me capture ideas about an upcoming team away day.

Within a few seconds, you’ll see Copilot come up with some discussion ideas as per the example below.

From here, we can edit our prompt, modify the prompt, ask for more ideas or simply accept and insert it. In this case Copilot has sugested Post it notes, which makes sense based on my prompt. Here, am going to Click on insert.

I am quite happy with this, but i do want to add a section about where we should have our offsite and what activities we should do.

I can of course, just add to this myself, or if I am feeling (lazy) or just keen to use Copilot. In this example, I’ve added my own postit and asked Copilot to suggest some locations and activities we can use for the away day.

Using Copilot with an existing Whiteboard.

You can also use Copilot with an existing Whiteboard to do things like create a summary of your Whiteboard content and notes. To do this, open a Whiteboard, click the Copilot button and ask it to summarise, suggest new content or catagorise any post its etc into catagories.

You can also, of course, also use as above to add new content or help you with inspiration.

What can’t Copilot do?

At the moment Copilot is mainly focussed around activities that involve post it notes. I’d like to see this extend to drawing visualisations, recommending templates, populating post it notes and changing layouts based on content. I’d also like to see it be able to take a set of bullet points from an email or Teams chat and create a whiteboard from that!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s helpful and really great and these idea generation and kick starting a whiteboard but there are other applications I’d like to see.


Interested to hear how you get on with Copilot in Whiteboard…..let me know in the comments!

Copilot is coming to OneDrive

Copilot is still very new and as such the pace of updates and wider use across the Microsoft 365 estate is ever changing and evolving.

Copilot in OneDrive is one of these upcoming changes. Using Copilot directly from OneDrive (consumer and Enterprise) will allow you to ask open-ended questions and get information from files in your OneDrive without having to open the files first.

What is also really cool is that it will let you with with one or multiple files at a time. It will support files with DOC, DOCX, FLUID, LOOP, PPT, PPTX, XLSX, PDF, ODT, ODP, RTF, ASPX, RTF, TXT, HTM, and HTML extensions.

According to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, this is expected to start rolling out in May 2024.


You can read more by checking item 381450 on the Microsoft 365 Official Roadmap.

For the rest of the updates in public roadmap you can check here.

Copilot gets cool little animations in the latest Windows 11 Insider build

The latest Windows 11 preview build is now rolling out to Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channel. This build (26052) is significant, since it is the first designated “Windows 24H2” build that has been made available to Insiders. It brings a number of new features and enhancements and Microsoft say its the beginning of what will be an AI infused set of updates that will come to Windows 11 this year.

One of the most noticeable things in this build (and partly to mark the 1-year birthday of Microsoft Copilot) is the introduction of new Copilot animations that are being tested. 

Image (c) Microsoft

The Copilot icon will now animate into a pencil or picture icon whenever you copy text or an image to your clipboard, indicating that Copilot can help you with the content you have just copied.

Interacting with Copilot Animations

Whenever content is copied to the clipboard and the intimation is show, users can hover the mouse over the animated Copilot icon to see a choice of different options that Copilot can do for you with the text or image just copied.

  • With text, you are presented with options to summarise, explain, or send directly to Copilot for further user defined queries and requests.
  • With images, you get an option to explain the image along with additional options to edit the image – which then takes you to the Microsoft Designer app.

With this build, Microsoft also supports the ability to launch Copilot by just dragging an image onto the Copilot icon in the taskbar, which then opens Copilot. If Copilot is already open, you can now also drag and drop an image into the text box in Copilot and type an action that you would like to perform on the image content.

Privacy

The content is not automatically sent to Copilot without your permission. The animation of the Copilot button is there to simply guide/remind you that it can help, but nothing is shared to the Copilot System until you choose too. Copilot can’t access your clipboard without consent.

First impressions

It’s an overall really handy shortcut, and one that will help less technically aware/savvy users that Copilot is available to help with content. I find this better than annoying advertising style pop-ups…

We are trying out a new experience for Copilot in Windows that helps showcase the ways that Copilot can accelerate and enhance your work.

Microsoft Windows Team

I especially like the drag and drop on to the Copilot logo and text input fields as this simplifies and shortens the time / steps needed to interactive with Copilot.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 features are now available from Windows 11 desktop

On Windows 11. corporate users with a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license will see that premium experience is now integrated into the Copilot Windows desktop experience.

This means that users who have a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license and Copilot for Windows enabled can chat with Copilot in Windows using Graph-based features.

With a unified experience across M365 Chat, Copilot in Windows 11 and the Copilot on the web experience, users can now leverage the Microsoft Graph connected features in Windows, thanks to the integration of Copilot for Microsoft 365 into the Windows desktop experience.

This experience requires users to have a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license, as well as having Copilot i Windows 11 experience, making it a convenient and consisytent experience for users to access Copilot in Microsoft 365 features, along side the existing options in Teams Chat, Edge, and at https://copilot.microsoft.com.

For comsumer users wanted to leverage the advanced feaures of Copilot in their apps and services like OneNote, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, checkout Copilot Pro

Two-weeks with Microsoft Copilot | Teams and Outlook.

Title Image for using Microsoft Copilot for two weeks

I have been using Copilot for Microsoft 365 for two full weeks in within our organisation (no test/dev platforms) since Microsoft made this more generally available on the 14th January 2024.

Two weeks on, I wanted to share my experience of using Copilot in Microsoft 365 fairly aggressively. I am breaking this blog into a series, focusing on different aspects of the experience starting today with the apps I spend most time in (as I am sure you do too) – Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook.

The other question I will try to answer is – so far, two weeks in, is it worth the £25 pupm!

Great Expectations

Despite working with organisation readiness since June with a focus on organisational data and security readiness, using a combination of labs and “closed” demo labs, this was the first time I had real hands-on exposure to the hype that is Microsoft Copilot. Like many, I was impressed by the many iterations of Microsoft’s sizzle videos, sneak peaks and on-stage demos from Microsoft and their early access programme (EAP) users and as such I was extremely excited to finally get my hands on the real thing and use it within our organisation (as part of an internal adoption trial).

One thing to note, before diving into this blog is that my personal expectations for Copilot were (and still are) extremely high.

The Copilot Onboarding Experience

This walks through the first couple of days from getting a license to being able to use Copilot in anger.

I closed my Office 365 apps (we are running on latest versions which is a pre-req) and slowly the Copilot experience begin to “light up in my apps”. First to get Copilot treatment was Microsoft Teams, followed by Microsoft Word. A few hours later, Copilot “lit up” in other apps including Loop, PowerPoint and Excel followed the next day (yes next day) in Outlook. The mobile apps also became Copilot active about the same time.

On getting a license assigned, I received an email tell me my organisation had assigned me a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license, but nothing happened in my apps.

I closed my Office 365 apps (we are running on latest versions which is a pre-req) and slowly the Copilot experience begin to “light up in my apps” – but not all at once. First to get Copilot treatment was Microsoft Teams, followed by Microsoft Word.

A few hours later, Copilot “lit up” in other apps including Loop, PowerPoint and Excel followed the next day (yes next day) in Outlook. The mobile apps also became Copilot active about the same time.

Other members of our initial internal pilot, had a similar experience but not in the same order.

One thing to note, is that if you are part of the first tranche of users within your organisation, then, Microsoft “kicks off” the Sementic index engine which runs across your tenant. This takes a few days (longer for larger organisations) and works from most recent events and content backwards. This means that things seem to “turn on” or “work” at different times initially. Users added later have a more rapid onboarding experience.

A Word on Data Preparation

Much of the technical preparation and guidance for organisation adopting Microsoft 365 Copilot is around data readiness and the need for “proper” adoption and training for users as Copilot is not like another new feature you simply turn on – well at least if you want to get the best out of it and demonstrate high returns on your £25 pupm investment. Much of this “readiness” is not a new requirement as such, but the way in which Copilot works is, and should, be a wake up call for organisations to spend time implementing a proper data governance and lifecycle policy.

Much of this preparation is just good practice, but in Copilot terms, not having the above will impact not only the user experience but accuracy and usability of the service unless you spoon feed it the data you need.

Why? This is because, what makes Copilot unique is it’s access to the Microsoft Graph and your underlying data which is powered by Microsoft 365 Search and the Semantic Index. This involves three key pillars around data;

  • Understanding where your data is located and who has access
  • Understand the context of your data – this includes key words, titles, versioning etc
  • Understanding the data the organisation needs (and does not need) – archive, search terms, lifecycle management, retention etc.
  • Access and accessibility – data privacy, security (access control), and other policies in place.

This many organisations, getting these things in shape (if not already) is not a simply task – it takes time, structure, training (especially if you are going to label and classify data) and often process change. If you don’t have these things in place, its not a show stopper for Copilot but it might mean you expose existing risks (Copilot operates under the user’s context). As such, Copilot is a good trigger point/reason to look at this – whilst ensuring good business change, adoption and training are undertaken to give users the information they need to work better with your company data

Once concern I have, is that with the entry point to Copilot now just a single license, organisations may not give this area the right level of attention which may lead to user issues, sudden changes in policy (what do users have access to) and un expected results.

That said, if you are working in Teams and Outlook where the data it is referencing is more recent, relevant to the meeting or conversation or “part” of the chat or email – the data stuff is less relevant…

I have covered this more in other articles….

Copilot for Microsoft 365 – First Impressions

#BeyondExpections and far better than using ChatGPT

Ok this is a bold statement but you need to remember that Microsoft 365 Copilot uses GPT-4 (and GPT-4 Turbo) under the hood.

Copilot in Microsoft 365 instantly adds value to my day. What makes this so so so much better that a standalone tool (and even Copilot in Edge) is the fact that it is embedded natively into your Microsoft 365 apps and services. There is then the fact that not only does it work in the context of your apps, it also operates within your organisations Microsoft 365 data and compliance boundary and the way in which it leverages the Microsoft Graph to “perform its voodoo”. Copilot in Microsoft 365 uses a sophisticated data access methodology which uses Retrieval Augmented Generation against content and context, retrieved from the Microsoft Graph (with the Semantic Index). This means that Copilot not only understands what data to use, but is also aware and understands the relationships with the data, it’s context, your meetings, emails, recent files, team members, people relations and interactions and more.

Image (c) Microsoft – The Microsoft Graph

The combination of Copilot and the Graph API enables Copilot’s powerful features, and this is just the start. Microsoft also supports the increasing use of connectors and plug-ins, which allow data ingestion or connection to the Microsoft Graph. This means you can “plug-in” or “connect” third-party data sources to Copilot and extend its reach beyond the Microsoft 365 environment, while still being protected by the “trust boundary”.

In my two weeks, I have found the performance of Copilot across all the apps fast and interactive and much better than I experienced with Chat GPT and the “free” version of Copilot in Edge (Bing Chat)] The main reason for this is that Copilot using the most recent and premium versions of the Open AI Large Language Models (LLM), which use the newest GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo models which mean they are not only faster but can work on, and create bigger documents, process more input and leverage multiple data sources in which to form its’ response.

Hands on with Copilot in Teams

We spend a lot of time in meetings. According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index report most of spend between forty (40) and sixty (60) percent of our week in meetings so if there is anywhere that Copilot can make a welcome impact its Teams.

Copilot in Microsoft Teams is your personal assistant before, during and after meetings. The during bit is really impactful.

Using Copilot During a Meeting

In order to use Copilot to it’s fullest, you need to make sure that meetings are transcribed (ideally recorded too). Transcribing and recording a meeting retains the transcript and recording for you to “recap” later (see Teams Intelligent Recap). As the meeting organiser, you can also choose to allow Copilot in the background without transcribing (if enabled by IT), but be aware if you do not transcribe the meeting, you will not be able to use Copilot once the meeting has finished. For best results, make sure you transcribe the meeting at least (but ensure you tell or ask people first!).

When the meeting is running, you’ll see the Copilot button in the meeting ribbon and activating it, brings up an integrated interface to the right to the meeting (just like the chat window does).

Copilot “button” in Teams Meeting

Note: Copilot prompts are only visible to you. Other participants cannot see or access your prompts or see Copilot’s analysis or results from what you ask.

Using Copilot After a Meeting

When a meeting has finished (whether you didn’t attend it, missed it, or had to leave early), you can access the meeting recap from the “recap” tab in the meeting. The recap contains the notes taken in the meeting by attendees, the recording (if recorded) and the transcript (if transcribed). If you have Teams Premium or a Copilot License, you also see see the “AI Generated” notes, which contain notes and suggested actions generated by Teams AI [this is both a Teams Premium and Copilot thing].

Just like the in-meeting experience, Copilot opens in the right hand pane, where you can interact and use your prompt (as questions) to extract the information you need.

While Copilot generates the answers, it always displays the reference time in the meeting and who said it, so you can jump to the transcript or meeting recording (assuming the recorded or transcribed). This is useful in case of course the transcription is not 100% leading to Copilot making an assumption based on the transcript. Always good to check right!!

What can Copilot do in Teams Meetings?

Using Copilot in Teams is such a game changer in meetings.

You can ask Copilot literally anything around what was said in the meeting, what something means, what questions were asked, actions, sentiment and more.

The table below, shows some examples prompts against the use-case or ask that you may typically have depending on your role in the meeting (or if you attended it or not).

The example on the left is an example of how Copilot outputs the response based on the last use-case example in the table.

Use-casePrompt
Summarise the meeting so farSummarise the meeting so far. Put the information in a table clearly stating the topic discussed, key points and opinions of each people.
Discuss Pros and Cons of the topics discussedCreate a table of pros and cons for [insert topic] discussed in the meeting.
Assess the mood of the meeting.What was the sentiment of the meeting? Which people expressed their views the most and did the participants generally agree with each other?
Assess the effectiveness of the meetingWere there any unanswered questions in the meeting that need to be followed up.
Plan the follow up.What was agreed in the meeting, what suggestions were made and what would the suggested next steps be? Put the results in a table and identify the most suitable owner for each action.
Use cases and action examples for Copilot in Teams

Using Copilot in Chat (and Channels)

Copilot is also really helpful in chats or when working in conversations within Team chat. Here I see two main use cases.

  1. To catch up or summarise chat threads, missed messages or other information
  2. To help you communicate better and more to the point.

You can ask Copilot to suggest next actions from the chat context, summarise the thread or create replies for you.

Using Copilot in Chat Threads from Microsoft Teams

This available now in Chat and coming “soon” to Channels Chat in Team sites too!

Things you may choose to ask in a chat window could be.

  • Show me highlights from the past x days.
  • What decisions were made?
  • What questions have been asked since xxxday?

Hands on with Copilot in Outlook

The second place (well mine) we all spend far to much time is Outlook. Its where many conversations (that could be an IM in Teams) happen, but also where many business to business communications and more formal communication takes place.

I have been using ChatGPT and Copilot In Edge since they first came out to help me re-write “some” emails or to help me adjust the tone of what I am writing, but Copilot in Outlook takes this to a whole other level.

Its worth noting that Copilot in Outlook is still “evolving” and is not yet (disappointingly) on par with the promotional “sizzle” videos Microsoft have been showing off (but it is coming). Today Copilot works in three ways.

  1. Drafting with Copilot – where you can tell Copilot what you want to see and it will draft the email for you or you can pick from standard “templated” responses.
  2. Coaching with Copilot – where Copilot works “with” you while you are writing to help you perfect/tune your email or response
  3. Summary by Copilot which provides as it says an overview of a thread of emails which is really useful if you are catching up on a long email conversation.

Drafting with Copilot

This is what most will be familiar with (and expecting) if they have used Copilot in Edge, or Chat GPT to write text based stuff. The main difference with Copilot in Outlook is also that it can reference and access recent files inline. Here is an example of an email I asked Copilot to draft.

Copilot in Outlook – Drafting Example.

Coaching with Outlook

This is similar to drafting, but works more like Grammarly or Microsoft Editor. Instead of drafting the entire email, you start it off and then Copilot works with you on the fly to provide guidance about how to better shape and perfect your email. In this mode, Copilot doesn’t re-write the mail, it helps you to perfect it.

Copilot in Outlook – Coaching Example

Summary By Copilot

This is used to bring together an email chain (the longer the better) into key points and actions. It is not replacement for manually combing through the email thread but is really useful for playing catch up.

Summary By Copilot in Outlook.

More AI things are coming

many of the other really cool feature are yet to go live in Outlook. One of the ones I am waiting patiently for is the ability to “Follow a Meeting”. Follow will be a new meeting response (RSVP) option that goes beyond the traditional Accept, Tentative and Decline choices geared towards individuals with high meeting loads and conflicting meetings each day. Follow is the ideal RSVP option for meetings you can’t attend but still want to stay engaged and receive info about.

When you follow a meeting, you will get all the updates and insights about the meeting without having to attend it. It is expected later this year.


Two weeks in – Is Copilot worth the cost?

It’s still early days, but here’s my initial view. Hell yeah!

We are of course talking about just two weeks of use, in which I have “got my head around it”, educated my self (mainly out of hours) on how to write good prompts to get what I need it to do and then of course put it to practice in real life. Over that time, I:

  • Have used Copilot in Teams to take notes, write up actions and also share a summary a notes to my OneNote. Across 10 meetings, I estimate it saved me ~15 mins per meeting.
  • Used Copilot in Teams to record and take notes in 5 meetings I could not attend and then used Intelligent Recap (both a Teams Premium and Copilot feature) to capture meetings notes and actions. All five meetings were 50 mins in length and given the time I used (around 15 mins) to review the minutes and notes,this saved me 35 mins per meeting that I did not attend without me missing the “beat” of the meeting.
  • Used Copilot in Outlook a fair amount to reply to emails quickly, redraft a few team update meetings and project progressions as well as to recap email threads. I would guess this has probably saved me about an hour or so in all over the past two weeks.

If I add these up (excluding gains in using Copilot in other apps) this has given me back:

  • [15×10]+[35×5]+[1×60] = 385 mins / 6hrs 25mins over ten days
  • Around 12 hrs 50 mins (over 4 work weeks)

If we assumed an average IT role of £51k p/a – then this equates to a cost of £26.15 p/h (using £51,000/52weeks/37.5hrs). A Copilot for Microsoft 365 license is £25 pupm so based the example above (using my experience over the past two weeks) then we see :

  • Productivity saving of 12.83x£26.15 = £335.50 per month per person
  • Return on Investment of 12.62

Coming next – Word, Loop and PowerPoint

In the next blog, I’ll be covering my experiences with Copilot in Microsoft Word, Loop and PowerPoint which are the next set of apps I used most (after Teams and Outlook).

I also really would love to hear your views on Copilot for Microsoft 365

New Windows Insider Build brings AI features to non NPU PCs

The Windows Insider team have released Windows 11 Build 26040 to Insiders in the Canary Channel, which is the first new build for this channel in 2024.

This build is full with improvements and fixes, but the main call out feature of this build is the addition of support for Voice Clarity on PCs that do not have dedicated NPUs. Until now, this was a feature that had been exclusive to select Surface devices with NPUs, but Microsoft are now making this available across all Windows 11 devices.

Voice Clarity uses advanced AI powered audio processing to help your voice be heard more clearly on online calls, and voice recordings even in noisy environments or when you move around the room. Voice Clarity also improves the quality of the voices you hear, making them sound more natural and realistic using a combination of echo cancelling, background noise suppression and removal of reverberation all in real-time.

Note: My understanding is that this new native OS based Voice Clarity will only activate "when the OEM device does not offer Communications Mode processing.". This means that if your device already has a noise-reduction technology (such as the Surface Pro 9) compatible with Communications Signal Processing Mode, the Windows 11 software-based Voice Clarity will not be activated and it will instead use the technology enabled by the NPU. 

Other changes in Canary build 26040

Other noticeable changes in this build include:

  • Changes to the Windows Setup experience with a cleaner and more modern experience.
  • Improvements to the screen casting services
  • Moving of the Copilot in Windows button to the right side of the Taskbar making it easier to access and closer to where the Copilot pane opens.
  • Support for USB 80Gbps has been added to support the new devices shipping with the newest Intel Core 14th Gen HX-series mobile processors.
  • A New Task Manager icon – that matches the design language of Windows 11. There’s new option to show the GPU temperature in the Performance tab.

Read the full Windows Insider Blog

Full releases notes for the latest Canary Build can be found here, along with release notes for the Dev and Beta builds which also had new builds this week.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 coming to Windows 11 Copilot.

OK.. That’s sounds confusing but here’s what it’s all about.

If you are a fan of Copilot, you’ll know that Microsoft has Copilot in Edge (formerly Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise), Copilot in Windows 11, Copilot in Microsoft 365 (whixh domains the tech news last week) and other flavours of Copilot across their product suite.

Copilot in Windows will now leverage Copilot for Microsoft 365 for licensed users.

Very soon, those with a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license will be able to access it right from the Windows Desktop using Copilot in Windows!…

Still confused?

Currently, you can use Copilot for Microsoft 365 365 in Microsoft’s Office apps and Teams, where you can chat with Copilot, ask questions, get answers, and generate content. But with Copilot for Microsoft 365 on Windows (that is still a mouthful), you can do all that and more, without leaving the desktop.

This means that rather than having different a Copilot experiences, Copilot in Windows will adapt based on other licenses that you have. So if you don’t have a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license, then Copilot in Windows will continue to act as it does today. If you do have a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license however, then Copilot in Windows will adapt and give you access to the full Copilot expeeience.

Availablity

Microsoft say that Copilot for Microsoft 365 on Windows will be available from February 5th, 2024.

Enabling Copilot for Microsoft 365 on Windows

Copilot for Microsoft 365 on Windows will not be enabled by default on managed Windows 11 devices. Enabling this will need to be done by IT admin using a temporary enterprise control while in early release meaning that organisations can choose whether to allow or block it.

Microsoft Copilot Pro: A staggering grand a year for a family of four!

Microsoft need to take urgent action to bring the awesomeness of Copilot Pro to their huge Microsoft 365 Family subscriber base without breaking the bank.

I was really excited to hear that Microsoft had annouced Copilot Pro bringing the power of Copilot into the heart of the consumer version of Microsoft 365 Family or invidual for £19 per user per month

Whilst I’m keen to try this out to see how this could benefit consumer users and families. I became rather shocked when I did the quick calculations on the cost for our family of four!

Family of four – A Thousand Pound a Year.

Yes, you read that correctly..

There is no doubt this will be an awesome addition to anyone using Microsoft 365 apps, but one thing you need to be aware of is how Copilot Pro is licensed for Microsoft 365 Family subscribers.

Firstly, let me say that Microsoft 365 Family is a bargain. For just £79 per year (I actually paid £59 on) for a family subscription which covers up to 6 people with full access to Microsoft 365 apps (online and full desktop and mobile apps which can be used in up to five decives each), 1TB storage for OneDrive, Microsoft 365 Family Safety and more. It’s great great value.

On a previous blog, I showed how you can add Copilot Pro to this subscription for £19 a month (which is £228 a year) which is a multiplier of X3 based in the £79 RRP price) which sounds staggering but could “probably” be justified….

But it gets worse…

Why… Well if you want all your family members to have access to the features of Copilot Pro (for example your kids for school and uni), you need to buy a Copilot Pro license for every member of your family you wish to use Copilot Pro.

This means an extra £19 per month for every family member on top of the Family Microsoft 365 subscription. We are a family of four!

12.5x the price

In my family of four, assuming my wife and two children needed / wanted a Copilot Pro license, our £79 a year subscription would increase by 12.5x to a staggering £991 a year

Wow…. Just wow.. That’s a lot of cash.

Of course not all the family may need a Copilot Pro subscription and at this price I imagine just the primary user would buy a license and then “use the same account” to access Copilot Pro.

Whilst this would t work in a corporation, as a family this is much viable.

Microsoft – please make this affordable for Families.

I get the hype and excitement about Copilot in Microsoft 365. I have been using it for a week where I work and beielve me, it is truly remarkable.

In the consumer world however, I just cannot see a Microsoft 365 Family subscriber adding a Copilot Pro license for any more than one user.

Of course not all may need it, and of course the free version of Copilot is brilliant for anyone that needs the power of ChatGPT in Windows and the web browser, Microsoft need to think about this key subscription and make the price for Families much much lower…

Microsoft…. Please look at an affordable price for these Family subscriptions.. I’d happily pay a small price per addiotnal user above the primary user but £1,000 for a family of four (in my case) is crazy….


I welcome your comments Microsoft 365 Family subscribers….

How to get OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL-E for free

You will probably be aware that Chat-GPT offers both a free tier (Chat GPT3) and a paid “plus” tier which costs $20 and upwards and includes more features and the new GPT-4 engine.

  • The free tier is limited, is based on the “older” ChatGPT-3.5 model and doesn’t include any image creation tools.
  • The Plus tier costs $20 and gives you ChatGPT-4 (the newest fasted and accurate model) and the ability to create AI images using DALL-E and ability to web search!
OpenAI ChatGPT Pricing Models. Free version and Plus version, which is $20 per user per month.

However, you can get access and use (legally) all the plus features (and more) including GPT-4 and DALL-E for free – by using Microsoft Copilot in Edge (you may know this as Bing Chat).

How to get all the features of ChatGPT-4 and DALL-E for free.

Microsoft Copilot is the brand Microsoft have given to their AI technology which is all built on the very same ChatGPT technology built by OpenAI. In face Microsoft own a significant portion of OpenAI and have been developing together for years.

Here’s why you really want to take a look.

  • Microsoft Copilot is 100% Free.
  • It uses the latest Chat GPT-4 models and you also get access to Image Designer which is built on DALL-E version 3.
  • It is available as a dedicated app on iOS and Android,
  • It is built in to Windows 11 (and soon Windows 10)
  • It is also built into Microsoft’s Edge browser (this is built on Chromium technology – so is essentially Chrome but better!).

Corporate users also get the same free version but with Enterprise data protection, meaning chat data and content is not used to train their consumer models.

Introduction to Microsoft Copilot

Copilot is Microsoft’s AI powered Generative AI tools built on the latest Open AI versions of Chat GPT large language model (LLM) and the DALL-E image creation technology. By using Copilot, users get access to this for free without having to pay the $20 per month subscription fee for ChatGPT Plus.

To get Copilot, you just need to head over the Apple Store or Google Play Store and search for Microsoft Copilot.

You don’t need to sign up, but if you do sign in with your Microsoft account (you can create one for free if you don’t have one) , you get access to more features and can have more detailed and longer conversations with the chatbot. This is definitely worth doing if you plan to use Chat GPT / Copilot more than a couple times a day…

This offers amazing value. Copilot is a free and amazing tool that uses the state-of-the-art AI models from OpenAI, including GPT-4 and DALL-E 3. Copilot gives you access to the same innovation and functionality that Microsoft is embedding into its premium products and services for both individual and business customers. DALL-E 3 is an impressive AI model that can produce stunning photos, artwork, stickers, backgrounds, and other images from your instruction / prompt.

Getting Started With Copilot – What can it do?

Welcome to Copilot. This is the ultimate chat tool for creating and exploring amazing content. If you have used Chat GPT before, you already know how powerful and fun it is. But Copilot takes it to the next level. With Copilot, you can not only use chat to search, but also use it to access and manipulate data from the internet (how cool is that?), and even generate stunning images with your words. And if you use Copilot from the Edge browser, you can also analyse and work on content from any web-page – that’s awesome, right? Don’t believe me? Just see for yourself.

Getting started is super simple – whether you are using the browser, Windows 11, or a mobile app. You can simply use the ‘Ask me anything’ prompt to type your question or instruction (this is called a prompt), upload an image, or paste some text in, or tap the microphone icon to speak to Copilot. Copilot has the ability to reply with audio as well as displaying results on screen which is nice.

The following images show the different starting screen on different devices.

Some things Copilot can help you with.

Copilot (as the prompts suggest) can be used to perform a powerful range of text and image based tasks, research and more. For example, you could use it to help you…

This table, show the outputs of these steps based on the prompts I used. Why not follow along and adapt the prompts to suit your need. You may need to tweak them to get the desired result.

Desired OutcomeSample Prompt (instruction)
A story about a car that can fly.Write me a story about a family that take their new car out for a drive only to find it has the ability to fly. Make the story funny and limit it to 3 paragraphs“.
Drafting an email about a specific topic.I need to write an email to my team explaining that we are planning to restructure the team to align to our new coprate vision. Draft me an email that will be both empatetic but also direct about the change that is happening.”
Summarise a documentOpen a PDF document in the browser. “Summarise the key points of this document into 3 sections including a summary, key points and a conclusion“.
Compare different things (such as products) and present the information in a preferred (e.g., a table) format.I want to go on holiday with my 2 young children over xmas next year where the weather will be warm and sunny and near a beach. Create a table with some different places we could go that are good for children, expected costs per person and the location. Ensure flight times are under 5 hours.
Rewrite a body of text (document, email body, report).Instruction: Open a document you are working in word or powerpoint in the browser. Highlight a body of text and select “write” from the context menu.
Text based awesome things Copilot can help with or perform for you.


This table, show the outputs of these steps based on the prompts I used. Why not follow along and adapt the prompts to suit your need. You may need to tweak them to get the desired result. You can create these prompts directly in Copilot or for more control and fun. Just go to. https://designer.microsoft.com .

Desired OutcomeSample Prompt (instruction)
Create social media content about a [brand launch] or something else.“Create me an image for social media to promote my new webinar I am launching in March on AI technolog in the retail industry.”
Create an image such as an illustration for the story we just created above.“I have written a story about a family that take their new car out for a drive only to find it has the ability to fly. Create me some illustrations of a flying car taking off for the story using in coloured pencil sketches for a childrens book.”
Create an image for a blog site or report. I need to write a financial report for the return on investment of AI technology in the enegery sector. Create me a modern, line art image I can use on the front cover. Make it look professional with minimum colours”.
Explain an image by asking questions about a local image or doc on the webUse the upload image box to upload an image from your phone or computer and then ask Copilot to “describe the image or create you some alt-text”.
Recreate an image using AI. Upload an image and then ask Copilot to create a new image based on this. For example: “Create a new image that uses the same background but adds some farm animals ouitside the building
Image based awesome things Copilot can help you with or perform.

Here’s a bonus cool prompt you can try.. I have endless fun with this..

Vibrant red eyes, dark green baby dinosaur in a forest with leaves hiding some people his cute but fierce face. BLACK background with faint outlines of forests and mountains in the background. studio photography, close up

Great Designer Image Creator Prompt.
Created with Microsoft Image Designer

Conclusion

Microsoft’s Copilot app is now available for iOS and Android users. It ships with a ton of features, including the capability to generate answers to queries, draft emails, and summarize text. You can also generate images using the tool by leveraging its DALL-E 3 technology. It also ships with OpenAI’s latest LLM, GPT-4, and you can access all these for free.

Wait.. There’s more.

OK, so there is more.. You can also opt to purchase Copilot Pro…. For £19 pupm for individual for Microsoft Family subscriptions you get aceess to event better GPT4-Turbo, faster speeds and much more more.

Read about Copilot Pro here..

What is Copilot Pro?

Microsoft have announced a new version of Copilot, called Copilot Pro which brings the core features of Microsoft 365 Copilot to individuals and families using Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscriptions.

The free version of Copilot is still available (see below) for those happy with the extensive features and services (which include access to Copilot with OpenAIs GPT4 and Dalle-3 image creator but don’t need to Microsoft Office integrations offered by Copilot Pro. Here’s how they differ.

Copilot Free Edition

This is still ideal for anyone who wants to use Microsoft’s extensive Generative AI and image technology to find information, create new content, summarise and rewrite and have access to DALL-E 3 image creation technology (outside the Office 365 apps) and enables users to:

  • Access to Copilot via Windows 11, The Edge Side bar, the web (Copilot.Microsoft.com) and also as a dedicated app on Windows, Android, macOS and iPadOS
  • Use CHAT GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo for free (with some speed limitations during peak times).
  • Access Copilot via text, voice and images in conversational based search with up to 30 iterations (turns) per conversion and no limits on the number of chats.
  • Access to Microsoft’s Designer image creator (powered by Open AI DALL-E 3) with 15 speed boosts per day.
  • Access to consumer aligned plug-ins available from third party providers such as OpenTable, Skyscanner and Spotify.

Copilot Pro

This premium service costs £19 per user per month ($20) on top of your Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription is aimed at individuals and families (or people that work from themselves) who want to Turbo charge their productivity and use Copilot directly from within their Microsoft 365 apps like Word and Outlook as well getting Premium, faster access to GPT-4, GPT-4 Turbo, along with additional premium features within Microsoft’s Bing image creator and Designer

With Copilot Pro, you get:

  • Priority access to GPT-4 and the newest GPT-4 Turbo features with no performance caps during peak times.
  • The ability to access Microsoft Copilot directly from within Microsoft 365 apps like Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. This can be used to create and re write content directly from the Office apps for content creation, drafting documents and emails, create presentations and summarise data in excel.
  • Premium features and newest features first with DALL-E 3 including ability to create content in landscape format. Subscribers also get more image creation boosts with this rising from 15 to 100 per day with Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator).

How to get Copilot Pro now

You can subscribe to Copilot Pro for $20 \ £19 a month. What is good is the commitment is only one month so can be cancelled at anytime.

Copilot Pro for Individuals.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/b/copilotpro?rtc=1


Word of caution of pricing on Family Subscriptions…

One thing you need to be aware of is how Copilot Pro is licenses for Microsoft 365 Family subscribers. You usually pay your £79 per year for the family subscription which covers up to 6 people with full Office 365, OneDrive etc.

You need to buy a Copilot Pro license for every member of your family you wish to use Copilot Pro. So this is an extra £19 per month for every family member on top of the Family Microsoft 365 subscription.

So my family of 4 that takes a Copilot Pro version of Microsoft 365 Family to over £1,000 a year! We just use a single license!


As a consumer or individual will you be investing in Copilot Pro or is the free version enough for you.