New Copilot “Catch up” feature coming this month.

Microsoft recently announced “Catch up” feature coming to Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. Whilst similar functionality can be achieved with your own “custom prompt”, this feature will make it easy for anyone (especially those new to Copilot) to catch up!

This new feature will be available later this month (June) in the Copilot chat within Microsoft Teams or from the web interface at https://copilot.microsoft.com.

Catch up in Teams – Image (c) Microsoft.


This new feature, which is rolling during June and July 2024, brings the following capabilities and benefits.

  • Stay Informed: The ‘Catch up’ tab provides a centralized place for updates on important meetings and documents.
  • Action-Oriented insights: Each update comes with a suggested prompt, enabling users to delve into details and take immediate action.
  • Seamless Integration: Accessible directly within Microsoft 365 and Teams, enhancing productivity without switching contexts.

    This new feature should make it easier for users to stay on top of tasks and collaborations with others, making it another valuable addition for Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Teams users.


Availability of Catch up

The rollout begins late June 2024 and is expected to complete by late July 2024. Users will need a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license to access this feature

Copilot in Excel is getting huge  upgrades as it comes out of preview in June.

Microsoft will be taking Copilot in Excel out of preview next month and are adding a bunch of new and needed features.

The Microsoft 365 Roadmap calls out a key feature (ID: 394275) which will allow users to receive more conversational answers to various Excel-related questions and prompts. This aims to provide less expert Excel users with step by step help on formulas, ability to do more things using natural language and also finally the ability to work on data sets that aren’t confined to being encapsulated in an excel table.

The aim: to emoower everyone to use Excel better whether beginners to more advanced users.

Copilot can assist users in completing tasks by providing helpful steps, including formulas to copy and use. It can also explain formula errors and offer corrected formulas along with additional guidance.

Here’s a breakdown of what can be done with this newer functionality coming to Copilot in Excel:

  • Understand your questions and requests in a more natural way, making it easier to get the help you need and how to perform what you need in excel
  • Be able to answer a broader range of Excel-related questions, not just specific tasks and will also be able to provide clear instructions, including relevant formulas.
  • Help with formula errors by explaining the issue and suggesting corrected formulas with additional guidance.

Microsoft are adding a Copilot for Copilot (well sort of).

Yesterday, (8th May, 24) Microsoft released their 2024 Work Trend Index Report which covered the State of AI at Work (you can see this here) as well as announcing some more improvements coming to Copilot for Microsoft 365 in the coming months.

The new features annouced are all aimed at helping to optimise prompt writing, making it easier for people to get a prompt that does what they need first time (a Copilot for Copilot essentially). These updates will include.

  • Auto-complete for prompts
  • Prompt re-write
  • A new catch up feature
  • Copilot Labs upgrade.

Let dive into these quickly. All. Images (c) Microsoft.

Auto Complete for Prompts

Copilot’s new “autocomplete” feature is similar to what you get in a search engine, where it will anticipate (using Machine Learning) what you are writing and help you to complete your prompt when you start typing one out.

Image (c) Microsoft

The aim here to suggesting more details to ensure you get the intended outcome. It will also offer an expanded library of ‘next prompts’.

This means if you start typing “summarise” then Copilot will display options to summarise the last 10 unread emails and chat messages or other tasks that might be related.

Prompt Rewrite

The “rewrite” feature is something that many image AI tools have had for a while. The aim is to be able to takes a person’s basic prompt rewrite it to me more thorough, “turning everyone into a prompt engineer,” according to the Microsoft.

Image (c) Microsoft

Also known as “elaborate your prompt”, Microsoft say this will be able to rewrite any prompts people create making it much easier to do more complex tasks especially when working with documents or ‘connected apps’.

Copilot Catch-up

Copilot Catch Up aims to start making Copilot more “proactive”. Here the chat interface will be able to presents people with “responsive recommendations” based on their recent activity. As an example, it will be able to notify you about upcoming meetings and suggest ways to help you prepare for that meeting, by bringing a summary of recent email and chat threads, meetings notes and documents write in the chat thread. This feature is also coming into Copilot in Outlook.

This feature brings Copilot more into the realms of good ol Clippy (ok I’m kidding here) but will enable Copilot to start proactively helping rather than waiting for its pilot to issue a command and bring the genie out of its lamp!

The aim is to further integrate Copilot into the user’s workflows. Imagine for example having a morning prompt that tells you about your day, tickets logged via Service Now, or a project that is over running (via Project or Planner) or has  completed early perhaps!

Updates to Copilot Labs

Similar to Microsoft app Prompt Buddy, Microsoft will also start to allow people to create, publish, and manage prompts in Copilot Lab.

Image (c) Microsoft

This will bring new features that that can be tailored for individual teams within businesses. This is aimed to make it a lot easier to share useful prompts for employees, Teams and departments to use.

Will these help adoption?

What do you think about the new updates, will these help remove the dark art of promoting and make Copilot easier to use and faster to help people get the desired results.?

Let me know on the comments..

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.

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.