The AI assistant will launch across Microsoft products, from 365 to Windows, and includes a prompt writing tool.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available for business and enterprise users globally on November 1, Microsoft announced yesterday. The AI assistant can draw information from across Bing, Edge, Microsoft 365 and Windows and interpret text, images and video. Interestingly, Microsoft 365 Copilot will include a tutorial called Copilot Lab, which is a prompt-building and sharing application.
Copilot will technically first roll out in Windows on Sept. 26 as Microsoft Copilot with the next Windows 11 update. The November 1 general availability will be separately branded as Microsoft 365 Copilot.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will cost $30 per user per month for enterprise accounts, the tech giant revealed during a presentation on Sept. 21.
Microsoft 365 Copilot unifies the generative AI assistant across applications
Microsoft 365 Copilot comes packaged with Microsoft 365 Chat, Microsoft announced on Sept. 21. Microsoft 365 Chat enables the AI to trawl across a wide range of work documents — emails, meeting notes and Teams chats — to draw connections and integrate data from multiple sources. Microsoft 365 Copilot touches all of the 365 applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams.
“Microsoft’s announcement of the unified Copilot experience lays the groundwork for the cohesive, consistent experiences promised by generative AI,” said Forrester Senior Analyst Rowan Curran in an email to TechRepublic. “Generative AI is only as powerful as the data and systems it connects. By linking the Copilot experience across all its different products, Microsoft is beginning to enable this.”
Microsoft Copilot can compose emails and text messages and create, edit and interpret images or video. Colette Stallbaumer, general manager of Microsoft 365, demonstrated using Microsoft 365 Copilot and a plugin to match her travel plans with the travel plans of other people from her company that had been shared internally.
Microsoft Copilot runs on OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 model. Its primary competition is Google’s Duet AI.
SEE: 6 free alternatives to Microsoft Word in 2023 (TechRepublic)
Copilot Lab teaches the basics of prompt engineering
Many employees still need help understanding generative AI, said Curran. Microsoft addresses this need with Copilot Lab, which offers a library of suggested prompts, quick tips for writing more specific prompts for better results and a built-in feature for sharing prompts with coworkers.
SEE: Hiring kit: Prompt engineer (TechRepublic Premium)
Microsoft says Copilot Lab is a way to “build new work habits for a new AI-powered era of productivity,” according to the company’s press release. Copilot is an interesting acknowledgement that not everyone knows how to use generative AI or has ideas for what they could use it for.
“People are incredibly enthusiastic about using generative AI, but most people need help understanding its limits, risks, guardrails and customizations to help them leverage the technology’s maximum impact in their work and personal lives,” Curran said.