In the fast-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, Microsoft’s Copilot has emerged as a significant player, challenging the likes of Google’s “Bard” bot. While Bard relies on a proprietary LLM, Copilot distinguishes itself by operating on the same models as ChatGPT, even providing users with free access to GPT-4, a feature that comes with a price tag for ChatGPT users.
Previously, Copilot’s prowess was primarily leveraged by business users. However, the latest development has opened the doors for the general consumer market with the introduction of “Copilot Pro.” The defining feature of Copilot Pro is its integration with Microsoft 365 apps, expanding its reach beyond business users and into the daily lives of consumers.
Unleashing Copilot Pro in Microsoft 365 Apps
Copilot Pro is set to revolutionize the way users interact with Microsoft’s suite of applications. Initially available on Windows, Mac, and iPad, its presence will soon extend to iPhone and Android devices. This expansion allows users to seamlessly integrate AI assistance into their workflow across various Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel (currently in preview), PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote (Windows only).
The applications within the Microsoft Office suite now become a playground for Copilot Pro’s capabilities. Users can instruct Copilot to craft a proposal in Word using meeting notes from OneNote and a client document, request the AI bot to analyse spreadsheet data and identify specific trends, or streamline their email management in Outlook with Copilot’s prioritization suggestions. Microsoft envisions numerous use cases for Copilot Pro in 365 apps, providing a glimpse of the future of AI-enhanced productivity.
While the features themselves are not ground breaking news, having been announced in March of the previous year and accessible to business users since November, it marks the first time that general consumers can experience the AI tools seamlessly blending into both their professional and personal realms.
Enhanced Efficiency with Copilot Pro
Copilot Pro not only introduces AI-powered Office experiences but also offers enhanced efficiency compared to its free version. Subscribers gain priority access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo during peak times, ensuring uninterrupted use of the more advanced language models even when demand is at its highest.
Moreover, Copilot Pro subscribers receive access to DALL-E 3 through Designer (formerly known as Bing Image Creator), now including landscape images alongside portrait options. The boost allowance also sees a substantial increase, from 15 to 100, providing users with more opportunities to prioritize image generation requests. Similar to a ChatGPT Plus subscription, Copilot Pro subscribers can also create their own Copilot GPTs, offering a personalized AI assistant tailored to their specific needs.
The Cost of Going Pro
While the benefits of Copilot Pro are enticing, it comes at a price. Microsoft has set the monthly subscription fee for Copilot Pro at $20. However, this does not include access to Microsoft 365 and its suite of apps. To leverage Copilot in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others, users must separately subscribe to Microsoft 365, incurring an additional cost of $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year for individuals.
Factoring in the Microsoft 365 subscription, the total cost for Copilot Pro users hovers between $25.83 and $26.99 per month. Family plan subscribers face a slightly more complex scenario, as Copilot Pro only offers individual subscriptions. Consequently, each member of a Microsoft 365 family plan would need to pay $20 per month for Copilot Pro access.
As Microsoft makes strides in bringing AI seamlessly into the lives of everyday users, Copilot Pro stands as a testament to the integration of cutting-edge technology into familiar productivity tools. While the cost may raise eyebrows for some, the enhanced features and convenience offered by Copilot Pro could prove to be a game-changer for those looking to elevate their Microsoft 365 experience to new heights.