Just a month after announcing artificial intelligence integration with its search engine Bing and browser Edge, Microsoft is introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot, a tool that’ll work with you in its collection of apps including Excel, PowerPoint, Word and more. The tech giant said the new AI features, dubbed Copilot, will do things like automatically generate first drafts, create presentations based on prompts, and summarize long email threads.
The Copilot, powered by GPT-4 from OpenAI, will sit alongside Microsoft 365 apps much like an assistant, appearing in the sidebar as a chatbot that allows Office users to summon it to generate text in documents, create PowerPoint presentations based on Word documents, or even help use features like PivotTables in Excel.
“Copilot gives you a first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time. Sometimes Copilot will be right, other times usefully wrong — but it will always put you further ahead,” Jared Spataro, an executive vice president at Microsoft, wrote of how the tool will work in Word.
Microsoft 365 Copilot transforms work in three ways:
Unleash creativity: With Copilot in Word, you can jump-start the creative process so you never start with a blank slate again. Copilot gives you a first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time. Sometimes Copilot will be right, other times usefully wrong — but it will always put you further ahead. You’re always in control as the author, driving your unique ideas forward, prompting Copilot to shorten, rewrite or give feedback. Copilot in PowerPoint helps you create beautiful presentations with a simple prompt, adding relevant content from a document you made last week or last year. And with Copilot in Excel, you can analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations in seconds.
Unlock productivity: We all want to focus on the 20% of our work that really matters, but 80% of our time is consumed with busywork that bogs us down. Copilot lightens the load. From summarizing long email threads to quickly drafting suggested replies, Copilot in Outlook helps you clear your inbox in minutes, not hours. And every meeting is a productive meeting with Copilot in Teams. It can summarize key discussion points — including who said what and where people are aligned and where they disagree — and suggest action items, all in real time during a meeting. And with Copilot in Power Platform, anyone can automate repetitive tasks, create chatbots and go from idea to working app in minutes.
Uplevel skills: Copilot makes you better at what you’re good at and lets you quickly master what you’ve yet to learn. The average person uses only a handful of commands — such as “animate a slide” or “insert a table” — from the thousands available across Microsoft 365. Now, all that rich functionality is unlocked using just natural language. And this is only the beginning.
Microsoft 365 Copilot is currently being tested by 20 partners, including eight in Fortune 500 enterprises. It’ll be available more broadly in the coming months, Microsoft said in a separate blog post. However, the company didn’t mention when individual Microsoft 365 subscribers would be able to use the features. The company will “share more on pricing and licensing soon,” suggesting the feature may be a paid add-on in addition to the cost of a Microsoft 365 subscription.