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January 18, 2024

Microsoft’s New Copilot Pro Offers AI in Office Apps and Priority Access

(khunkornStudio/Shutterstock)

Microsoft has launched a paid subscription for Copilot – the tech giant’s umbrella brand for its GenAI technologies. Users can now access a wide range of new features by paying an extra $20 monthly. This includes access to AI-powered Microsoft Office apps like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. In addition, users get priority access to the latest OpenAI model, including the ability to build their own Copilot GPT. 

While Copilot in Office has been available as an enterprise feature for some time, it is now made available to anyone who would like to subscribe. The launch of the paid subscription signals Microsoft’s plan to make Copilot a significant part of its revenue in the future. That is not surprising given the interest shown by Fortune 100 companies in the Microsoft Copilot Early Access Program

Building a GenAI model in the cloud is expensive, so Copilot has a long way to go from being a major expenditure to reliable revenue. However, with the launch of the paid subscription Micorosft aims to broaden the base of potential paying Copilot customers. The AI features will also help make the Office apps more attractive to customers. 

According to Microsoft, the AI-powered oFfice apps offer faster performance and better efficiency. Users of Copilot Pro can use natural language commands in PowerPoint and Excel to design presentations and data visualization, and draft emails using AI in Outlook. One of the new functions of the Copilot is its ability to create a PowerPoint deck based on a Word document.  

“Today we’re announcing the availability of Copilot Pro, a new subscription that delivers the most advanced features and capabilities of Microsoft Copilot to individuals looking to supercharge their Copilot experience. Whether you need advanced help with writing, coding, designing, researching, or learning, Copilot Pro brings greater performance, productivity, and creativity.” wrote Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, in a blog post. 

(Sira-Anamwong/Shuttersteock)

Users can upgrade to Copilot for Microsoft 365 for more advanced features, such as Copilot in Teams, Graph Grounding, and enterprise-grade data protection. This will cost $30 per month. That price may be too steep for small businesses, but only time will tell how they respond to this. The good news is that there is no seat minimum, so businesses of all sizes can use it. 

While the launch of Copilot Pro has been in the limelight, Microsoft has not neglected its free Copilot users, who will now have access to a number of new languages, In addition, they get a free mobile app for Copilot with several new features including the ability to use images on a phone while chatting with Copilot. 

Microsoft, a dominant player in the tech world, has been keen to invest in AI technology. The tech giant is adding a new button to the Windows keyboard to activate the Microsoft AI Copilot. This is the first change in the Windows keyboard in 30 years.

There are plans to launch other AI-powered solutions. The forthcoming Microsoft Copilot GPT Builder will allow users the ability to create customized versions of Copilot. Microsoft has been competing with OpenAI, which has also made several announcements for AI upgrades to its technology and products. We can only assume that the competitive advantage of Copilot GPT Builder will be its Microsoft app-specific integrations. 

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