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May 29, 2024

Microsoft Unveils Major Upgrades to AI Assistant Copilot, Launches $20/month Copilot Pro

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Jan 16, 2024

Microsoft announced several significant updates to its AI-powered productivity assistant Copilot, including a new $20/month premium offering called Copilot Pro aimed at consumers and a major expansion of Copilot’s availability for business users. The moves signal Microsoft’s intent to compete head-on with OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT tool.

Copilot Pro Brings Advanced AI Capabilities to Consumers

The new Copilot Pro subscription service provides consumers with access to more advanced AI functionality from Copilot, including:

  • Faster response times and more capable assistance writing emails, documents, and code
  • Ability for Copilot to explain its reasoning and thought process behind suggestions
  • Custom chatbot creation powered by GPT-4 Turbo, allowing users to train Copilot models for specific domains

At $20 per user per month, Copilot Pro offers consumers an alternative to ChatGPT Plus which costs $42 per month.

“With Copilot Pro we’re bringing the power of large language models to consumers in an approachable way to help them get more out of their day,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Copilot Available to Millions More Business Users

In tandem with the Copilot Pro launch, Microsoft also announced new tiers of its existing Copilot for Microsoft 365 service aimed at business users. Copilot will now be available to Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Enterprise E3 customers with no seat minimums.

This greatly expands the eligible pool of Copilot business users from around 500,000 currently to over 9 million according to Microsoft.

“The expansion emphasizes our commitment to democratize AI and enable every organization to thrive in the AI-driven economy,” stated Jared Spataro, CVP Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Positioning Copilot as ChatGPT Alternative

The timing and nature of these Copilot updates make clear that Microsoft views the service as a direct ChatGPT rival and is moving swiftly to capitalize on the surge of interest in AI chatbot tools.

Some key advantages Microsoft touts with Copilot include:

  • Tighter integration into Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Outlook, and Excel
  • Ability to leverage user context and documents to provide more relevant suggestions
  • Custom chatbot building for specific use cases
  • Ongoing active development from Microsoft engineers

However, ChatGPT retains some advantages like conversational abilities and a massive database trained on far more data.

It remains to be seen if Copilot Pro and the other Copilot updates will be enough for Microsoft to gain an edge over ChatGPT in the red hot AI assistant space. Early reviews seem generally positive though.

What’s Next for Copilot and AI Assistants

With Microsoft and OpenAI engaged in what amounts to an AI arms race, rapid innovation in this area is likely to continue according to experts.

Area Prediction
Capabilities More natural language, common sense reasoning, ability to cite sources/facts, explain conclusions
Integrations Tighter weaving into productivity software, mobile apps, internet services
Accessibility Expanded free tiers, lower cost subscriptions, bundles with existing services
Competition Amazon, Google, IBM, others will accelerate releases to contend
Regulation Calls for guardrails on AI truthfulness, privacy, bias, automation impact

In the next 6-12 months we may see Copilot and its rivals exhibit eerie levels of human-like communication and reasoning. This could profoundly impact how we gather information, make decisions, educate ourselves, and structure our economies.

Policymakers face pressure to wrap guardrails around this AI wild west to address mounting concerns about potential downsides like job losses from automation and the spread of misinformation from chatbots treated as all-knowing oracles.

For now Microsoft is charging full steam ahead, betting that infusing AI throughout knowledge work will prove more empowering than perilous. Copilot Pro and the other updates represent the tech giant’s latest move in a high risk, high reward gambit to own the future of artificial intelligence.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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