What is Microsoft Copilot? All You Need to Know

by | AI

Ready for your copilot?

In a world where technology continues to redefine the boundaries of productivity and efficiency, Microsoft Copilot emerges as the transformative AI companion that promises to reshape the way we work and interact with our digital universe.

But what exactly is this Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot, which will be officially released on November 1st 2023, is an AI companion designed to work across all Microsoft applications and experiences, including Microsoft 365, Windows 11, Edge, and Bing.

With Copilot, your productivity can be enhanced as it leverages large language models (LLMs) and integrates with enterprise data generated by the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 applications.

This article will reveal to you the fascinating world of Copilot, unveiling its capabilities, integration, and the reassurance of privacy and security it offers in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

By incorporating the context and intelligence of the web, Copilot enables you to focus on your objectives, simplifies your work, and helps you navigate complex tasks with ease.

Prepare to be impressed as we show you the ins and outs of this new innovation.

what is microsoft copilot

Understanding Microsoft Copilot

Imagine a virtual partner that not only streamlines your tasks but also anticipates your needs, seamlessly weaving itself into the fabric of Microsoft’s ecosystem.

This revolutionary AI marvel, known as Microsoft Copilot, is here to do just that and more.

In March 2023 Microsoft announced that it will be creating a single Copilot user experience across Bing, Edge, Microsoft 365, and Windows 11. 

As a first step toward realizing this vision, Microsoft unveiled a new visual identity — the Copilot icon — and is creating a consistent user experience that has already started rolling out across all Copilots.

Copilot as an AI assistant

This unified AI experience works across Bing, Windows 11, Microsoft 365, Edge, and more.

This next-generation AI assistant can help you with virtually every aspect of your work and life.

The Copilot system is powered by large language models, which are a type of artificial intelligence that is trained on massive amounts of text and code.

Access business chat, one of its key features, allows Copilot to understand and generate human language.

It can translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and even answer your questions in an informative way.

Copilot is still under development, but it has already learned to perform many kinds of tasks, including:

  • Writing different kinds of creative content, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, emails, letters, etc.
  • Answering your questions in a comprehensive and informative way, even if they are open-ended, challenging, or strange.
  • Translating languages
  • Generating different creative text formats of text content

Copilot is integrated with all of your favorite Microsoft apps in the Microsoft ecosystem. This means that you can access Copilot’s help from anywhere you are working, and you can use it to assist you with a wide range of tasks.

Now let’s talk more about the benefits of this powerful productivity AI tool.

Benefits of using Microsoft Copilot

Benefits of using Copilot

This AI Copilot is your comprehensive AI assistant, seamlessly integrated into your preferred Microsoft tools and services.

When you harness the power of Copilot, you gain access to a plethora of benefits that can significantly elevate your efficiency and effectiveness.

These benefits include:

  1. Increased Productivity: Copilot simplifies your life by automating repetitive tasks and offering invaluable assistance with complex endeavors.
    Whether you’re drafting emails, generating reports, managing your schedule, or managing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, Copilot can unlock productivity and save you time.
  2. Improved Creativity: Need a fresh perspective? Copilot is your source of creative inspiration. It provides you with new ideas and innovative outlooks to enhance your content, product designs, and problem-solving capabilities. Your creativity can flourish with Copilot’s support.
  3. Enhanced Learning: Whether you’re aiming to acquire new skills or deepen existing ones, Copilot offers access to a wealth of information and resources. From learning a new language to refining your writing skills or mastering a software program, Copilot is your learning companion.
  4. Better Collaboration: Effective collaboration is at your fingertips with Copilot. It equips you with tools to seamlessly share information and collaborate on projects. You can translate documents in real-time, generate video captions, and establish shared workspaces, facilitating collaborative endeavors.
  5. Strong Data Security and Compliance: Copilot is built on a foundation of enterprise-grade security, benefiting from the extensive experience and infrastructure of Azure OpenAI Service.
    This AI tool implements robust safety measures, including encryption and strict access controls. This way, your data remains protected both in transit and at rest.
    When it comes to compliance, Copilot adheres to existing privacy, security, and regulatory commitments for Microsoft 365 commercial customers.

Copilot is your gateway to achieving more in all facets of your work and life.

Its user-friendly interface is readily available across your preferred Microsoft products and services, making it an indispensable tool for realizing your full potential.

Microsoft Copilot’s Integration in the Microsoft Ecosystem

Copilot is deeply integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem, including Bing, Windows 11, Microsoft 365, Edge, and more.

This integration, which will officially be released to enterprise users on November 1st 2023, allows Copilot to provide users with a seamless and consistent experience across all of their Microsoft products and services.

1. Bing & Bing Enterprise

Bing Copilot

Copilot is integrated with Bing to provide users with access to a vast amount of information and knowledge.

For example, users can ask Copilot to summarize a news article, translate a document into another language, or find information on a specific topic.

Copilot can also use Bing to generate creative content, such as poems, code, and scripts.

Additionally, Bing Chat Enterprise is a new AI-powered chat service that builds on Copilot and adds commercial data protection.

With Bing Chat Enterprise, chat data is not saved, Microsoft has no eyes-on access, and your data is not used to train the large language model (LLM). This makes Bing Chat Enterprise the perfect choice for organizations that need to protect their sensitive data.

2. Windows 11

Windows 11 Copilot

Copilot will be integrated with Windows 11 in a number of ways.

For example, Copilot can be used to generate captions for videos and translate text in real-time. Copilot can also be used to search the web and open files and applications.

3. Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 Copilot

Copilot is deeply integrated with Microsoft 365 and this integration allows Copilot to provide users with assistance with a wide range of tasks across its various apps including:

  • Word: Copilot can help generate ideas, rewrite sentences, and improve the overall quality of your Word document.
  • Excel: With Copilot, you can process data more effectively by simplifying complex formulas or generating insights from your data.
  • PowerPoint: Improve your PowerPoint presentation with creative suggestions, data visualization, speaker notes, and formatting ideas.
  • Microsoft Teams: Copilot can help draft comprehensive meeting notes, generate responses to messages, or suggest talking points.

4. Microsoft Edge

Copilot is integrated with Edge to provide users with a more intelligent and personalized browsing experience.

For example, Copilot can be used to summarize web pages, translate text, and find related information.

Copilot can also be used to generate creative content, such as poems, code, and scripts.

5. Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 Copilot

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot brings the power of next-generation AI capabilities and natural language processing to your Dynamics 365 environment.

It helps you to create ideas and content faster, complete time-consuming tasks, and get insights simply by describing what’s needed.

It can be connected to CRM systems like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, increasing your productivity and enhancing personalized customer interactions.

6. Power Platform

Similarly, Copilot integrates with the Microsoft Power Platform and its apps including Power BI, to deliver a new way of generating ideas and content drafts while accessing and organizing information across your business.

This integration allows you to work with domain-specific context for Copilot prompts, incorporating information from sources like manuals, documents, and other data within your organization.

With the Power Platform’s flexibility, you can create custom solutions or extend Copilot capabilities to other apps, boosting agility and innovation in your workflow.

The integration of Copilot with the Microsoft ecosystem provides users with a powerful and seamless experience.

Copilot can be used to assist with a wide range of tasks, from simple to complex, and it can be accessed from all of the Microsoft products and services that you use on a daily basis.

How to Access Copilot

Accessing Microsoft Copilot

To access Copilot, you will need a Microsoft account.

Once you have a Microsoft account, you can access Copilot in a number of ways:

  • Microsoft 365: To access Microsoft 365 Copilot, you can follow the steps below:
    1. Go to the Microsoft 365 Copilot website.
    2. Click on the “Request access” button on the homepage.
    3. Sign in to your Microsoft account.
    4. Fill out the request form with your information, including your name, email address, organization name, and why you’re interested in using Microsoft 365 Copilot.
    Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available for enterprise customers for $30 per user per month starting from November 1, 2023.
  • Edge: Copilot is integrated with Edge to provide users with a more intelligent and personalized browsing experience. To access Copilot in Edge, simply click the Copilot icon in the top right corner of the Edge browser window.
  • Windows 11: To access Copilot in Windows 11, look for the Copilot icon in the taskbar or simply press the Win + C keyboard shortcut. Copilot is available in Windows 11 free of charge to commercial customers.
  • Bing: Copilot is integrated with Bing to provide users with access to a vast amount of information and knowledge.
    To access Copilot in Bing, simply type a query into the search bar and click the Copilot icon that appears next to the results.
    To access Copilot services integrated into Bing Chat Enterprise, buy Bing Chat Enterprise as a standalone for $5 per user per month or as part of the Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 E5 subscription plan.

While still under development, Copilot is already a powerful tool that can help you save time and be more productive.

The Future of Microsoft Copilot

As you explore the potential of Copilot, it’s important to consider how this AI-powered companion can impact the future of your digital experiences.

Copilot is designed to streamline your daily tasks and enhance collaboration across various Microsoft applications, promoting innovation and efficiency in both personal and professional settings.

Furthermore, Copilot’s cross-application functionality aims to foster a seamless experience for users, making it easier to navigate through Microsoft’s suite of tools. This convenience factor positions Copilot as a significant player in driving innovation within the Microsoft ecosystem.

As advancements are made, you may see more third-party applications integrating with Copilot to expand its reach and utility and bring it closer to being the most powerful productivity tool in the Microsoft offering.

Explore Microsoft’s AI advancements and how they are shaping the future of data tech in the video below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Microsoft Copilot available for Excel?

Yes, Copilot is available for Excel. To enable the new Copilot in Microsoft Excel, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Press Win + R on the keyboard.
  2. Type regedit in the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Registry editor.
  3. In the Registry editor, go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\ExperimentConfigs\ExternalFeatureOverrides\excel key.
  4. Right-click the Excel key, select the New menu, and select the String Value option.
  5. Name the key Microsoft.Office.Excel.Copilot and press Enter.
  6. Double-click the newly created key and set its value to true to enable Copilot.

Once enabled, you can ask Copilot questions about your data set in natural language, not just formulas. It will reveal insights and help you analyze and explore your data.

What does Copilot offer for Word users?

For Word users, Copilot works to help you generate draft content, summarize information, and answer questions based on your business data.

It synthesizes information from documents, emails, and messages to assist you in creating and editing documents more efficiently.

Is there a free version of Copilot?

As of now, there is no free version of Copilot available. 

However, Microsoft has announced that it will be generally available for enterprise customers for $30 per user per month starting from November 1, 2023.

Is Copilot included in Microsoft 365 subscriptions?

No. Copilot is available for an additional cost of $30 per user/month above your Microsoft 365 subscription. Once paid, you will then be able to access Copilot in various 365 apps including Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, and more.

author avatar
Sam McKay, CFA
Sam is Enterprise DNA's CEO & Founder. He helps individuals and organizations develop data driven cultures and create enterprise value by delivering business intelligence training and education.

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