Microsoft Unveils Copilot Pro: AI-Powered Office Features for Consumers and Business Expansion

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Microsoft initially introduced its AI-powered Office features for businesses in November. Surprisingly, just two months later, the company has extended access to consumers. Today marks the launch of Copilot Pro, available through a $20 monthly subscription. This subscription provides users with AI-powered features within Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Additionally, subscribers receive priority access to the latest OpenAI models and the capability to construct their own Copilot GPT.

For existing Microsoft 365 Personal or Home subscribers, an extra $20 per month (per person) unlocks Copilot in Office apps on Mac, Windows, and iPad. Noteworthy features encompass the ability to generate entire PowerPoint slide decks from chatbot-like prompts. Inline Copilot experiences in Word facilitate tasks like paraphrasing paragraphs, generating text, and summarizing documents. Copilot also integrates into Outlook.com to assist with email responses and creation, with a preview version available in Excel for data analysis, graph generation, and more.

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While many features available to businesses are now accessible to consumers, one exception is the ability to summon Copilot to generate a PowerPoint deck based on a Word document. This particular functionality is not yet available in the consumer version due to the absence of Microsoft’s Graph technology.

Beyond Office integration, Copilot Pro provides access to the latest OpenAI models, enhancements to the Image Creator from Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator), and the option to build a personalized Copilot GPT.

For non-Microsoft 365 subscribers, a subscription to Copilot Pro offers priority access to GPT-4 Turbo inside Copilot. This ensures faster performance during peak times and the ability to switch between models. Copilot Pro also promises improved image creation using OpenAI’s DALL-E models, featuring a new landscape image format and enhanced image quality.

Microsoft targets Copilot Pro at its power users, aligning with OpenAI’s approach of offering priority access and the latest models through a subscription. Divya Kumar, global head of marketing for search and AI at Microsoft, emphasizes the demand for rapid access to the latest models, faster performance, and creative tools among power users.

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Microsoft Unveils Copilot Pro: AI-Powered Office Features for Consumers and Business Expansion 1
Copilot Pro enables AI-powered features in a bunch of Office apps. Image: Microsoft

While enticing for power users, it’s crucial to note that Office-related Copilot features are accessible across the web and in Office apps only through subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal or Family. All Copilot Pro features are available on the web, Windows or Mac apps, and mobile devices. Microsoft promises ongoing enhancements to Copilot Pro, following the pattern of continuous improvement observed in Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) over the past year.

Kumar hints at Microsoft’s commitment to delivering additional premium value with Copilot Pro, emphasizing the company’s intent to rapidly introduce new features and functionalities. In a metaphorical nod to Microsoft’s relentless AI advancements, she describes this approach as a “rolling thunder.”

Simultaneously, Microsoft expands Copilot for Microsoft 365 to more businesses by eliminating the 300-seat minimum requirement. Most business customers can now sign up for a $30 per user, per month subscription. Additional details on this offering are available elsewhere.

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