Last January, Microsoft announced a new investment with OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT. With that investment, they promised to bring AI-powered features into all Microsoft products. This fall, the company takes a huge step forward with the general release of Microsoft 365 Copilot, along with Microsoft Copilot for Windows and Bing Chat for Enterprise.
Sorting out the differences among the various Microsoft AI assistants can prove a little challenging. All these assistants do two important things. First, they integrate with other Microsoft services and apps to ease menial tasks and help users create and research better and faster. Second, they interact with users via normal conversation to help them do new things.
Beyond the basics, Copilot for Windows, Bing Chat for Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Copilot target different audiences and different needs.
Microsoft Copilot in Windows
Beginning in September, Microsoft began rolling out Copilot for Windows to all its Windows 11 customers for free. Available from the Windows taskbar and within Microsoft Edge, Copilot helps users complete tasks within the Windows operating system and Windows apps. The interface looks similar to the free version of Bing Chat, but it offers more capabilities.
A user might ask Copilot to change a specific PC setting, to summarize a web page, or to generate content. With the user’s permission, Copilot will use Microsoft Edge content to create and to complete tasks. For example, a traveler might ask Copilot to create a table comparing the five top hotels in the city they plan to visit.
Like Bing Chat, Copilot works well as a creative assistant. In addition to summarizing web content, it can also generate both text and images. It will adjust content based on the requested tone and length, from a short, professional email to a long, informational blog post.
Bing Chat for Enterprise
Bing Chat for Enterprise takes Copilot for Windows to a more secure level. While Copilot for Windows sends chat data out into the wild, Bing Chat for Enterprise adds commercial data protection. User and business data do not leave the organization. Microsoft also has no access to the chat data. Nor will it use the chat data to train underlying models.
The following Microsoft 365 versions will include Bing Chat for Enterprise at no extra cost: E3, E5, A5 for faculty, Business Standard, and Business Premium. Customers can also purchase Bing Chat for Enterprise as a standalone product for $5 per user per month.
Microsoft 365 Copilot
Microsoft 365 Copilot combines the capabilities of large language models (LLMs) with the organization’s data to offer a powerful productivity tool. And it integrates tightly with popular Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and Outlook.
For example, in Outlook, Copilot saves time by summarizing long email conversations or matching the user’s unique writing style to draft a detailed email. It can also help teams run more effective meetings by bringing latecomers quickly up to speed, summarizing main points, and creating action items.
Perhaps most impressively, Microsoft 365 Copilot works across all the organization’s data and applications. For example, the user can prompt Copilot to create a table of pros and cons based on a specific topic discussed in recent emails, meetings, documents, and chats. Or it can create a PowerPoint presentation for an existing customer outlining a new product line.
Like Bing Chat for Enterprise, Microsoft 365 Copilot takes a security-first approach, providing enterprise-level security, privacy, and compliance. These impressive capabilities come at a price. Microsoft 365 Copilot requires a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license, as well as an additional Microsoft 365 Copilot subscription for $30 per user per month.
Unlock Copilot Benefits with Careful Implementation
Microsoft 365 Copilot promises to deliver significant business benefits, from jump-starting projects to almost instantly compiling relevant data from across the enterprise. But, as with any AI tool, organizations need to use it wisely. If the internal data used to train the AI platform is incomplete or incorrect, the results will prove faulty and misleading.
To guard against these AI pitfalls, organizations need to carefully monitor the data Copilot accesses. For instance, if Copilot cannot access pertinent data behind a firewall, it may generate suggestions based on incomplete data. Likewise, if it includes brainstorming documents and unmoderated meeting notes with questionable data, it may come to faulty conclusions.
When leveraging the power of Copilot and other AI-powered tools, organizations will benefit from information governance best practices and comprehensive training. As an award-winning Microsoft Partner, eMazzanti Technologies can help your organization optimize your use of Microsoft 365 Copilot and other AI-powered features.
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