In March this year, Microsoft first introduced Copilot, a unique tool that uses AI technology to support the development of artificial intelligence for Office productivity programs (such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). At the time, Microsoft asked just 20 corporate customers to take part in the test and gather their opinions on how Copilot worked.
Microsoft’s users almost unanimously agreed that Copilot has the ability to change the way work is done completely. They described it as a major game-changer and began to change their creative process. In addition, they discovered that there are other things we can do, such as providing more conversational, multi-round meetings to help people adapt to this new way of working.
Microsoft today unveiled a new strategy to increase the number of people who can try Copilot. The Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program will initially be available as a paid preview to more than 600 customers. Microsoft is not disclosing pricing for this paid preview.
Since the launch of Microsoft 365 Copilot in March, Microsoft has indicated that other programs, such as OneNote, Viva, and SharePoint, would integrate Copilot AI capabilities. Microsoft also announced today that other applications would support Copilot AI:
- Microsoft Teams meetings and brainstorming sessions will be more innovative and effective thanks to Copilot in Whiteboard. Copilot can be asked in plain language to generate ideas, group ideas into themes, create drafts that highlight concepts, and provide summaries of whiteboard material.
- Users can ask Copilot to generate unique visuals to accompany their material by integrating OpenAI’s DALL-E image generator into PowerPoint.
- To help users compose more successful emails and speak with greater confidence, Copilot in Outlook will offer coaching recommendations and guidance on clarity, emotion, and tone.
- To help users quickly find what they need, Copilot in OneNote will use prompts to create plans, generate ideas, create lists, and organize information.
- By instantly summarising everything on your Loop page, Copilot keeps your team in the loop so everyone is on the same page and can contribute efficiently.
- Using Copilot, which uses a natural language chat interface in Viva Learning, users can create skill development paths, find relevant learning resources, and schedule time for targeted training.
In addition, Copilot’s semantic indexing capabilities will be available to all Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers. Even if an organization doesn’t use Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft says this functionality will create a searchable user and enterprise data map for that organization. For example, when searching for “March sales report”, it doesn’t just search for files with those phrases in the filename or content. Instead, it recognizes that “Kelly created the sales report from the finance team using Excel” and uses this conceptual knowledge to determine the user’s purpose and guide them to what they need.