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Microsoft Copilot Is Now Available to Everyone

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Every individual and business now has access to Microsoft Copilot.

That's thanks to a couple of big announcements from the company.

First, Microsoft has released Microsoft Copilot Pro, a new subscription tier for individuals and creators. This gives you a generative AI assistant right within Microsoft 365 apps. That means AI can now do things like:

  • Generate entire PowerPoint decks using only text prompts… 
  • Write and rewrite content automatically in Word…
  • Write and reply to emails automatically in Outlook…
  • And start analyzing data and generating graphs in Excel.

Microsoft Copilot Pro costs $20 per month, and you can turn it on right within your existing Microsoft 365 Personal or Family account.

Second, Microsoft announced that it's opening up access to Copilot for Microsoft 365, its business license, to companies of all sizes. Previously, you had to purchase a minimum of 300 seats to get Copilot access for your company.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a generative AI assistant that is like a supercharged version of Copilot Pro, and it’s designed specifically for businesses. It works alongside you and your team in all the top Microsoft 365 apps you use every day, including Microsoft Teams, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel. Copilot for Microsoft 365 licenses start at $30 per user per month and, importantly, require an annual commitment.

For many businesses, the price is worth it. According to research from Microsoft:

  • 77% of Copilot for Microsoft 365 users say that once they start using it, they don't want to give it up… 
  • 70% say it makes them more productive…
  • And 68% say it improves the quality of their work.

(Heck, Microsoft is so confident in Copilot that they're now even shipping new Windows PC models with a new Copilot key—the first significant change to the Windows keyboard in 30 years.)

If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can also add on a Microsoft Copilot Studio license for an extra $200 per month. This gives you the ability to customize how Copilot works (especially useful in regulated industries) and create your own custom copilots and AI chatbots for your specific needs.

Now, this all gets confusing quick—and Microsoft doesn't help. (It's constantly changing the names of products and subscription tiers.) Here are a few points to remember to clear up any confusion as you evaluate if Copilot is right for you or your business:

  • Microsoft is using the Copilot branding across Bing, Microsoft Edge, and Windows Copilot capabilities. Bing Chat, which is a ChatGPT-like interface in Microsoft's search engine, is now simply called Copilot. (So is Bing Chat Enterprise.) Copilot is now the unified brand and tool that uses AI to do different things in each Microsoft 365 app and Microsoft product.
  • Microsoft Copilot Pro is the individual personal license for Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps.
  • Copilot for Microsoft 365 is the corporate license for Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps. Microsoft Copilot Studio is an add-on for this license.

Clear? Alright, now that's out of the way, let's talk about how this impacts you…

Why should you pay attention to these recent Copilot announcements? What do they mean for your work and business?

On Episode 80 of The Marketing AI Show, I got the answers from Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer.

Copilot Access for Everyone Is a Big Deal

“The biggest news here is really that they democratized Copilot for everybody else that isn't a big enterprise,” says Roetzer.

If you're an individual user, you can now get Copilot Pro. If you're a small or medium-sized business under 300 seats, you can go get Copilot for Microsoft 365. 

And this timing likely isn't accidental. It comes right on the heels of OpenAI's release of ChatGPT Team subscriptions, which target companies that need under 150 seats for ChatGPT.

AI for Spreadsheets and Presentations Could Be Huge

Roetzer says that Copilot for Excel and PowerPoint is particularly interesting. We all understand how an AI assistant can create, edit, and summarize text within Microsoft Word or other writing applications like Google Docs. 

“But I think a lot of people don't realize what capabilities are going to be within spreadsheets,” he says. “And a lot of marketers, a lot of business people, spend a lot of time in Excel and Google Sheets.”

The reality is that many professionals just hack their way through spreadsheet work. Most don't ever really take the time to become adept power users. So, there are likely tons of efficiencies to be gained by having a natural language AI chatbot to assist you in formatting, analyzing, and interpreting data right within spreadsheets. The same goes for presentations. None of us love spending hours in PowerPoint, but it's necessary to do all sorts of knowledge work.

This is all low-hanging fruit:

You don't have to go from 0 to 100 using Copilot in spreadsheets or slide decks. Incremental gains will lead to massive efficiencies. Even having an AI assistant do 50-60% of the work is huge, says Roetzer.

“Maybe the presentation design isn't beautiful. Maybe you need to go in and edit all the notes. But maybe you say yourself two hours just getting the information in there. Or maybe it does an initial analysis of a dataset that saves you two, three, four hours—or does the work you would have had to get someone else in your company to help you with," he says.

“That can be transformational even without being insanely high-quality AI.”

But There’s No Clear Killer AI App Just Yet

So, is Copilot the killer AI app? Can you get rid of all your other AI tools and subscriptions? Can you start consolidating your AI stack?

It's too early to tell, says Roetzer. 

It’s true that many tools have overlapping capabilities. But models improve so quickly and innovation happens so fast that leading tools are constantly one-upping each other. That makes it essential to test many tools regularly for your core business use cases, he says.

“2024 is going to be a big year of experimenting with a collection of tools. Because it's just going to keep evolving. And a lot of companies and leaders I've talked to aren't ready to commit to a single platform for the next 12 months.”

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