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When is Microsoft Copilot Available, How to Get It and Where to Get it

Microsoft 365 Copilot works within the Microsoft 365 apps using generative artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) to help end users create or refine text and images more quickly. The AI-powered assistant was announced on March 16, 2023, and demonstrated at Enterprise Connect 2023 on March 28, 2023.

A Brief Overview of Microsoft Copilot

The intent behind Copilot is to streamline or kickstart routine knowledge-based commonly done by people. This Microsoft Copilot site provides examples of what using Copilot looks like in each of the company’s popular software tools.

For example, used within Word Copilot helps users quickly compose or edit text on a particular topic. In Outlook, users can have Copilot draft an email. In PowerPoint, Copilot can create a complete presentation, including text and images, based on the content in other documents. Copilot in Excel can create complex formulas based on a description of what users are trying to accomplish, it can analyze data sets and comment on specific trends it discovers. In Teams, Copilot can summarize information from a long Teams chat thread and summarize Teams VoIP and PSTN calls. Copilot in Whiteboard can also be used in Microsoft Teams. In OneNote, Copilot will enable users to use prompts to draft plans, generate ideas, create lists and organize information.

Microsoft has created specific versions of Copilot, some of which require separate licensing:

  • Copilotfor GitHub is focused on helping professional software developers accelerate development. This Requires an organization or enterprise GitHub account and a separate license (starting at $19/user/month).
  • Copilotin Power Automate assists in creating automated workflows using natural language. It is currently in preview.
  • Microsoft SalesCopilot is designed to help sales professionals streamline selling processes and CRM updates. Note that Viva Sales was rebranded as Microsoft Sales Copilot in July 2023. Microsoft previously announced that Copilot will be previewing later this year in Viva Glint, Viva Goals, Viva Engage, and Viva Topics. Some Viva features require additional licensing.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365Copilot which brings AI to both CRM and ERP and may or may not overlap what is now called Microsoft Sales Copilot.
  • Copilot for Windows provides AI capabilities directly in the operating system. This version of Copilot is powered by Bing AI, which uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 and Microsoft Edge WebView. Copilot runs inside the Edge browser but it uses Windows 11 APIs to interact with the operating system and applications.

Microsoft Copilot is designed to become part of users’ daily workflow and therefore help them fly through their tasks by helping them accomplish routine, rote tasks more quickly and efficiently. Microsoft Copilot, and similar tools from other vendors, may also help elevate many collaboration tasks from pushing buttons to driving business outcomes.

When is Microsoft 365 Copilot Available?

Microsoft announced that Copilot will begin rolling out as part of the company’s free update to Windows 11, starting Sept. 26 — and across Bing, Edge, and Microsoft 365 Copilot this fall. Microsoft 365 Copilot will be generally available for enterprise customers on Nov. 1, 2023.

How much will Microsoft Copilot Cost?

At the Microsoft Inspire 2023 conference, the company revealed that the cost for Copilot’s productivity enhancement will be $30/user/month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers. Note that Microsoft has imposed a minimum order of 300 seats on Copilot subscriptions, per a Microsoft Community post. 

Teams Premium license is currently required in order to enable Teams post-meeting recaps, which Microsoft calls intelligent meeting recap. This requirement may be rationalized and included as part of the Microsoft 365 Copilot licensing. 

Some versions of “Copilot” are available for free: in Windows 11 and within Bing and Edge (Microsoft’s search engine and browser, respectively). Whether or not these versions will remain free is not known.

How to Get Microsoft 365 Copilot

The only way to get Microsoft 365 Copilot, which is for enterprise users of the Microsoft 365 Productivity suite, is to purchase a Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers. As mentioned, other versions of “Copilot” are available for free: in Windows 11 and within Bing and Edge (Microsoft’s search engine and browser, respectively).

While the release date of Microsoft Copilot is still some months away, the benefits of the tool seem clear and customer expectations are building up, particularly with the inclusion of AI and LLM tools in platforms from other vendors such as Zoom, Google and Cisco Webex.

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