Written by Rob Quickenden
Cisilion’s Chief Technology Officer
Microsoft has announced their revised vision for Copilot – “a digital companion for your whole life” – available in November 2023! Microsoft says this Copilot will create a single Copilot user experience across Bing, Edge, Microsoft 365, and Windows (plus more services that will come later). There’s also a new logo!
The Copilot experience promises to be consistent across all platforms and products – Microsoft 365, Bing, and Windows 11.
You can read the full blog from Microsoft here, but in summary here’s all the goodness that was announced.
1. Microsoft Copilot in Windows
This has been in preview with Windows Insiders for a while and is essentially the new and revamped Cortana – okay, it’s far more than that – and will be nested into Windows 11 from September 26, 2023.
- Windows Copilot will be embedded into Windows 11 and will bring generative AI, search, and the ability to control apps and services within your desktop environment.
- Currently in preview – will start rolling out starting from September 26 as part of 2023 H2.
- Windows Copilot will also support third–party apps like Spotify and Adobe.
2. Microsoft 365 Copilot
Described by Microsoft as “your AI assistant at work”, this was initially announced back in March as being in a closed invite-only Early Access Preview since June.
Microsoft 365 builds include enterprise-grade security, privacy, compliance, and responsible AI to ensure all data processing happens inside your Microsoft 365 tenant—using which will be natively built into the Microsoft 365 apps and services everyone already uses like Teams, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
- This will be available for enterprise customers for $30 per user per month
- It requires a base license of Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, or Premium
- It will be available from November 1st to purchase
- Includes the new Microsoft 365 Chat (formally Business Chat).
- Rollout will be staggered – with release first to EA customers who were on the Early Access Programme and then will be available in phases thereafter.
Note: Whilst this is great – IMO it’s a little too soon – about 4 months sooner than most expected). You do need to ensure your data lifecycle, governance, compliance, and security are in top shape to get the most from Copilot in Microsoft and there are strong recommendations about getting Copilot Ready – I have covered this here previously.
This is an area I’m working on a lot with my clients at the moment – helping with use cases, data preparation, training, awareness, security, and governance.
3. Bing Chat Enterprise
This has been in public preview for a couple of months for Commercial and Education customers and is the same as Bing Chat for consumers (which is also free) but brings commercial data protection for AI.
- This is available free for Microsoft 365 E3 and E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium customers or at a cost of $5 as a standalone
- Bing Chat Enterprise adds commercial data protection to Bing Chat, ensuring that sensitive business data is never seen by anyone, never stored, and never used to train the foundation models.
- Support multimodal visual search and Image Creator and will also be available on Microsoft Edge and Bing mobile app
Your Next Steps
As I mentioned above, deploying Copilot will be a lot more than a licencing exercise – you need to ensure your entire estate is prepared and think about the impact AI will have on the way your users interface and use corporate applications and data – how their roles will change as they work alongside AI, and the new opportunities it will create.
We’ve created a guide to show your business how it can prepare your people, tools, and processes for what will be transformational shift to the way we all work, interface with technology, and even the way in which people think about work. Download the guide below and please get in touch as I’d love to discuss how Copilot can transform your business.