Microsoft brings Copilot AI assistant to small businesses and launches a premium tier for individuals


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks on the CES convention in Las Vegas on Jan. 9, 2024.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft mentioned on Tuesday that small businesses can now subscribe to its Copilot digital assistant within the firm’s productiveness apps. And customers who pay for the Microsoft 365 software program can join for a new paid model of Copilot.

The updates will assist Microsoft expose extra of its prospects to generative synthetic intelligence, a know-how startup OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot popularized final yr that may compose natural-sounding textual content with a particular person’s transient written command. Expanding entry would possibly assist the corporate begin to cowl the prices of constructing knowledge heart infrastructure that allows AI.

Investors have been betting on Microsoft to capitalize on generative AI demand in working techniques, cloud, productiveness, internet search and safety, even because it faces competitors from the likes of Amazon and Google. Last week Microsoft reclaimed from Apple the title of Most worthy publicly traded firm.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, has been conveying these days that AI lies on the heart of the software program maker’s id. “Our imaginative and prescient is fairly simple. We are the Copilot firm,” Nadella mentioned at Microsoft’s Ignite convention in Seattle in November.

Microsoft began providing Copilot for Microsoft 365 — drawing on OpenAI’s massive language fashions — to massive corporations in November and to school and workers at academic establishments in December. For them, the add-on prices $30 per particular person per thirty days on high of current subscription prices.

Now, small businesses that pay for Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Business Standard can join for up to 299 licenses at $30 per particular person per thirty days, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of Windows and Surface, wrote in a weblog publish.

Additionally, he wrote, Microsoft is eliminating the 300-seat minimal for industrial plans that has been in place since November, and it would allow Copilot’s use for these with Office 365 E3 or E5, which price lower than full Microsoft 365 subscriptions.

Individuals who’ve wished to use the Copilot have been ready to entry it freed from cost in a number of methods, together with within the Bing search engine and at copilot.microsoft.com. But those that pay for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions have not been ready to use it in Word, Excel, Outlook and different apps. That’s altering. As of Tuesday, folks can join for the brand new Copilot Pro add-on for $20 per particular person every month.

Those with Copilot Pro obtain “precedence entry to the very newest fashions — beginning at this time with OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo,” Mehdi wrote.

They might be ready to use the cutting-edge mannequin in the course of the busiest instances, change between fashions and design customized chatbots utilizing a forthcoming instrument known as Copilot GPT Builder.

“Whether you want superior assist with writing, coding, designing, researching or studying, Copilot Pro brings higher efficiency, productiveness and creativity,” Mehdi wrote.

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