Microsoft Boosts Copilot for Orgs, Offers Pro Plan for Individuals
Microsoft announced a new Copilot Pro subscription for its AI-powered assistants that targets individuals, while at the same time expanding its Copilot offerings for organizations.
The latter comes with Copilot for Microsoft 365, which became generally available for enterprises in November 2023. For organizational IT, Microsoft recommends its Azure cloud computing platform, and yesterday's announcement noted that commercial customers can now purchase Copilot for Microsoft 365 through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners network.
Copilot for Microsoft 365 GA
The company also announced Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now generally available for small businesses, which can now purchase between one and 299 seats for $30 per person per month with Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Business Standard plans.
Consumer marketing exec Yusuf Mehdi said the 300-seat purchase minimum for commercial plans is being eliminated, with Microsoft also making Copilot available for Office 365 E3 and E5 customers, with a Microsoft 365 license no longer required. A separate blog post explains more on the expanded wares: "We are removing the minimum seat purchase requirement for Copilot for Microsoft 365 across all channels and segments; however, customers must have a product license of one of the prerequisite base SKUs for each seat of Copilot for Microsoft 365 they purchase."
Further emphasizing the cloud, Microsoft quoted Rich Hume, CEO of CSP partner TD SYNNEX: "The expansion of Microsoft Copilot to cloud solution providers is an important milestone to support the 625 percent increase in resellers who say they offer or plan to offer AI solutions, according to the annual TD SYNNEX Direction of Technology Report."
As far as the new Copilot Pro subscription that targets individuals, it improves upon the non-pro Copilot with these features:
- Priority access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo including during peak times for accelerated performance
- Ability to access Copilot in select Microsoft 365 apps to draft documents, summarize emails, create presentations and more
- Ability to create AI images with DALL-E 3 in landscape format even faster with 100 boosts per day with Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator)
Fleshing out those features, Mehdi said it provides:
- A single AI experience that runs across devices, understanding context on the web, on a PC, across apps and soon on phones to bring the right skills to users when needed.
- Access to Copilot in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote on PC, Mac and iPad for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers.
- Priority access to the latest models -- starting today with OpenAI's GPT-4 Turbo. Access to GPT-4 Turbo is available during peak times for faster performance, along with the upcoming ability to toggle between models to optimize experiences.
- Enhanced AI image creation with Image Creator from Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator) -- ensuring it's faster with 100 boosts per day while bringing more detailed image quality as well as landscape image format.
Along with the new subscriptions, Microsoft announced improvements to Copilot, including teasing an upcoming one that furthers the trend toward smaller AI constructs called GPTs (basically large language models or LLMs) that are smaller than more general offerings and let individuals or organizations create customized Copilots for their (or their customers') specific needs. That trend was given a big boost by the recent debut of a "GPT Store" from Microsoft partner OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT.
"Today we're announcing Copilot GPTs," Mehdi said. "Copilot GPTs let you customize the behavior of Microsoft Copilot on a topic that is of particular interest to you. A handful of Copilot GPTs will start to roll out beginning today with specific purposes such as fitness, travel, cooking and more. Soon, Copilot Pro users will also be able to create their own Copilot GPTs using Copilot GPT Builder. Stay tuned for more on this experience as we get closer to availability."
Copilot has also gone mobile, with Microsoft debuting Android and iOS apps that allow Copilot queries to roam between a phone and PC. Also, the existing Microsoft 365 mobile app is getting a Copilot boost for individuals with a Microsoft account.
With all the new AI offerings springing up to complement existing ones, Microsoft tries to provide some clarity on its Copilot Pro site: "Copilot Pro benefits are currently available on web, Windows, and macOS and iPadOS. A Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription is required to access Copilot in select apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Excel features are currently in preview in English only. Microsoft 365 Personal or Family and Copilot Pro are not available in the same transaction and must be purchased in two separate transactions."
An introductory marketing video is available for more information.
Individuals can go to the above-linked Copilot Pro site to subscribe for $20 per month/per user.
David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.