Microsoft announces Copilot Pro, a premium AI companion

Microsoft has recently unveiled Copilot Pro, an upgraded version of its Copilot AI companion that offers advanced AI capabilities for individual users. With a monthly subscription fee of $20 per user, Copilot Pro provides users with priority access to OpenAI’s latest GPT models during peak times, along with improved features such as faster image generation and a dedicated Copilot GPT Builder that will be launched soon.

“Our goal is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more by bringing Copilot, the everyday AI companion, to millions of people around the world. We have reached another milestone in this mission with more than 5 billion chats and more than 5 billion images to date,” said Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft.

Copilot Pro is now available for both Android and iOS devices. While Microsoft has already offered a free version of Copilot for consumers and a paid version for businesses, they realized that there was an underserved group—individual power users such as developers, designers, and researchers—who needed more AI capabilities but not at the scale of a business.

To cater to these users, Microsoft has introduced the Pro version of Copilot with accelerated performance and enhanced capabilities. This subscription provides users with a unified Copilot experience across platforms, including web, PC, and phone, as well as integration with Microsoft 365 Personal and Family apps such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.

Expanded Capabilities for Productivity and Creativity

The Pro version of Copilot offers an array of exciting features to boost productivity and creativity. Users can now draft documents using text prompts, receive email summaries within Outlook, and even generate entire presentations through conversational interactions with PowerPoint.

Furthermore, while the standard Copilot only grants access to OpenAI’s GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo models during non-peak times, the Pro version ensures priority access to these models at all times, even during peak hours, facilitating faster completion of tasks.

For creators and designers, Copilot Pro enables faster image generation with improved image quality, including the option of landscape format. This version taps into OpenAI’s image generation AI model DALL-E 3 and provides users with 100 boosts per day, a significant increase compared to the standard Copilot’s 15 boosts per day.

Additionally, Microsoft has introduced a GPT Builder for Copilot Pro, inspired by OpenAI’s GPT Builder. This feature allows users to create a customized Copilot tailored to a specific topic using a simple set of prompts. Copilot GPTs are being rolled out gradually and will cover various purposes such as fitness, travel, and cooking. In the future, Copilot Pro users will have the ability to create their own Copilot GPTs using the Copilot GPT Builder.

Accessibility and Pricing Updates

Microsoft has made the Copilot app available on both Android and iOS devices, ensuring accessibility for a wide range of users. Additionally, they have removed the 300-seat purchase minimum for organizations looking to utilize Copilot for Microsoft 365. Small businesses with Business Premium and Business Standard plans can now start using Copilot for Microsoft 365 by selecting any number of seats below 300, at a price of $30 per person per month.

“The approach of adding a Pro tier to Copilot shows that while Microsoft wants to bring its AI companion front and center, it does not want to miss any chance of making money from it.”

While some users have expressed concerns about the introduction of a paid tier for Copilot, it is important to consider the business perspective. Previously, Microsoft offered free access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo models without restrictions, but now, non-paying users will have access to these models only during non-peak hours. This change might pose challenges for users who heavily rely on Copilot for their daily work. It remains to be seen whether they will choose to transition to the Pro version to continue their work without limitations.

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