In a blogpost yesterday (July 18) Microsoft announced it would be releasing its Microsoft 365 Copilot large language model (LLM) to the public as part of its Microsoft Office subscription.
Microsoft’s Copilot is trained like a traditional LLM but is also trained on user data from other Microsoft Office software.
The company’s blog post said that the software will be priced at $30 per user, per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers. News on the timing of the rollout will be announced shortly in an upcoming blog post.
Microsoft cites productivity as one of the main benefits of incorporating its AI Copilot into its Microsoft Office bundle, stating that around 70% of respondents in their Work Trend Index would “delegate as much work as possible to AI.”
Among its many benefits, Microsoft claims its Copilot “jump-starts your creativity in Word, analyses data in Excel, designs presentations in PowerPoint, triages your Outlook inbox”, and even summarises Teams meetings for users – whether you joined or not.
Additionally, Microsoft made clear that Copilot “inherits your existing Microsoft 365 security, privacy, identity and compliance policies” to ensure the AI is responsible and safe.
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After the announcement, CNBC reported that Microsoft closed the day with its stock price at an all-time high, stating that the stock jumped four percent throughout the day.
Research analyst GlobalData predicts that AI will be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, citing a compound annual growth rate of 21% between 2022 and 2030 its recent AI thematic intelligence report. Microsoft’s incorporation of AI into its Office bundle exemplifies how AI will continue to seep into our everyday working lives.
However, Microsoft has already received antitrust scrutiny over its Office bundle.
The company had to remove Teams from its Office bundle this April after being accused of stifling smaller competitors.
When asked on how the Microsoft Copilot release would affect market competition, GlobalData analyst Josep Bori responded that it would depend on the quality and accuracy of Microsoft’s AI.
Referencing OpenAI’s publicly available ChatGPT’s virality, Bori states that LLMs will become a commodity that only “large companies can afford to build and train” at such an expansive scale.