What is Microsoft 365 Copilot? We explore this powerful new addition to your Microsoft 365 & its features
Microsoft 365 Copilot: Your working companion
Copilot merges the capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs) with the information stored in the Microsoft Graph—including calendars, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and more—and the Microsoft 365 apps, transforming your verbal instructions into an immensely potent productivity instrument, all while adhering to our steadfast commitments to data security and privacy in the corporate domain.
In the present scenario, an excessive amount of time is consumed by mundane tasks, leaving scant time and energy for pursuits that stimulate creativity and bring joy.
Copilot has been seamlessly incorporated into Microsoft 365 in a dual manner. It operates in tandem with you, integrated into the daily Microsoft 365 apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, among others—to fuel creativity, bolster productivity, and enhance skillsets. Additionally, we are introducing a novel feature: Business Chat. This feature collaborates with the LLM, Microsoft 365 apps, and your personal data—spanning calendars, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts—to enable unprecedented functionalities. It responds to intuitive language prompts, such as “update my team on the product strategy modifications,” and can generate a status update drawing from the day’s meetings, emails, and chat conversations.
According to recent data from GitHub, among the developers utilizing GitHub Copilot, 88 percent report heightened productivity, 77 percent acknowledge reduced time spent on information search, and 74 percent confirm that they can now concentrate on more gratifying tasks.
Becoming AI-Ready with Microsoft 365
Presently, Microsoft 365 Copilot is under trial with 20 clients, featuring 8 Fortune 500 companies. We anticipate extending these previews to a broader customer base in the upcoming months and will divulge more information regarding new controls for IT administrators. This will aid them in strategizing confidently to incorporate Copilot throughout their organizations.
At the moment, embracing Microsoft 365 is the optimal way to prepare for Copilot; it serves as the vital groundwork for contemporary work. Microsoft 365 amalgamates essential capabilities, including identity, applications, management, security, and enterprise data, rendering you ready for AI.
Further details about pricing and other specifics will be disclosed in the future.
With announcements that launch will occur 1st of November 2023 – it is time to prepare your business.
Revamping Productivity for All - Features of Microsoft 365 Copilot
Integrated into your daily applications, Microsoft 365 Copilot is designed to shift your focus from mundane tasks to what truly matters. It works collaboratively with you, aiming to spark creativity, elevate productivity, and enhance skills.
Copilot seamlessly integrates with Microsoft 365 in dual manners. It collaborates with you through the daily Microsoft 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and others, aiming to enhance creativity, elevate productivity, and refine skills. Moreover, we are introducing a novel feature: Business Chat. This feature functions across Large Language Models (LLM), Microsoft 365 apps, and your personal data — including calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts — enabling unprecedented functionalities. By utilizing natural language prompts like “Inform my team about the updated product strategy,” it can produce a status update drawing from the day’s meetings, emails, and chat discussions.
Microsoft 365 Copilot transforms work in three ways:
- Unleash Creativity
With Copilot in Word, initiating the creative process becomes effortless, eliminating the daunting blank slate. Copilot provides a foundational draft, allowing you to save precious hours on writing, sourcing, and editing. It might occasionally be correct or usefully incorrect, but it invariably propels you forward. As the author, you retain complete control, steering your distinctive ideas while directing Copilot to condense, rephrase, or provide feedback. Copilot in PowerPoint empowers you to craft stunning presentations through a simple prompt, incorporating pertinent content from your past documents. Meanwhile, Copilot in Excel enables swift analysis of trends and the crafting of professional data visualizations.
2. Unlock Productivity
Everyone aspires to concentrate on the significant 20% of tasks, yet the majority of our time, around 80%, is engulfed by mundane tasks that slow us down. Copilot is here to alleviate this burden. From condensing extensive email conversations to promptly crafting suggested responses, Copilot in Outlook enables you to declutter your inbox rapidly. With Copilot in Teams, every meeting turns into a fruitful collaboration, summarizing essential talking points, highlighting agreements and disagreements, and proposing actionable steps in real-time.
Data from GitHub illustrates the potential of Copilot in enhancing productivity universally. A considerable 88% of developers utilizing GitHub Copilot report increased productivity, 74% find they can concentrate on more gratifying tasks, and 77% acknowledge its aid in reducing time spent searching for information.
However, Copilot’s capabilities extend beyond boosting individual efficiency. It establishes a novel knowledge structure for every organization by leveraging the vast pool of data and insights that remain predominantly unexplored. Business Chat seamlessly integrates with all your business applications and data, extracting the necessary information and insights from a plethora of data. This ensures a smooth flow of knowledge across the organization, saving precious time in searching for answers. Access to Business Chat is available through Microsoft 365.com, Bing when logged in with your work account, or directly from Teams.
3. Uplevel Skills
Copilot enhances your existing skills and accelerates your mastery of unfamiliar tasks. Typically, individuals utilize just a small fraction of the commands available across Microsoft 365, such as “animate a slide” or “insert a table”. Now, accessing this extensive functionality is as easy as using natural language, and this is just the starting point.
Copilot is set to revolutionize the interaction between people and AI, transforming the working paradigm. While adapting to this innovative approach comes with a learning curve, those who adopt this new methodology stand to gain a competitive advantage swiftly.
Copilot in Word
In Word, Copilot is there to write, edit, summarize, and create alongside you. With a succinct prompt, it can draft initial content, incorporating information from various sources within your organization as needed. Copilot is capable of extending content in existing documents, condensing text, and rephrasing sections or entire documents for brevity. It also offers suggestions for tone—whether professional, passionate, casual, or appreciative—to help you communicate effectively. Additionally, Copilot provides recommendations to fortify your arguments or rectify inconsistencies in your writing. Below are some illustrative commands and prompts you might explore:
- Craft a two-page project proposal utilizing data from [a document] and [a spreadsheet].
- Condense the third paragraph and adjust the document’s tone to be more informal.
- Develop a one-page draft utilizing this preliminary outline.
Copilot in Excel
In Excel, Copilot collaborates with you to delve into and assess your data. You can inquire about your data set using natural language, moving beyond just formulas. Copilot uncovers relationships, introduces hypothetical scenarios, and recommends fresh formulas based on your queries—forming models from your questions to aid in exploring your data without altering it. Recognize patterns, construct compelling visual representations, or seek advice for influencing various results. Below are some sample commands and prompts for you to experiment with:
- Provide a detailed view of sales categorized by type and channel. Add a table.
- Forecast the consequences of [a variable alteration] and formulate a chart for visualization.
- Illustrate how an adjustment in the growth rate for [variable] might affect my gross margin.
Copilot in PowerPoint
In PowerPoint, Copilot aids in transforming your concepts into captivating presentations. Serving as your partner in storytelling, Copilot has the ability to convert existing textual documents into comprehensive decks, equipped with speaker notes and references, or initiate a new presentation from a basic prompt or outline. With just a click, it can succinctly summarize extensive presentations and respond to natural language commands to modify layouts, restructure text, and impeccably synchronize animations. Here are some illustrative commands and prompts for exploration:
- Develop a presentation of five slides based on a Word document and incorporate applicable stock images.
- Abbreviate this presentation into a summary comprising three slides.
- Reorganize these three bullet points into three columns, each accompanied by an image.
Copilot in Outlook
In Outlook, Copilot collaborates with you, streamlining your inbox and messaging experience, allowing you to dedicate less time to managing emails and more to effective communication—achieving this more efficiently and swiftly. It can distill extensive, complex email threads involving multiple participants, aiding in comprehending not only the conveyed messages but also the diverse perspectives of each individual and the unresolved queries that remain. Responding to an existing email can be as simple as giving a prompt, or transforming brief notes into polished, professional correspondences—drawing from emails or content available throughout Microsoft 365. Employ toggles to modify the tone or length of your message. Here are some illustrative commands and prompts you might consider:
- Summarize the emails I didn’t get to while I was away last week. Highlight any crucial items.
- Compose a reply expressing gratitude and seeking further clarification on their second and third points; condense this draft and maintain a professional tone.
- Extend invitations to everyone for a “lunch and learn” session on upcoming product launches next Thursday at noon, indicating that lunch will be provided.
Copilot in Teams
Copilot in Teams simplifies collaborative efforts, making teamwork effortless. It facilitates more efficient meetings, aiding you in staying informed on discussions, arranging central talking points, and summarizing essential actions, ensuring the entire team is aligned on subsequent steps. Within your chat, Copilot provides answers to specific queries or updates you on any missed information, seamlessly integrating into the conversation flow. Incorporating Copilot into your meetings and discussions introduces a robust tool to assist with routine tasks such as formulating meeting agendas from chat history, pinpointing the right individuals for follow-up, and organizing the next review session. Here are some sample commands and prompts for your experimentation:
- Recap what I missed during the meeting. What are the key points discussed? Where are the differences in opinion on this subject?
- Construct a table highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of [the topic in discussion]. What additional factors should be contemplated before reaching a conclusion?
- What resolutions have been reached, and what are the proposed subsequent steps?
Presenting Business Chat
Business Chat offers an unprecedented experience, operating across all your apps and data, enabling functionalities previously thought impossible. It collaborates with you, utilizing the capabilities of the Microsoft Graph to amalgamate data from your documents, presentations, emails, calendars, notes, and contacts. By integrating information from diverse sources, it ensures team alignment and cohesive progression. The focus shifts from the tools to prioritizing significant tasks. Today, those in our preview will gain access to Business Chat in Microsoft Teams.
Here are some sample commands and prompts for you to experiment with:
- Consolidate the chats, emails, and documents concerning the [customer] escalation from the previous night.
- Identify the forthcoming milestone for [project]. Have any risks been pinpointed? Assist me in devising a list of potential countermeasures.
- Compose a new planning synopsis in the style of [filename A], incorporating the timeline from [filename B] and integrating the project list in the email from [person].
Expanding to Microsoft Viva
Copilot with viva Engage
Copilot, within Viva Engage and numerous other integrations within Microsoft Viva, provides leaders with meaningful conversation initiators. These are derived from sentiments and prevailing themes within workplace dialogues and communities. As leaders craft more tailored posts, Copilot proposes suggestions, offers options to incorporate images, and assists in tonal adjustments to foster enriched discussions.
Additionally, Copilot is optimizing the Answers experience in Microsoft Viva Engage, making it swift and effective. It suggests prompts to improve the formulation of questions asked. When team members participate, Copilot can recommend replies that sustain the dialogue, incorporating relevant knowledge and specialists.
Developing with Responsibility
Microsoft 365 Copilot has been crafted keeping in mind the necessities of the enterprise. We adhere to our principles of AI and Responsible AI Standard, basing our initiatives on years of research in grounded and privacy-preserving machine learning. Our AI developments undergo evaluations for potential risks and countermeasures by a diverse team comprising researchers, engineers, and policy specialists. We employ the Azure Content Moderation Stack throughout our services to scrutinize and eliminate detrimental content. Tools like InterpretML and Fairlearn are utilized to identify and rectify data biases.
The Copilot System is a testament to our sustained commitment to data security and privacy within the enterprise. It effortlessly aligns with your organization’s Microsoft 365 security, compliance, and privacy regulations. The management of data is consistent with our prevailing commitments, and Copilot’s extensive language models do not learn from your tenant data.
Furthermore, our approach focuses on endorsing human agency and granting users autonomy. This involves acknowledging constraints, offering links to references, and encouraging users to assess, verify, and refine content based on their personal understanding and discretion.