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Microsoft’s Copilot Lineup

Microsoft’s Copilot lineup – the AI helpers you never you knew you always wanted 

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest Microsoft news, you’ll no doubt have heard a lot of hype emerging around Microsoft Copilot. Before you dismiss it as “just another AI tech story”, it’s worth taking a look at what Copilot actually offers (in all its many guises), and how it ties into Microsoft’s broader AI intentions. 

Microsoft’s AI vision 

Ultimately, Microsoft’s vision is to democratise AI. Their plan is to make the technology they use to build intelligent tools like Copilot available on Azure for organisations to create their own AI-enabled business apps.  

Of course, for many organisations, the idea of building AI apps from scratch is more than a little daunting – understandably so. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the productivity benefits AI offers.  

The role of Copilot 

Copilot offers a much less intimidating introduction to AI’s business potential. By getting to grips with the full extent of these embedded AI capabilities – and their potential to enhance Microsoft’s existing tools and capabilities – it becomes much easier for organisations to identify opportunities for AI to improve their own workflows and operations. 

Of course, it’s important to remember that Copilot is still… well… a co-pilot. Intentionally named to reinforce the fact that it fulfils a supporting role alongside a human lead. The real magic lies in getting the human/machine interface working as efficiently and effectively as possible – something that inevitably improves with practice and familiarity. 

Meet the Copilots 

There are currently nine different Copilot “flavours” on Microsoft’s menu, some of which are still in preview. We fully expect this list to continue to evolve as the technology matures and changes, but for now, this is what you can expect from Microsoft’s Copilot lineup. 

Copilot for Everyday 

This Copilot interacts with your operating system, apps and files. You can ask it (via mic or text prompt) to open websites and apps or change settings. It’s a convenient way to reduce time spent searching through menus. 

Copilot for Web 

This Copilot levels up your Bing or Edge browser experience using Bing Chat to help you interact with web content and ask questions to get personalised answers based on your search history. It speeds up tasks like online shopping by asking related questions and refining results to provide tailored recommendations. The next iteration promises to add image-search to the capability lineup. 

Copilot for Productivity 

This Copilot is built into Microsoft’s Office applications (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Business Chat etc.). It’s designed to boost productivity by reading and writing documents, managing email, performing data analysis, creating presentations, enhancing meeting efficiency, summarising discussions and answering questions based on your organisational knowledge. 

Copilot for Creativity 

This Copilot turbocharges the capabilities of Microsoft 365s newest consumer app – Microsoft Designer. It helps users expand images beyond their existing borders, add additional objects or backgrounds, or erase unwanted objects. Upcoming features include the power to generate high quality images and (when paired with Copilot for Productivity) use the context of a document to propose relevant visuals. 

Copilot for Business 

This Copilot brings next-generation AI to Microsoft Dynamics 365.  

For sales teams, it offers assistance on clerical tasks like drafting email responses to customers or summarising meetings.  

For customer service teams, it offers an interactive chat experience and virtual agents.  

For marketing teams, it offers the ability to use natural language prompts to query customer data, build targeted customer segments, and generate email campaign content all based on a simple request.  

For supply chain managers, it offers proactive red-flag identification and predictive insights to streamline supply chain processes and mitigate potential disruptions before they happen. 

Copilot for Analytics 

Copilot for PowerBI combines the brand-new Microsoft Fabric’s end-to-end, human-centred analytics with generative AI to help uncover and share insights faster than ever. It enables users to describe the insights they need or ask a question about the data, and provides answers and analyses in the form of auto-generated reports. 

Copilot for Security 

This Copilot summarises and makes sense of threat intelligence, helping defenders see through the noise of web traffic and identify malicious activity. In time, it will also help security teams catch what others have missed by correlating and summarising data on attacks, prioritising incidents and recommending the best course of action for swift remediation of diverse threats.  

Security Copilot is proving invaluable in the face of widespread skills shortages in cybersecurity. It helps to bridge knowledge gaps, actively enhances workflows, improves threat actor profiles and streamlines incident reporting across teams, helping more organisations stay on top of their security game. 

Copilot for Development 

GitHub Copilot is an AI pair-programmer that helps developers write code faster and with less work. It uses the OpenAI codex to suggest code (or entire functions) in real time, right from the editor, and can turn natural language prompts into coding suggestions based on the project’s style and context. The result is enhanced productivity with improved innovation – a great benefit for both individual developers and businesses. 

Copilot for Low/No-code Development 

Known as Power Platform Copilot, this copilot brings the power of AI to both app makers and their end-users in Power Apps. It enables creators to build an app (including the data behind it) by simply describing what they need in a multi-step conversation. The resulting apps have copilot-powered experiences embedded from the first screen, which means end users can also discover the insights they need in conversations instead of mouse clicks. 

Getting Copilot-ready 

The good news is that, as an integrated part of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, Copilot inherits all the same security, compliance and privacy controls that protect the rest of your Microsoft estate. Of course, if those protections aren’t quite up to snuff, you may need to do a bit of housekeeping before letting Copilot loose in your organisation.  

We’d suggest doing a review of your security and compliance controls, and proactively shoring up any potential gaps in your data classification, labelling, DLP and information protection policies. (Ask us about our Compliance Accelerator Programme.) 

It’s also a great idea to consolidate as many workloads within Microsoft 365 as possible to maximise Copilot’s abilities within your environment. That includes deploying and configuring any additional Microsoft capabilities (like Microsoft Viva) that you’ve had your eye on. The more functionality you have under your Microsoft roof, the more powerful your Copilot experience will be.