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CoPilot, Microsoft 365 CoPilot, Windows CoPilot…
What’s the right one?

Written by Lanware

Monday, 19 February, 2024

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With the release of Microsoft 365 CoPilot, businesses can now truly leverage an AI that is intuitive to use, contextual to your own data and has the potential to transform the way you work.

But did you know there are actually 7 (and growing) different variants of Microsoft CoPilot? With a recent rebranding this has become slightly easier, but, with an ever-growing menu of AI tools, which is the right one to get?

To date, the following CoPilot’s are available:

  1. CoPilot (formerly Bing Chat)
  2. CoPilot in Windows
  3. Microsoft 365 CoPilot (CoPilot for Microsoft 365)
  4. Microsoft Security CoPilot
  5. Microsoft CoPilot for Service
  6. Microsoft CoPilot for Sales
  7. Microsoft Azure CoPilot

In this article, we’ll help you navigate what these CoPilot’s are and which one may be the right fit for your financial services business.

1. CoPilot

Think of CoPilot, formerly Bing Chat, as the “starter” in the Microsoft CoPilot menu. Those familiar with ChatGPT, it is basically ChatGPT4. Its knowledge is based on mostly publicly available information on the internet and can answer a multitude of questions, generate images and rework your text. Access to CoPilot is available on the internet from bing.com/chat, but those using it in a business setting should look out for the green “Protected” bubble to ensure your chats remain private and compliance-friendly.

  • General queries i.e. “How has Microsoft stock changed over the past five years and what are the investment opportunities?”
  • Re-work text “Rewrite this into more formal language – buy Microsoft stock, it seems a good one”
  • Generate images – “Create a cover image for a blog post that describes the various Microsoft CoPilot versions”

Best of all, CoPilot is free and available now. Those who use Microsoft 365 also get the compliance-friendly version and should ensure that they are using this version prior to using CoPilot.

2. CoPilot in Windows

CoPilot in Windows is simple. It is CoPilot as described in the previous section, but instead of having to go via your web browser, there is an icon in the start menu that brings up the CoPilot chat right from your desktop.

  • Windows specific commands such as “switch to dark mode”
  • +All CoPilot features

CoPilot in Windows is free and available now in Windows 11.

3. Microsoft 365 CoPilot (CoPilot for Microsoft 365)

If CoPilot is the starter, CoPilot in Windows is a side, then Microsoft 365 CoPilot is definitely the main course. Whist CoPilot uses general knowledge available on the internet, Microsoft 365 CoPilot uses the knowledge of all your data stored in Microsoft 365 (emails, meetings, contacts, chats, documents), providing a more contextual response to the questions you ask.

Microsoft 365 CoPilot is also deeply integrated into the Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) so you can ask it questions and also perform actions.

  • Summarise your emails and documents – “Summarise the key points of this document/email and generate a list of actions for any comments”
  • Summarise spreadsheets – “List the five key takeaways from this table and provide a summary of what the data contains”
  • Generate a slide deck – “Create a slide deck from this proposal document, theme the slides with a blue and yellow colour palette”
  • Style your documents – “Format this message so the language is more formal and change the font and colour so it looks more professional”
  • +All CoPilot features

Microsoft 365 CoPilot is available now for licensing but requires several prerequisites to fully take advantage of all its features.

4. Speciality CoPilots

Speciality CoPilots are CoPilots that are designed specifically to work with certain Microsoft products. These are:

  • Microsoft Security CoPilot
  • Microsoft CoPilot for Service
  • Microsoft CoPilot for Sales
  • Microsoft Azure CoPilot

These CoPilots have integration directly into those products and offer specific capabilities in those products, usually around automation.

If you use Dynamics, the Microsoft CoPilot for Service and Sales may be of interest to you. Microsoft Security CoPilot and Microsoft Azure CoPilot are generally used by IT professionals.

More speciality CoPilots will likely be introduced over time to fulfil specific functions that the more general CoPilot and Microsoft 365 CoPilot cannot achieve.

5. Custom CoPilots

If Microsoft-built CoPilots weren’t enough for you, you can even create your own CoPilots. Using Microsoft CoPilot Studio, you can build your own CoPilot by feeding information into it that may not be available on the internet or your Microsoft 365 environment. An example Microsoft provides is creating a custom CoPilot by providing a link to your own website, and then being able to ask questions to CoPilot with responses generated based on the content on your site.

So which one should you choose?

The Microsoft AI landscape is currently a tricky one to navigate, with AI available for practically every Microsoft product. Our recommendation, if you are just starting out or are an occasional user of ChatGPT, start with CoPilot at bing.com/chat and consider upgrading to Windows 11 to get the integration built into the Windows desktop.

For heavy users of Microsoft Office, Microsoft 365 and those who are familiar with ChatGPT, Microsoft 365 CoPilot is probably the right tool for you. But be sure to understand the technical prerequisites first and be aware of the security risks of using AI on your own data.

Are you interested in advice on how best to harness CoPilot for your financial services organisation?

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