Back in December 2015 and long before the days of Copilot, Sam Altman, Elon Musk, AWS, Infosys, YC Research and others announced the launch of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) research laboratory OpenAI, pledging over $1 billion to the venture from the outset. By 2019, OpenAI had transitioned from a non-profit to a capped-profit model, signalling that big bucks would be made out of AI. The transition wet Microsoft’s appetite who backed the company with $1 billion and became its exclusive provider of cloud computing services. Soon after, we saw the release of the incredible image-generation tool DALL-E 2. Last year, the phenomenally popular generative AI, ChatGPT, came into this world and Microsoft hasn’t looked back since.


In January, the tech giant confirmed a further multi-billion investment – some say as much as $10 billion. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform.”

And cutting-edge was the name of the game. A month later, the Redmond-headquartered company revealed that it was using ChatGPT to power the new Bing.  This would be achieved by integrating next-generation AI into the current Bing web search and the engine would be capable of delivering better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience and the ability to generate content – much like ChatGPT. Microsoft called the innovation “your AI copilot for the web.” Bing also included plugins from popular services like Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, TripAdvisor, and Zillow.


By March this year, Microsoft started integrating its AI-powered Bing search into its browser, Microsoft Edge. Loosely the technology was referred to as ‘Edge Copilot,’ ‘Bing Chat’ and ‘Discover.’ The tool enabled users to get answers directly from a browser by leveraging AI power. Microsoft claimed that Edge Copilot could do things like summarise web content, search the web for answers and create content. It also emphasised its limitations and forewarned users:

“Bing aims to base all its responses on reliable sources, but AI can make mistakes, and third-party content on the internet may not always be accurate or reliable. Bing will sometimes misrepresent the information it finds, and you may see responses that sound convincing but are incomplete, inaccurate or inappropriate. Use your own judgement and double-check the facts before making decisions or taking action based on Bing’s responses.”


Microsoft’s AI endeavours haven’t stopped with Bing and Edge. It’s also integrating artificial intelligence into Microsoft 365, formerly Office 365. With growth partly fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic, 365 now has over 345 million paid seats or users. Many claim that Copilot is a much more intelligent and useful alternative to the classic Microsoft Office assistant Clippy.


Copilot has been designed to help us out across the entire 365 suite, including Excel, Teams, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.

Excel – analyse your data and then do things like look for trends in particular data sets, and create new sheets and graphs based on the analysis. Copilot can also explain its workings and how it came to those findings.

Teams – here Copilot can help you with interacting with colleagues and planning. It will simplify setting agendas, organising discussion points from meetings and formulating action points. And if you’ve missed a meeting – no worries. Copilot will provide a summary for you.

Outlook – summarise long email chains and help you respond to them. You can also use Copilot quickly flag important messages or get help with the tone of your messages and wording.

PowerPoint – Copilot can be used to transfer your ideas into decks and to add speaker notes to presentations.

Word – Copilot can help create drafts of documents as well as help with rewriting sections, improving the tone of your writing, summarising text and formatting content. It will also recommend content to import from Excel, Teams, Outlook and PowerPoint.

All of these uses will mean an enormous time-saver and nurture efficiency and productivity wherever you are working from. Microsoft says of its breakthrough technology:

“With Copilot, you’re always in control. You decide what to keep, modify or discard. Now, you can be more creative in Word, more analytical in Excel, more expressive in PowerPoint, more productive in Outlook and more collaborative in Teams.”


At its Build conference in Seattle from 23 to 25 May, Microsoft introduced Windows Copilot. Put simply, this is AI built directly into Windows 11. With Windows Copilot, you can open up a chat window directly from the desktop and ask Copilot to help you with tasks, or get information, just as you would with Bing Chat. Unlike Bing, Windows Copilot is built directly into the operating system. It has access to system controls and documents, as well as the ability to open and control applications.


I’ve been in the cybersecurity and IT support business for almost 20 years. While I might have cybersecurity and risk mitigation in my bones and blood, I’ve also moved on with the times, increasingly seeing why businesses need automation tools like ChatGPT and Copilot. Let’s get together soon. You’ll quickly see how AI can transform your business and revolutionise the way you work.

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