Update: It's now official - Microsoft has launched ChatGPT Pro, alongside a subscription to use the more powerful AI assistant for $20 a month.
Microsoft has spent billions on integrating ChatGPT into its Copilot AI assistant for Edge, Bing and Windows 11 – and a new code leak suggests it could be planning to claw back some of that investment very soon.
As spotted by Android Authority, some new Edge browser updates for Android contain several code references to a 'Copilot Pro' tier that isn't yet available. Right now, Copilot (previously called Bing Chat) is completely free and, as Tom's Guide recently noticed, even gives some access to the latest ChatGPT model, GPT-4 Turbo.
But those days could be numbered if Copilot Pro does become a reality. The code contains references to a "pay wall upsell" option, which suggests that Microsoft is planning its equivalent of ChatGPT Plus. The latter currently costs $20 / £16 / AU$28 per month.
Those strings of code discovered in Edge also give us hints of what kind of features a Copilot Pro subscription might give us. These include access to the newest AI models (in other words, ChatGPT's GPT-4 Turbo), priority server access, and "high-quality" image generation.
While it seems likely that a free Copilot tier will continue to be available, the days of Microsoft giving us quite so many free AI perks, then, could be drawing to a close.
The arrival of a ChatGPT Pro subscription has always been a matter of when rather than if, when you consider how much its costs to run an AI assistant on the scale of Microsoft Copilot. In the case of ChatGPT, some estimates suggest the computer hardware costs could be as high as $700,000 a day.
This is why ChatGPT launched its Plus subscription in February 2023 – and, a year on, it looks like Microsoft Copilot Pro could soon be following in that paid model's footsteps.
Unfortunately, that could mean the free version of Copilot becoming a bit dumber, as that version currently gives you access to ChatGPT's latest models and also Dall-E 3 image generation.
Hopefully, some of Copilot's current restrictions, like being limited to 300 conversations per day, will also be eased in the Pro version. While we don't yet know when this Copilot Pro tier might launch, it looks like we could find out very soon.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.