Following the March 2023 announcement of Microsoft 365 Copilot, an AI assistant for its productivity tools, Microsoft knows you want in, and that you’ll pay for it, even though it’s not even ready.
To that end, the tech giant has announced an invitation-only early access program for the tool that, despite being used as a bigger sample-size for user feedback, will cost “an initial wave of 600 customers worldwide” some amount of money.
The company’s being cagey about the details, spending most of the corresponding press release talking up new features for Copilot and AI observations in its 2023 Work Trend Index.
More Microsoft 365 Copilot features
Microsoft says that its initial Copilot feedback from customers, including big names such as Chevron, Goodyear, General Motors and Dow, perhaps unsurprisingly suggests, "Copilot has the potential to revolutionize work".
The feedback includes positive messages on improving meeting experiences, and making more conversational, multi-turn interactions commonplace in the office.
"As we bring Copilot to more customers, we’ll continue to rely on this kind of feedback to refine Copilot and help guide users as they adapt to this new way of working," Microsoft's Jared Spataro noted.
It might seem a little strange to be reading about updates to a product yet to be publicly released, but the headline feature this time is Semantic Index, “a sophisticated map of your user and company data” which gives Copilot a bit more context to make it better at finding the documents you’re looking for.
“The Semantic Index for Copilot is critical to getting relevant, actionable responses to prompts in Microsoft 365 Copilot,” the company wrote. “And, it enhances enterprise search results for E3 and E5 customers – whether they are using Copilot or not.”
We’ve already covered planned new Copilot features for Viva (which will now write your bosses heartfelt, personal, evocative social media missives for them) and Loop (summarising documents, because no-one would wish reading on anyone).
But elsewhere, Copilot in Whiteboard will generate ideas and “bring [them] to life”, at once trying and failing to capture the spark of being human, the (admittedly impressive) text-to-image generator DALL-E is coming to PowerPoint, and Outlook will “coach” you on how to sound more like yourself. What a time to be alive.
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