Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, will charge businesses $30 per user per month for its AI-powered Copilot, the company announced on Tuesday. Revealed earlier this year, Copilot will enable users to create new documents, analyze and make changes to existing ones, manage live meetings and emails, and assist with various other tasks within the 365 Suite, all through simple prompts.
“Copilot jump-starts your creativity in Word, analyzes data in Excel, designs presentations in PowerPoint, triages your Outlook inbox, summarizes meetings in Teams – whether you attended or not – and so much more,” noted the company in its announcement.
Here’s a quick video ad from the launch event three months ago, explaining the features of Copilot.
The OpenAI-powered assistant will be available for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers, at a later date. The company has been testing it with a paid Early Access Program for 600 enterprise customers worldwide, including companies like KPMG, Lumen, and Emirates NBD.
The pricing set by Microsoft for Copilot is significantly higher than the high-end expected range of the market. Some analysts had anticipated a price closer to $10 per month, which is what GitHub (also owned by Microsoft) charges for its Copilot to assist users with coding. OpenAI, on the other hand, charges users $20 for ChatGPT Plus.
However, what makes Copilot still appear to be a compelling option is that it operates within the Microsoft Graph, encompassing all of the user’s and business’s data, including documents, emails, calendar, chats, and more. This extensive access allows Copilot to offer far more capabilities than ChatGPT or any other text-based generative AI application available.
Interesting strategy for Microsoft to price Office copilot ($30/ person/ month) 50% higher than ChatGPT ($20/ person/ month).
I imagine it's primarily to set a high "list price" and then allow for discounts via Microsoft's distributions channels to get corporates to buy in bulk.
— Chetan Puttagunta (@chetanp) July 19, 2023
Some bullish estimates suggest that it could result in an uplift of over $25 billion in annual revenue for the company – not bad at all for a tool that is essentially built on technology from another company.