Microsoft Reveals Copilot, AI Features Across Windows, Bing, Edge; New Surface Devices Launched
“Just like you boot up an operating system to access applications, or use a browser to navigate websites, you will invoke a copilot to do all these activities and more. To show up, to code, to analyze, to learn, to create. We believe it has the potential to help you be more knowledgeable, more productive, more creative, more connected to the people and things around you,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Thursday.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he has used M365 Copilot – the $30-per-user, per-month add-on that personalizes generative AI to the user for work using their account information.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
The new product incorporates a person’s emails, Teams chats, files and documents to deliver sophisticated results that can be easily rewritten and reworked instantly by telling Copilot.
The tasks a user gives Copilot can vary and cover what would be expected from a very capable secretary: from replying thoroughly to co-workers with point-by-point instructions to summarizing all the to-dos in your Outlook email to creating event plans and travel arrangements with coworkers. The technology will be available in Windows 11, Microsoft 365, and in its web browser with Edge and Bing, Microsoft said.
In a demonstration, Microsoft executives showed how seamlessly and instantly AI can be used to shape the data around a user to fit whatever mold is demanded at the moment. Spreadsheets from emails. Blog posts from meeting notes. To-do lists from meetings that were never attended by the user, but were already ingested by the system so all a user needs do is ask if they were mentioned at the gathering.
“Just like you boot up an operating system to access applications, or use a browser to navigate websites, you will invoke a copilot to do all these activities and more,” Nadella said. “To show up, to code, to analyze, to learn, to create. We believe it has the potential to help you be more knowledgeable, more productive, more creative, more connected to the people and things around you.”
M365 Copilot is one of several new AI-enabled tools that Microsoft revealed Thursday at an event in New York City kicking off the Copilot era, bringing generative AI to Teams, Outlook, Word and Excel.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft has become a leader in generative AI in part due to its reported $13 billion investment in OpenAI -- the startup that on Nov. 30 publicly launched ChatGPT, the large language model (LLM) chatbot. Nadella – who has said the GenAI market could be as large as $6.5 trillion -- compared the moment to when the PC, the Web, the smartphone or the cloud were introduced. He said there are two points which make generative AI unique. The first is how users interact with it, while the second is the computing behind AI.
“We are at the place where we finally have a natural interface -- and it started with language, but it’s going to quickly go beyond that -- to see to hear to interpret and make sense of the world around us. And a new reasoning engine. Which helps us find patterns in all that is digitized, people, places, things,” he said. “Together they have created what is essentially a new category of computing.”
Microsoft is infusing the new category into all of its products, with new additions to Windows like Copy-Paste-Do, and Ink Anywhere, which can translate handwriting and guess what a user wants to do with selected data. For example, if a user selects the picture of a complex, graphed math problem on a web browser, embedded AI will show the solution to the problem in a companion window.
Edge features include Microsoft Shopping, which allows consumers to sort through thousands of listings for the product, and intelligent features that prompt users how to narrow the search. Additionally, with multi-modal image enhancements, users can photograph a product near them and ask for information about it.
Forrester senior analyst Rowan Curran said Microsoft’s vision is a future in which generative AI is at the heart of all apps, workstreams, and business processes. But for that to work, Microsoft will need to help its customers and make the best and most responsible use of generative AI.
“Generative AI is only as powerful as the data and systems it connects. By linking the Copilot experience across all its different products, Microsoft is beginning to enable this,” Curran said in an email. “Being able to plan and act across different domains of work and life is essential for genAI applications to drive deep and truly transformational capabilities. As this rolls out to customers later this year, the pervasive Copilot vision has the potential to help focus a key employee resource, attention, on the tasks that matter most.”
Additionally, Microsoft rolled out two new laptops. The entry-level Surface Laptop Go 3 features a 12.4-inch display, an Intel Core i5 12th-generation processor and up to 15 hours of batter life. It will ship with Windows 11 with a starting price of $799.
The Surface Laptop Studio 2, with a haptic feedback touch pad that also provides adaptive touch for people without fingers or hands, is the most powerful laptop yet from the software maker. It boasts two times the graphic performance of the MacBook Pro M2 Max, Microsoft said. It features a 14.4-inch display and runs on an Intel 13th-generation i7 H class processor. The laptop, which will also ship with Windows 11, is priced starting at $1,999.
Both are available for pre-order now and expected to be released Oct. 3.
Microsoft also introduced the Surface Go 4, a tablet that runs on an Intel N200 processor and features a 10.5-inch touchscreen and up to 12.5 hours of battery life.