Almost a year since Microsoft launched its ChatGPT-powered Bing Chat — which is now just called Copilot — the company is announcing its next major AI moves. First, it's launching Copilot Pro, a $20 monthly subscription that gives power users access to the latest ChatGPT releases, as well as access to Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps and other new features. Additionally, the Copilot iOS and Android apps are now available to everyone, following a limited launch last month.
And that's not all! Microsoft also introduced Copilot GPT, a new feature that will let you tweak Copilot around specific topics like "fitness, travel, cooking and more," according to Microsoft EVP and Windows head Yusuf Mehdi. Copilot Pro users will also be able to create their own Copilot GPTs eventually. (And yes, the name is certainly confusing, but this appears to be Microsoft's version of OpenAI's standalone GPTs.)
Microsoft says that Copilot Pro users will have access to GPT-4 Turbo at peak times starting today, and eventually they'll be able toggle between different GPT models. The subscription also grants you better AI image creation, which will be faster and deliver higher image quality, with optional landscape formatting. It's also worth noting that Copilot Pro is $20 a month per user — plan to shell out more if multiple people in your household need access.
While Copilot and Microsoft's onslaught of AI announcements throughout 2023 led to plenty of publicity — it actually made us care about poor old Bing again! — it remains to be seen if it actually ends up being useful to general users. That may explain the rush to monetize Copilot for power users so quickly. Copilot queries are expensive, both in terms of computation power and energy use, so Microsoft needs a way to actually recoup some of those costs from its most aggressive users. The company also needs to make good on its $13 billion investment in OpenAI, which gave it a 49 percent stake in the AI firm (and once again raised regulatory scrutiny).
Given how strongly linked they are, it's no wonder Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was instrumental in getting OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman re-instated as CEO, following a dramatic battle with the company's board of directors.
Alongside Copilot Pro, Microsoft says that Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now widely available to small companies with its "Business Premium" and "Business Standard" subscriptions. The pricing hasn't changed from its earlier enterprise launch, though: It's still $30 a month per person (except now you can buy between 1 and 299 seats).