What Is Microsoft Copilot? A Guide to the Latest Features

Makayla Mota

I am sure you have heard many things about Microsoft Copilot at this point, and then many things about the many different Copilots as well. But what exactly is Copilot and what are the differences between the varieties and how they work within the Microsoft ecosystem?  

Let’s start with the basics. Microsoft Copilot is a groundbreaking AI-powered innovation that harnesses the capabilities of machine learning and natural language processing to enhance efficiency, foster innovation, and elevate teamwork within the Microsoft ecosystem. Serving as an advanced digital assistant, Copilot streamlines operations by providing intelligent recommendations and valuable insights, as well as automating repetitive tasks.

Copilot enables users to engage in coding, writing, image generation, and information retrieval. It transcends traditional tool functionality, offering a holistic solution tailored for Microsoft’s suite of products, including Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Fabric, Sales, Service, and GitHub. With its AI-driven features, Copilot transforms conventional task approaches, stimulating creativity and productivity.

Top Benefits of Using Copilot

Utilizing Microsoft Copilot offers myriad advantages for businesses, ranging from heightened efficiency and productivity to decreased workload and stress.

  • Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity: Through task automation, intelligent suggestions, and workflow optimization, Copilot elevates workplace efficiency and productivity.
  • Reduced Workload and Stress: By handling repetitive tasks and offering meaningful insights, Copilot diminishes employee workload, leading to reduced stress and greater overall wellness.
  • Fostering Collaboration and Creativity: With its real-time collaboration capabilities and original suggestions, Copilot cultivates a collaborative environment, inspiring team members to combine forces to work together in coauthoring innovative work.
  • Optimized Cost Management: Copilot offers guidance and suggestions to optimize costs, allowing businesses to achieve long-term savings while maintaining exceptional quality standards.
  • Seamless Integration with the Microsoft Ecosystem: Because it is a Microsoft product, Copilot perfectly works alongside other Microsoft tools, ensuring a consistent user experience.
  • Security and Data Privacy: Copilot follows leading cybersecurity protocols, integrating state-of-the-art security measures such as data encryption and data residency options to consistently protect your organization’s sensitive information.
  • Emphasizing Commercial Data Protection: Copilot prioritizes safeguarding commercial data, guaranteeing confidentiality and integrity.
  • Enforcing Logical Isolation: Copilot employs logical isolation to compartmentalize data, preventing unauthorized access and ensuring a secure work environment.
  • Detailed User Permissions: Copilot provides granular user permissions, enabling organizations to efficiently regulate access and promote a secure and compliant ecosystem.

What Are the Different Copilots and How Can You Use Them Effectively?

Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat, or Bing Chat Enterprise) is perfectly suited to assist you with everyday tasks such as searching online. Microsoft Copilot makes your browsing experience faster and easier across Bing, Edge, and Windows.

Copilot in Bing transcends traditional search engines. Serving as your personal AI assistant, Copilot streamlines your online search experience by delivering swift and concise responses to inquiries—conserving your time and energy. In addition, it extends support by furnishing recommendations and aid for writing assignments, making it an asset for both students and professionals.

Discover Copilot’s capabilities within Bing by following these simple steps. Just head to Bing’s homepage, sign in with your Microsoft account (or register one for free), and seamlessly access Copilot via the search bar. Input your query, press enter, and appreciate the prompt and succinct responses to your inquiries.

Edge stands as Microsoft’s innovative and robust Web browser, elevated further with the inclusion of Copilot. Leveraging its AI capabilities, Edge accelerates information retrieval, enhances your browsing experience, and protects your online privacy. Additionally, it seamlessly integrates with Bing, delivering a comprehensive and streamlined search journey.

Unlock the potential of Copilot in Edge by following these steps:

  1. Launch your Microsoft Edge browser. If it’s not already installed, you can download it from the official Microsoft website.
  2. Confirm that you’re signed in to your Microsoft Account. If not, access Settings and Profiles from the three-dot menu at the browser’s top-right corner, and then click on Add Profile to either log in or create an account.
  3. Once signed in, access Edge Settings by clicking on the three-dot menu at the browser’s top-right corner.
  4. In the Settings menu, select Privacy, Search, and Services.
  5. Scroll down to the Services section and locate Microsoft Copilot.
  6. Activate Copilot by toggling the switch to ‘On’.

Copilot can now improve your Edge browsing experience by offering intelligent suggestions and expediting search outcomes. Remember, for Copilot to operate optimally, keep your Edge browser updated to the latest version! Regular updates not only introduce new features but also uphold the highest standards of security for your browsing activities.

Copilot for Windows 11 provides a state-of-the-art, AI-driven assistant crafted to elevate your digital interactions, helping you increase your productivity. Copilot stands as your smart assistant, seamlessly woven into your workflow, easily accessible on the taskbar, or a Win+C keyboard shortcut away.

Experience heightened efficiency as Copilot empowers you to uncover answers and inspiration from the Web while nurturing creativity and collaboration. Streamline cognitive load and expedite task fulfillment with its intuitive aid.

Whether you’re at work, school, or home, Copilot remains by your side delivering support alongside your apps. Its presence amplifies focus and helps you complete numerous tasks.

Copilot for Microsoft 365

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now seamlessly integrated into the Microsoft 365 suite and will reform the way you work within Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint, and more. Whether you are using it to answer queries, generate content, or analyze data, Copilot for Microsoft 365 augments productivity with its natural language capabilities.

On January 15, 2024, Microsoft announced Copilot’s availability regardless of seat size for individuals, enterprises, and anyone in between. This inclusive accessibility ensures that regardless of your team or organization size, you can leverage Copilot’s array of benefits and features. Whether you’re working independently or within a sizable company, Copilot stands ready to elevate your productivity and efficiency levels.

Microsoft Copilot serves as an AI-driven productivity solution, seamlessly merging your data across Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 applications and services.

Harnessing machine learning algorithms and natural language processing, Microsoft Copilot comprehends context and provides intelligent recommendations. This entails Copilot being trained on extensive datasets, encompassing code among other information.

Highlighted below are key attributes of Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 applications:

Copilot in Outlook

Copilot within Outlook helps to manage your inbox effectively and craft communications in significantly less time. Use Copilot in Outlook to condense lengthy email exchanges into concise summaries by requesting Copilot to encapsulate an email thread—swiftly navigating to the essence of the summarized content, while also proposing action items, responses, and scheduling follow-up meetings. Also, when composing an email, you can select preferences for length and tone with Copilot’s help!

Copilot in Word

Copilot within Word revamps your writing process, fostering productivity and creativity as you craft, summarize, comprehend, refine, and enhance your documents. Now, leverage advanced functionalities that include text visualization and table conversion, adding to existing prompts, composing a document with reference to up to 3 documents, and exploring document-related information.

Create a first draft easily with Copilot, igniting inspiration and allowing it to expand on your existing idea. Seamlessly convert text into tables using Copilot’s rewriting capabilities. Begin a chat with Copilot to unearth supplementary details that work to enrich your document. When time is of the essence, allow Copilot to condense your document for you.

Copilot in Excel

Copilot in Excel collaborates with you to streamline data analysis and exploration. Ask Copilot questions regarding your data in natural language, not just formulas. It shows correlations, presents what-if scenarios, and proposes new formulas based on your inquiries—constructing models tailored to your questions, allowing for data exploration without altering the data itself. Discern trends, craft impactful visualizations, or solicit recommendations to drive varied outcomes.

Leverage Copilot’s assistance to delve into and comprehend your data with enhanced efficiency. Pinpoint significant insights and visualize your data easily. Streamline your focus on critical aspects by effortlessly highlighting, filtering, and sorting your data. Seamlessly devise formulas with Copilot’s recommendations for complex calculations.

Copilot in PowerPoint

Copilot within PowerPoint empowers you to translate your concepts into captivating presentations. Think of Copilot in PowerPoint as your narrative collaborator helping you to convert existing written documents into comprehensive decks, including speaker notes and references, or to initiate a new presentation from a basic prompt or outline.

Copilot is your PowerPoint partner whether you’re crafting a fresh presentation or needing a summary of a lengthier one. Entrust Copilot to arrange your slides, smoothly restructuring them to your specifications. Additionally, easily integrate your organization’s branding by allowing Copilot to generate slides or visuals.

Copilot in Teams

Copilot within Teams can summarize conversations, precisely organize pivotal discussion points, and create of meeting agendas derived from chat history. Stay updated by obtaining answers to specific inquiries and catching up on any overlooked details. Communication amongst teams becomes further enriched when relying on Copilot for identifying who needs follow-ups and scheduling subsequent check-ins, enhancing productivity all around.

Copilot in Viva

Copilot within Microsoft Viva stands as the forefront AI tool, delivering quick, precise, and personalizes responses and insights customed to your business context. Microsoft Viva Copilot employs advanced AI to accelerate workforce insights and elevate employee engagement. It equips managers with predictive tools, thereby fostering a more connected and effective workforce. Copilot prioritizes security, compliance, and privacy while championing responsible AI practices and heightened employee engagement.

Copilot in OneNote

Copilot within OneNote facilitates a transformative approach to planning and organization, enabling better preparedness and proactive action based on your notes. Now, delve deeper into your notes by posing comprehensive questions, generating summaries of your content, requesting Copilot to generate content, and aiding in enhancing the clarity of your writing.

Copilot in Loop

Copilot within Loop empowers you to harness the potential of collective ideation—co-create, synchronize with teammates, and maintain alignment effortlessly. Collaboratively with Copilot in Loop as a team, you can co-craft prompts, generate tables to streamline team projects, pick up where your teammates left off, summarize page content, and produce a recap for a colleague to whom you’re delegating work.

Copilot in Whiteboard

Copilot within Whiteboard serves as a catalyst, expediting your process from idea, to generation, to organization, to summarization. Engage in collaborative brainstorming sessions, receive insights from Copilot tailored to your creations, and refine your brainstorming outputs into refined presentations.

What Is Microsoft Security Copilot?

Presently available through invitation-only early access, Microsoft Security Copilot has emerged as a pivotal tool within the security domain. Leveraging data signals from diverse sources like Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence, Microsoft Sentinel, and Microsoft Intune, it proactively identifies threats and automates responses for swift threat resolution. Enhanced by a specialized language model with dedicated capabilities, Microsoft Security Copilot’s effectiveness is heightened, enabling it to effectively monitor potential cyber risks.

Moreover, Security Copilot aids organizations in enhancing the productivity of their existing security teams by bridging skill gaps, delivering ongoing risk assessments, and furnishing customized recommendations. These measures fortify the overall cybersecurity posture, particularly in managing imminent threats or potential attacks.

Are You Ready for Microsoft Copilot?

While the array of different Copilots is vast, imagine the possibilities in productivity, creativity, and organization. Embracing AI requires careful planning, meticulous preparation, and a readiness mindset to ensure successful implementation and return on investment. Microsoft 365 Copilot is no exception.

Embark on the initial steps of integrating AI into your workplace with Connection’s Copilot for Microsoft 365 Workshop. Crafted as a three-phase engagement, our workshop will assist you in assessing needs, prioritizing Copilot scenarios, and defining an actionable roadmap. It provides insights into your readiness and identifies optimization opportunities through tailored services aimed at enhancing your data infrastructure, analyzing and enhancing accessibility, and maximizing security.

Let Connection guide you in preparing for Copilot implementation and realizing its full range of benefits and return on investment. Reach out to your Account Team for more information on how to get started.

Makayla Mota is a Partner Marketing Specialist at Connection with a background in educational technology training on Microsoft solutions in the classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, antiquing, hiking, and watching movies.