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Microsoft Copilot vs Microsoft 365 Copilot

Microsoft Copilot vs Microsoft 365 Copilot: Key Differences

The release of Microsoft’s new AI assistants Copilot and 365 Copilot has caused some confusion over their respective purposes and target users. While both leverages advanced AI capabilities to enhance productivity, Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft 365 Copilot are distinct tools aimed at different audiences. In this post, we’ll clarify the use cases and key differences between these two Copilot offerings from Microsoft. 

A Brief History 

First, some background. In recent years, Microsoft began developing AI technology under the Cortana brand to provide voice-based assistance on Windows devices. However, Cortana faced challenges in gaining traction, especially against market dominators like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. 

In 2021, Microsoft started shifting its strategy. They began decoupling Cortana from its tight integration with Windows, eventually announcing it would be discontinued on the operating system. 

In its place, Microsoft introduced two new productivity-focused AI tools: 

  • Microsoft Copilot – Unveiled in 2022 as an AI assistant integrated directly into Windows 11. It is designed to help optimize individual users’ experience with their personal devices. 
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot – Announced in 2023 as an AI tool incorporated into Microsoft’s suite of productivity apps for enterprises. It focuses on assisting with professional workflows like document creation, analysis, presentations, and more. 

Understanding who each Copilot is built for is key to differentiating them. Next, we’ll explore these assistants in more depth. 

Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot 

Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI productivity assistant designed for enterprise and professional environments. It integrates directly into core Microsoft 365 apps to help streamline common business workflows. 

Overview 

Microsoft 365 Copilot utilizes the same advanced AI model that powers GitHub Copilot, CoPilot for Developers, and Azure Cognitive Services. It is optimized specifically for enhancing productivity in Microsoft’s market-leading productivity suite. 

The assistant draws on Microsoft’s massive data set of real-world enterprise usage patterns across Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, and other 365 apps. This allows 365 Copilot to provide informed recommendations and automate tasks to boost productivity for workers. 

Key Features and Capabilities of Microsoft Copilot vs Microsoft 365 Copilot

Microsoft 365 Copilot’s key features include: 

  • Tight integration with Microsoft 365 apps – Unlike the standalone Cortana assistant, 365 Copilot is incorporated directly into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote and more. This enables contextual assistance within the apps professionals already use daily. 
  • Intelligent writing assistance in Word – 365 Copilot can help author drafts by making content suggestions as you type in Word. This could include proposing relevant text, assisting with edits, and adapting tone/style for different audiences. 
  • Data analysis and presentation aids in Excel and PowerPoint – 365 Copilot can scan Excel data sets and identify key trends, outliers, and insights to include in reports. It can also make smart slide recommendations in PowerPoint based on analyzing text and image content. 
  • Email and meeting summarization – 365 Copilot can digest lengthy email threads and Teams meeting recordings to provide condensed summaries of the key discussions and action items. This saves time catching up on essential communications. 
  • Automated note-taking with OneNote – 365 Copilot can passively listen in on meetings, calls, and events to automatically draft relevant notes and minutes in OneNote. This frees up creators to focus on engaging. 

Availability and Pricing 

Microsoft 365 Copilot will begin rolling out to commercial Microsoft 365 subscribers in late 2023. It will eventually be included in select subscription plans, but specific licensing requirements are still to be announced. Pricing will also likely vary based on company size and integration needs. 

Understanding Microsoft Copilot 

Unlike 365 Copilot for professional settings, Microsoft Copilot is designed as a personal productivity AI assistant embedded in Windows 11 itself. 

Overview 

Microsoft Copilot serves as an evolution of the virtual assistant capabilities Cortana originally provided at the operating system level. However it focuses more on streamlining core PC functions versus informational queries. 

Copilot aims to save home users time on common tasks while personalizing their Windows experience. It adopts a conversational UI similar to Alexa or Siri, invoking Copilot via voice commands, typing, or the built-in chat interface. 

Key Features and Capabilities 

Microsoft Copilot can: 

  • Optimize Windows settings and shortcuts – Copilot helps adjust system preferences like dark/light mode, font sizes, desktop backgrounds, and more based on simple requests. 
  • Organize windows efficiently – Copilot can quickly snap windows into place using commands like “Put browser on left and Explorer on right.” It integrates directly with the Snap Assist feature. 
  • Take and manage screenshots – You can ask Copilot to capture screenshots, crop images, add text annotations, and save files. It utilizes the integrated Snipping Tool capabilities. 
  • Summarize webpages and answer questions – Copilot provides condensed previews of webpages from Bing searches. You can also ask natural language questions, similar to Cortana’s legacy capabilities. 
  • Generate images and creations – Copilot taps into the DALL-E model to produce whimsical images and art from text prompts and descriptions. 

Over time, Microsoft plans to expand Copilot’s integration to offer even broader personal productivity assistance. 

Availability 

Microsoft Copilot is currently available in preview form for Windows Insiders testing early Windows 11 builds. It is expected to ship standard for all Windows 11 users later in 2023, starting with English-language markets like the US and UK. 

Accessing Copilot will be straightforward – invoking it from the taskbar, shortcut (Windows key + C), or via voice. 

Key Differences Between the Microsoft Copilot vs Microsoft 365 Copilot

Now that we’ve outlined Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft 365 Copilot independently, let’s summarize some of the key differences: 

  • Target users – 365 Copilot is designed for enterprise professionals, while Microsoft Copilot serves individual home users. Their feature sets optimize for these distinct use cases. 
  • Integration – 365 Copilot integrates into SaaS apps like Word and Excel. Microsoft Copilot is part of the client Windows 11 OS itself. 
  • Use cases – 365 Copilot focuses on accelerating document creation, analysis, communications, and presentations. Microsoft Copilot helps personalize OS settings, organize windows, generate images, and summarize web content. 
  • Availability – 365 Copilot will roll out to commercial Microsoft 365 plans first. Microsoft Copilot is currently in Windows Insider preview and will ship with consumer Windows 11 later. 

Ultimately, both flavors of Copilot leverage similar AI capabilities from Microsoft. But 365 Copilot aims to enhance productivity for large organizations, while Microsoft Copilot streamlines experiences for individual users. Understanding this distinction is key to determining which tool best fits your needs. 

Beyond Intranet Simplifies AI Assistance 

Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft 365 Copilot represent a new era of AI assistance from Microsoft. Moving past the Cortana legacy, these Copilots focus squarely on optimizing productivity in distinct environments. 

For enterprise professionals, Beyond Intranet helps with Microsoft 365 Copilot integration into core business apps to assist with documents, analysis, presentations, communication, and more. We ensure to help you save time on manual workflows by leveraging AI to generate informed suggestions and content. 

For individual users, Microsoft Copilot brings AI directly into the Windows 11 interface. It streamlines system personalization, task automation, and information lookup to customize experiences. 

Both tools promise to meaningfully enhance productivity by applying Microsoft’s cutting-edge AI capabilities. 365 Copilot targets workflows for global enterprises, while Microsoft Copilot streamlines OS-level interactions for home users. Understanding their differing purposes, integrations, and use cases is key to benefiting from the right Copilot for your needs. 

Conclusion 

If determining the best strategies for AI adoption is a challenge, solutions integrators like Beyond Intranet can help. With expertise in deploying Microsoft technologies, we guide clients in integrating tools like Microsoft 365 Copilot to enhance productivity across their organizations. Contact us today to get started future-proofing your business.