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What is Microsoft Copilot: Here's what it is, and how to use it

Microsoft has now rebranded Bing Chat to Microsoft Copilot, though the experience stays largely the same as ever.

Published onJuly 3, 2024

copilot microsoft

Microsoft Copilot is an AI companion that works similarly to other models based on ChatGPT technology. While it might not get as much attention as ChatGPT or Gemini, it’s still a pretty solid assistant and can be genuinely useful. In this guide, we take a look at what Microsoft Copolit is and how to use it.

What is Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot is an AI assistant that can handle your questions and complete tasks for you via generative AI. That said, a Microsoft Copilot isn’t just one thing. A Copilot is Microsoft’s official brand name for an AI companion, and many different Copilots exist, each designed with different tasks in mind. For the most part, each Copilot works similarly regardless of what hardware or platform it’s found on, though it may have certain specialized use cases. This includes variants baked into Windows 11, Office 365, and many other sources.

Is Microsoft Copilot free?

Microsoft Copilot comes in five different versions, including the free Microsoft Copilot found within a web browser or via the Bing website. There’s also a more advanced version called Copilot Pro, as well as three other specialty variants. Prices and availability will vary.

Here’s a closer look at the three main options:

  • Microsoft Copilot Free: The basic free plan is suitable for more casual uses or for those who only use AI occasionally. It can chat comprehensively and has text, voice, and image capabilities. There’s also summarization of documents, AI image creation, web grounding, and it supports plugins and Copilot GPTs. It’s also a little slower, as it takes lesser priority over the paid tiers. It’s also worth noting that Copilot limits the number of messages you can send per conversation. This limitation depends on which web browser is being used with Edge getting 30 messages per conversation versus just five for other browsers.
  • Microsoft Copilot Pro: The Pro tier is $20 a month and is built for individual users that have bigger demands than the free tier can accommodate. It does everything the free chatbot can but with the addition of faster responses and speedier image creation. There’s also copilot access in select Microsoft 365 apps with this plan.
  • Copilot for Microsoft 365: The most expensive of the core plans at $30 a month per user, this version is built with businesses in mind. It does everything the Pro version does but adds Copilot into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Teams. It also adds enterprise-grade data protection, Microsoft Graph grounding, and lets you customize it further through Microsoft Copilot Studio.

Microsoft also has a Microsoft Copilot Security option, which helps summarize vast data signals into key insights, strengthen team expertise, and much more. It integrates into several Microsoft security products. Beyond that, there’s also Microsoft Copilot Finance which is designed to help finance professionals.

Simply put, this is a tool designed to let you customize a Copilot for your business needs. This includes bots for customers, internal use, and more.

Where can you use Microsoft Copilot?

copilot windows 11
Andrew Grush / Android Authority

There are a few places where you can use Copilot, though it really will depend on the plan you selected. Here are just a few of the most common places where people can find Copilot:

  • Through the Bing website.
  • Through the Edge browser.
  • The right side of the Windows 11 start bar.
  • Directly within select Office 365 apps.

What can you do with Copilot?

Bing Chat summarization
Bing Chat

There’s a lot you can do with Microsoft Copilot, though some features are specific to certain use cases. Let’s focus on the core features specifically for the web and Windows bots:

  • Conversational search: Copilot allows users to engage in dynamic and natural conversations with the AI chatbot. It responds effectively to a wide range of prompts, making it a powerful tool for both basic and complex queries.
  • Summarization: One of Copilot’s key features is its ability to summarize information from the internet. It can provide concise summaries of articles, topics, or news, making it a handy resource for information seekers. Additionally, as per a recent update, the chatbot also has citations, allowing users to see exactly where its answers have been sourced from.
  • Creative content generation: Copilot can assist with content creation by generating creative works. It can assist with brainstorming by providing content ideas, writing introductions, suggesting titles and meta descriptions, and even rephrasing paragraphs to match specific tones of voice.
  • Image generation: Thanks to Copilot’s integration with OpenAI’s image generator DALL-E 3, Bing Image Creator has also received a massive update. This new tool allows users to generate images based on their prompts, granting them the ability to create custom visuals for their content or projects.

These features make Copilot a versatile and powerful tool for various tasks. It is also capable of a variety of conversation styles including creative, balanced, and precise. These do pretty much exactly what you’d expect, depending on if you want a conversation that’s more creative, data-driven, or one that meets somewhere in the middle.

How does Copilot work and what is it based on?

Copilot operates on the foundation of OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, which represents the latest advancement in the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) series. This is a significant upgrade from GPT-3.5, which is what powers ChatGPT. With a Copilot, users can engage in real-time conversations with the search engine and receive AI-generated responses.

These responses are not limited to text-based results; Copilot can also summarize information from the internet, making it a versatile tool for answering various types of queries. Copilot uses the same training data as previous ChatGPT models but is unique in its ability to access real-time data indexed by Bing, enabling it to provide up-to-date information, particularly regarding current events.

Is Copilot better than ChatGPT?

Copilot and ChatGPT have their own unique strengths and use cases. Because it is a search engine and has access to the internet, Copilot is a better tool for providing up-to-date information related to current events. It can be a valuable resource for tasks that require real-time data. Additionally, it is arguably more convenient for many tasks as it is directly built into Bing, with additional features like Bing Image Creator.

On the other hand, Copilot features ads, so users may sometimes see sponsored results. Bing is also less popular as a search engine, so the integration to the web might not be as big of an advantage depending on how you feel about Bing.

ChatGPT has its own pros and cons. While it can offer longer creative responses for users, ChatGPT may also be less accurate as it doesn’t have direct access to the internet for fact-checking. One major advantage is the lack of a daily usage limit for free users. There’s even a premium version of the module, ChatGPT Plus, that offers priority access, the ability to add plugins, GPT-4 support, and much more.


In a word it’s about better brand consistency. When you think of chatbots, it wants Copilot to come to mind — whether you are using it on the web, Windows, or a specialized version like Copilot for Microsoft 365.

No, Copilot is not sentient. It is powered by AI technology but does not possess consciousness or self-awareness.

Yes, it has the capability to see and interpret images, allowing it to respond to image-related queries effectively.

Yes, Copilot is available on all web browsers, including Chrome, making it accessible to a wide range of users. However, Chrome users are limited to just five messages per day. In contrast, Edge allows you to send 30 messages a day.

Yes, it has a daily limit for how much users can utilize it each day. This limit will depend on the web browser that you are using. Chrome and Safari users are limited to just five messages per day while Edge users can send up to 30 messages. After reaching the limit, users have to wait until the following day before they are able to use it again. Microsoft has changed the limit, therefore this limit is possibly subject to change again in the future.

Copilot has access to the internet and can retrieve real-time information from web pages indexed by Bing, allowing it to provide users with the most current and accurate data.

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