Microsoft 365 Copilot – Everything You Need to Know

Microsoft 365 Copilot hero approved

Thursday 16, March, at its Reinventing Productivity with A.I. event, Microsoft announced Microsoft 365 Copilot, a new set of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) integrations in its suite of Office applications, powered by ChatGPT and technology it has developed using the Microsoft Graph and large language models (LLMs).

Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot

Office apps already have A.I. features today, like PowerPoint’s Designer, where it suggests design layouts for your slides. But Copilot takes A.I. integration a step further by allowing you to interact with apps using natural language. And Copilot is able to analyze information not only in the current document, but also other relevant documents stored in your Microsoft 365 tenant.

Microsoft 365 Copilot for PowerPoint
Microsoft 365 Copilot for PowerPoint (Image Credit: Microsoft)

The Copilot system is an orchestration engine that harnesses the power of information via the Microsoft Graph and large language models (LLMs). It’s not just ChatGPT bolted on to Microsoft 365 apps. Microsoft demonstrated how Copilot can analyze sales information in an Excel spreadsheet and identify key trends. And dig deeper to surface more detailed information in a table and graph on a new sheet.

That’s not trivial. Especially if your Excel skills are limited. Microsoft said during the presentation: ‘Most people use no more than ten percent of what PowerPoint can do. Copilot unlocks the other ninety percent.’ And that applies across the board with Microsoft’s productivity apps.


Copilot will help you separate important information from noise by triaging your inbox. And on mobile, it can summarize long email threads, draft replies, integrate data from other sources like Excel. And it can make your email replies more concise, add more context, or change the writing style.

Microsoft 365 Copilot for Outlook
Microsoft 365 Copilot for Outlook (Image Credit: Microsoft)


If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can let Copilot follow it and produce a summary of what you missed. The recap will arrive as a notification in Teams and include content shared during the meeting, summarize notes, and provide a list of any action items that were assigned to you and others.

When information provided by the summary isn’t enough, you can use Copilot and natural language to ask for more details or why certain decisions were made. And if you want to understand more, Copilot can surface what other solutions were considered. Much like in Bing Prometheus, Copilot will provide citations from the meeting transcript to back up its conclusions.


Copilot lets you generate a slide deck from just words and using natural language. You can provide as much context as required and documents that contain relevant information. You can hone the results manually or ask Copilot to do it.

Imagine you have a slide that just has words. You can ask Copilot to make it more visual. Or you could ask Copilot to animate a slide and even add speaker notes.

‘What if the tools could learn how you work, rather than the other way round?’

Power Automate for everyone

Microsoft also demonstrated how more people will be able to use tools like Power Automate with the help of natural language. Power Automate is a no-code solution for developing apps. But it’s not always easy to build more than simple workflows without experience.

Copilot will help Power Automate become an app that you use every day, just like Word and PowerPoint.

Copilot Business Chat

Do you struggle to find the information you need for a project? Copilot Business Chat is a bot that pulls all the information you are looking for into a single place using natural language. Business Chat brings many of the Copilot features found in the individual apps into one place.

Once you’ve surfaced the information you need, you can ask it to produce a slide deck or email.

Microsoft 365 Copilot Business Chat
Microsoft 365 Copilot Business Chat (Image Credit: Microsoft)

Copilot and Microsoft Loop

Loop is still in private preview at the time of writing but it hasn’t been left out. Copilot also works with Loop components to help you organize and generate content.

Copilot for the enterprise

Microsoft emphasized during the event that Copilot is grounded in your organization’s data and that it works securely while respecting compliance rules and privacy. So, you don’t need to worry about Copilot surfacing private information when it is used to query data across your Microsoft 365 tenant.

Microsoft 365 Copilot for Word
Microsoft 365 Copilot for Word (Image Credit: Microsoft)

The content Copilot generates is intended to be used as a draft to get you started. Microsoft admitted that sometimes Copilot gets it wrong and that engineers are working with customers to improve the results over time.

Microsoft 365 Copilot availability

There was no exact date given as to when Copilot would be made available. But Microsoft has said that Copilot will be released in Microsoft 365 apps during the months ahead. Starting with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Viva, Power Platform, and more.

Earlier in March, Microsoft announced Dynamics 365 Copilot, which it claims is the world’s first A.I. Copilot in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Is Copilot the answer to managing information overload and faster content generation?

Google managed to one up Microsoft this week with an event on Tuesday where it announced similar A.I. integrations in Google Workspace. But Google still doesn’t have a product to show. Although, a preview was promised by the end of the month.

The Microsoft demos we saw today, to be honest, were mind blowing. But the proof is in the pudding. It remains to be seen whether similar results can be reproduced with real-world data and scenarios. And what the additional cost, if any, will be for Copilot.

Having seen what Microsoft has achieved with Bing Prometheus, it’s A.I. powered search feature that uses technology from OpenAI, including ChatGPT, I’m confident that we will eventually be able to experience similar results to what was shown today. But like Prometheus, it’s early days and I would expect Copilot to be far from perfect out of the gate.