Microsoft lost 12% of its profit

Microsoft Releases Copilot Pro for Consumers, Smaller Firms

US software giant Microsoft Corp. is expanding access to its Copilot artificial intelligence (AI) assistant to consumers and small businesses with its new Copilot Pro subscription service.

The company stated on Tuesday that smaller firms can now subscribe to its virtual assistant via its productivity apps, while individual users who signed up for the Microsoft 365 software can subscribe to the $20 per month Copilot Pro.

The new consumer version of Copilot will provide access to OpenAI Inc.’s latest ChatGPT tech, such as GPT-4 Turbo, and a ‘Copilot GPT Builder’ interface that enables the development of personal chatbots.

The updates also integrate Microsoft’s AI assistant into Office tools, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which previously only enterprise customers were able to use.

Moreover, the Redmond, Washington-based tech firm has made some changes to its enterprise service by removing the 300-people minimum requirement to acquire Copilot for Microsoft 365. That allows small businesses to utilize security measures and Teams upgrade included in the $30 monthly plan.

Copilot Pro Expected to Boost Microsoft and Its AI Ventures

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro said the company now expects nearly all its corporate clients to subscribe, adding that he sees no organization that would not purchase a seat of Copilot to learn about it and its offerings.

The Windows creator is head-to-head with Alphabet Inc.’s search giant, Google LLC, in marketing AI for productivity and cloud software to business customers.

Furthermore, Copilot Pro comes at a time when the consumer market is seeing fierce competition. Microsoft-backed OpenAI in February last year launched its premium service, ChatGPT Plus, which offers early access to new features and AI models for a monthly fee of $20.

Still, Copilot Pro would be different from ChatGPT Plus, according to Spataro, due to its integration into applications that people use daily.

The company may also benefit from expanding access in a way that the move would help cover the costs of setting up data center infrastructure that runs AI.

As Microsoft upgrades almost all its products around AI tools based on OpenAI’s technology, its Office offerings remained a significant means to encourage customers to make additional payments to receive AI support.

Executives have observed that demand for the firm’s products has increased to unexpected levels. Microsoft Executive Vice President of Cloud and AI Group, Scott Guthrie, compared the surge to people waiting overnight in line outside shops to buy copies of Windows 95 nearly 30 years ago.

Investors have been betting on Microsoft to financially gain from generative AI demand in operating systems, cloud, productivity, web search, and security despite competition from Google and Inc.

The previous week, Microsoft returned to the top spot as the world’s most valuable public company, outperforming Cupertino-based Apple Inc.

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