February 25, 2024

Copilot, the AI companion in Windows 11 that launched last year, now has a Pro version that costs $20 per month and brings with it more powerful content generation and cross-app compatibility, Microsoft said in a blog post on Tuesday. 

Copilot Pro uses the power of GPT-4 Turbo, the latest and most powerful chatbot by OpenAI, for smarter answers with fewer errors. It’ll works across multiple devices and can understand context on the web, PC and across apps. This means that you can ask Copilot to help summarize a document in Word, help create a PowerPoint, draft an email in Outlook or assist in taking notes on OneNote. Copilot Pro will also have enhanced image creation and the ability for you to create custom GPTs to accomplish specific tasks. ChatGPT also allows the ability to create custom GPTs and opened its GPT Store earlier this month. 

Microsoft says Copilot Pro will come to mobile, soon. 

Currently in Windows 11, when you press the Windows + F keys, a Copilot window opens at the right and gives the ability to answer questions or generate images using AI. (New laptops we saw at CES had a special Copilot key built in.) The base version, however, can’t do many of the fancier things like talking between apps and devices. Copilot Pro comes closer to Microsoft’s vision of what an AI-integrated Windows should look like. 

Microsoft is currently the most valuable company in the world, overtaking Apple last week. The boost in valuation comes from the company’s investments and bets on AI, specifically with OpenAI. It points to a major shift in the world of Big Tech where the world’s top companies are pushing increased focus on AI, potentially to the detriment of non-AI departments. For example, Amazon laid off hundreds in the division that makes Alexa, its voice assistant, last year to reportedly put more resources in AI. The company also laid off people at Prime Video and Twitch, its video game streaming platform. And last week, Google laid off hundreds from its hardware and Assistant divisions and hundreds more from its sales team earlier today.

While AI continues to be the focus for companies such as Google, Meta and Microsoft, there’s also been a trend of laying off AI ethics teams. Last year, Microsoft laid off the AI ethics team responsible for teaching employees how to make AI tools responsibly. Meta broke up its responsible AI team last year and reassigned them to the AI development team. Google also fired or saw the resignation of multiple AI ethicists and researchers over the last few years who called into question the company’s practices.