March 1

Microsoft Copilot FAQs

Whew! Last week’s free webinar on Microsoft Copilot had more than 1100 registrations and soooo much buzz!

You can watch the replay here. We received more than 50 questions during the program, and I promised to write this blog with your questions and my answers. I used ChatGPT to group the questions into sections, so let me know if you still have inquiries after this. Thanks for coming. :)

What are the subscription requirements for accessing Microsoft Copilot?

This was one of the most confusing things for me and one of the big questions I set out to answer. Here’s what’s true as of today:

  • Microsoft Copilot replaced Bing Chat. It’s free on the web, in apps and is embedded into Windows 11. It can answer ChatGPT-type questions (like creating images, crafting recipes, writing essays, etc.). In Windows 11 (and even Windows 10 to some extent), Copilot will help you change settings on your computer and troubleshoot problems.
  • Microsoft Copilot Pro is $20 a month per user. It requires an individual or family plan paid subscription to Microsoft 365, which runs between $70-100/year. You get faster and better access to the regular old Copilot on the web, apps and Windows 11. Plus you’ll see Copilot as a helper in Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint.
  • Copilot for Microsoft 365 is $30 per user. It requires a business license that starts at $12.50/user/month. It does everything Copilot Pro does plus more integration and more apps.

Which platforms and operating systems support Microsoft Copilot, and what are the installation or activation steps?

Microsoft Copilot (the free version) is available on the web (any browser) at https://copilot.microsoft.com and https://www.bing.com/ and built into the Edge browser. You can also get it via the Apple App Store and Google Play.

If you have Microsoft Windows 11 on your PC, Microsoft Copilot (the free version) is waiting for you. It’s also in Windows 10, but isn’t as robust.

If you have either paid version of Copilot, you’ll get the extra features (such as faster connections, etc.) wherever you use the tool.

If you have upgraded to Copilot Pro ($20) or Copilot 365 ($30), you can download software to your Mac or PC so Copilot will show up in your apps (such as Word, PowerPoint, etc.). If you do not pay for Copilot, you will not be able to use Copilot inside the apps, but you can still use it on the web then copy and paste into your documents.

If you have the paid version, you will also have access to the feature when you use your MS apps online or on mobile devices.

How can I improve my prompts for better outcomes with Copilot?

Microsoft has a bunch of tips for prompting with Copilot. Some of them apply to the paid versions, but it also has info for the basic level.

How does Microsoft Copilot compare to other AI tools such as Google, JasperAI, and ChatGPT in terms of features and effectiveness?

Great question! At this moment in time, I think your best AI bang for the buck is $20/month for ChatGPT Plus. I use this tool daily, and the advance features it offers make it totally worth while. I haven’t found that Copilot Pro has enhanced my efficiency because I can use it inside Microsoft Word, for example. It’s just as easy for me to pop out to ChatGPT and get better results.

Google Gemini has a paid version, but I’m using the free right now. It’s pretty good, especially because it has the ability to fact check a response. But I still like ChatGPT better.

Jasper was my first love, and I still have a subscription. It’s a wonderful place for no-nonsense AI content generation. They make it easy because they walk you through templates that help you create what you want more quickly. If I were a content-generation machine, I think Jasper would be very helpful. For my needs right now, I rarely use it.

What are the security and privacy measures in place for Microsoft Copilot, especially regarding confidential information and user data?

I asked Copilot “Are you using my data?” and here’s what it said:

I respect your privacy and confidentiality. My primary function is to assist and provide information based on our conversation. I don’t store personal data unless it’s for improving our interactions within this session. Remember, you have control over your data and can manage your privacy settings in the Copilot interface. If you have any concerns about privacy or data usage, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to address them. 🛡️

So then I asked it “How do I manage my privacy settings?” And it gave me a specific list of places to change settings online and on my computers. I’d paste them all here, but it’s easier if you just ask it yourself. :)

Can you use Copilot offline?

Right now it seems like you have to be online to use Copilot. It looks like MS is exploring some options for offline use, but really it has to be connected to the world to get the most current responses.

Can you upload docs to Copilot for analysis?

Right now it looks like if you’re using Copilot online, you can upload images but no docs. But if you have a paid version of Copilot, you’ll be able to have it work with your documents when you’re working inside that document.

What other questions do you have?

Put them into the comments and I’ll keep answering. :)


Tags

business essentials, communication, organization, productivity


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