Microsoft puts a steep price on Copilot, its AI-powered future of Office documents
Microsoft is putting a price on the AI-powered future of Office documents, and it’s a steep one for businesses looking to adopt Microsoft’s latest technology. Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available for $30 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium customers.
That’s a big premium over the cost of the existing Microsoft 365 plans right now. Microsoft charges businesses $36 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, which includes access to Office apps, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and many other productivity features. A $30 premium for access to Microsoft 365 Copilot will nearly double the cost for businesses subscribed to E3 that want these AI-powered features. For Microsoft 365 Business Standard, that’s almost three times the cost, given that it’s $12.50 per user per month.
Microsoft is trying to overhaul its Office apps with its AI-powered Copilot service, allowing businesses to instantly summarize documents, generate emails, and speed up Excel analysis. Microsoft 365 Copilot certainly looks like a very compelling feature addition, and I genuinely believe it will change Office documents forever, but the cost could put a lot of existing Microsoft 365 businesses off adopting Copilot in the short term.
Around 600 enterprise customers have been testing Microsoft 365 Copilot during a paid early access program over the past several months. Companies like KPMG, Lumen, and Emirates NBD have all had access. “We’re learning that the more customers use Copilot, the more their enthusiasm for Copilot grows,” says Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, in a blog post today. “Soon, no one will want to work without it.”
Microsoft hasn’t put a release date on Microsoft 365 Copilot just yet, though. The software giant will face competition from Google, too. Microsoft’s Copilot announcement came just days after Google announced similar AI features for Google Workspace earlier this year, including AI-assisted text generation in Gmail, Docs, and more. Zoom and Salesforce have also been adding AI-powered features, so all eyes will now be on how Google, Zoom, and Salesforce handle pricing for their AI additions going forward.
Part of the reason why Microsoft 365 Copilot is priced highly is because of the investment Microsoft has been making in building out its AI-powered offerings. Microsoft has invested billions into its OpenAI partnership to get this all off the ground. Tech companies like Microsoft have also been scrambling for Nvidia GPUs to power these features, so there’s a premium on what tasks this infrastructure is thrown at until chip availability and costs come down. Microsoft is reportedly working on its own AI chips in an attempt to avoid a costly reliance on Nvidia.
Microsoft is also bringing this Copilot experience to Teams, with integration into the Teams phone calling experience and inside Teams Chat threads. You can read more about these new Microsoft Teams Copilot features here.
Alongside the pricing announcement, Microsoft is also launching Bing Chat Enterprise. It’s essentially the same Bing Chat that’s available to consumers but with added commercial data protection. Microsoft is rolling out a preview of this today, and it’s included at no additional cost in Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium. You can read more about Bing Chat Enterprise right here.