AI everywhere – Microsoft’s AI Product Integrations
Here is a run-down of some of the different AI SKUs being rolled out by Microsoft now and in the near future
Written by Keith Batterham
A lot of my blog posts tend to be vendor neutral as we have a diverse client base with equally diverse needs and technology stacks. But today, working as I do for a proud Microsoft partner with ALL four of the Security Specialisations, I thought I would shine the spotlight on what is happening with Microsoft core products with respect to AI integration.
You will hear the word ‘copilot’ a lot when it comes to Microsoft’s integration of AI and that makes sense – a copilot sits alongside the pilot and assists in keeping things safe and operating within parameters, also undertaking well-defined operating procedures, and providing the necessary feedback for decision making.
Here is a run-down of some of the different AI SKU being rolled out by Microsoft now and in the near future:
Copilot for Windows
Already integrated into the latest builds of Windows 11, this AI-powered assistant helps get inspiration and answers from the web for your research and creative needs. Of course, you will need to make sure you are on the latest version, so head over to Windows Update (in ‘settings’).
If you are on the correct version, you should by default see a Copilot button on the taskbar, which you can click to launch it (head to Personalization then Taskbar in Settings if you want to change this). Other ways to launch it are by pressing the [Win+C] keyboard shortcut or go via the Start menu.
Still on Windows 10? Not to worry, Microsoft has announced that Copilot will be launching on this platform soon.
Copilot (previously Bing Chat for Enterprise)
This builds on Copilot for Windows by providing an enhanced chat-based service, adding commercial data protection. It’s important to note that chat history is not saved, and your data is NOT used to further train large language models (LLMs), which has been a major concern for many large organisation and has hampered the adoption of other AI tools like OpenAI at places like Deutsche Bank and Apple.
Copilot is available in preview today for customers who have Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, Business Premium, or A3 or A5 for faculty licences. If you do have the correct licence type, then you can access it via bing.com/chat and the Microsoft Edge for Business sidebar right now.
In time it will also be available via Windows Copilot and will also be available as a standalone purchase for $5 per user per month.
Microsoft 365 Copilot
This builds on Bing Chat for Enterprise and includes notable features such as enterprise-grade security, privacy, compliance and ‘responsible AI’ to ensure all data processing happens inside your Microsoft 365 tenant.
As you can guess from the name, Microsoft 365 Copilot also integrates with Microsoft 365 productivity applications, enabling complex problem solving by combing across your own connected data and the Internet.
Copilot Studio has been integrated into Microsoft 365 Copilot to access the information you have on your applications. This allows you to easily establish connections between applications and datasets, which Copilot can analyse and incorporate into conversations.
To access Microsoft 365 Copilot today you need to have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement for licencing and you also must have deployed Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise. There is a minimum number of users you need per month (300), and a monthly fee of 30 euro per user.
Microsoft Security Copilot
One of the problems with traditional security applications and services is that you have to know a lot of syntax and formal expressions to get the most out of them. Microsoft Security Copilot, however, enables you to ask questions in natural language and receive actionable responses to help with tasks such as incident response, security posture management, and security reporting.
As you can imagine, this integrates with services such as:
- Microsoft 365 Defender
- Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence
- Microsoft Sentinel
- Microsoft InTune
Initially announced in March 2023, Microsoft Security Copilot is only available via invitation from the Early Access Programme.
This is just a snapshot into the rapidly evolving world of just one vendor’s AI programme. And all of this without even going into other third-party services and collaborations including Copilot for Azure (AHEAD) and Azure OpenAI Copilot!
AI is a hugely exciting area, not without its potential pitfalls, but the industry is going to radically evolve its AI offerings in the next 12 to 24 months. It is best to make sure you know what your plans are before acting and talk to a trusted advisor if you realise you need help.
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