What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (2024)

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (1)

Welcome to the April 2024 edition of What's New in Copilot for Microsoft 365! Every month, we highlight new features and enhancements for Copilot for Microsoft 365, so you can stay up to date with Copilot features that help you be more productive and efficient in the apps you use every day. This month, we’re excited to share information about extended language support in Copilot, features to help streamline data in Copilot in Excel, more efficient search and document creation with Copilot in Word, new training in Copilot Academy, and so much more!

And in case you missed it, be sure to catch up on our recent announcement about general availability of Microsoft Copilot Dashboard, as well as our quarterly blog series designed to help you skill up on Modern Work technologies.

Now let’s take a look at this month’s updates:

Expanded capabilities

  • Copilot with Graph-grounded chat now available in Outlook
  • Use local files to ground Copilot prompts
  • Create and consume Word documents more efficiently with Copilot
  • Generate multiple formula columns with Copilot in Excel
  • Fine-tune prompts with Notebook in Copilot with commercial data protection
  • Securely access Copilot web chat in the Copilot mobile app

Expanded access and management

  • App Assure now supports Copilot customers transitioning to monthly updates
  • Support for new languages in Copilot for Microsoft 365
  • Improve Copilot skills with Copilot Academy in Viva Learning
  • Manage Copilot availability in Teams meetings
  • Restricted SharePoint Search now in Public Preview

Copilot with Graph-grounded chat now available in Outlook

Starting in May, you can use Copilot in Outlook to connect to and reason across your enterprise data including your chats, documents, meetings, and emails. You will find the Copilot app in the left app bar in classic Microsoft Outlook for Windows, new Outlook for Windows, and Outlook on the web. Learn more about using Copilot with Graph-grounded chat.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (2)A screenshot of a computer showing a Copilot chat box in Outlook

Use local files to ground Copilot prompts

Using Copilot to reason across your work data is becoming more comprehensive and simple. Since we launched Copilot, you have been able to ground your prompts in specific files stored in One Drive or SharePoint by typing "/" and then the file name. In May, we'll add the ability to ground your prompts in local files, too. And for files stored in the OneDrive and SharePoint, you'll soon be able to simply copy and paste file links to ground prompts for even richer conversations with Copilot.

Create and consume Word documents more efficiently with Copilot

Now, you’ll see several new features in Copilot for Word that can help you access information quickly when you’re creating documents.

Now when you ask Copilot a question in Word chat, an answer will be generated using the rich, people-centric data and insights in the Microsoft cloud and Microsoft Graph. That way, you can stay in the app and maintain focus on creating your document.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (3)A blank Word document with Copilot open on the side. The user prompted Copilot “I’m writing a proposal for a corporate event in Europe. What are some considerations regarding collecting names and emails of attendees?”. Copilot responded based on information from the users accessible work files, including a specific reference for Email templates that links to an internal document.

And when you use the Rewrite feature in Copilot, now you can fine-tune a specific section of the document. This gives you more control over additional changes, re-writes, tone, and formatting with the help of Copilot .

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (4)A user has a Word document open. They select a specific section called “Project Timeline”, open Copilot, and in the “Fine-tune” section enter “Include details about the budget. Copilot edits the selected text based on the prompt.

You can use Draft with Copilot to reference files that are marked with sensitivity labels to create a new document draft, and the sensitivity label of the referenced file will be automatically applied to the new draft.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (5)A GIF shows a user with a blank Word document open. They activate Copilot and request to "Create a 1-page presentation" using two files. An "i" icon indicates that one of the files has a sensitivity label. Copilot generates the new document, and a yellow banner appears, indicating that Copilot automatically applied the sensitivity label from the referenced file.

Copilot can create summaries of selected text. Simply select the text block you want summarized and ask Copilot to provide a summarized version you can share in other documents or email. This is available in Word for web now.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (6)An image of a Word document for a Go-to-market strategy. The user has highlighted a section of the text and prompted Copilot so summarize. Copilot shared a summary of the selected text.Beginning in May, if you are using Copilot in Word to draft a document, you can copy and paste a link of a supported file as a reference into Draft with Copilot, instead of searching for it in the file reference menu. This makes it faster for you to find any reference files you need to support your work.

Generate multiple formula columns with Copilot in Excel

Copilot in Excel now supports generating multiple formula columns from a single prompt. Ask one question, and Copilot can return two formula columns simultaneously. For instance, you can extract both the first name and last name from a single prompt, neatly separating the information into distinct columns. Additionally, now you can use Copilot to create complex formula columns that span across multiple tables, utilizing functions like XLOOKUP and SUMIF. This capability streamlines data processing and empowers you to handle more complex data analysis tasks efficiently, even when using multiple tables.

Securely access Copilot web chat in the Copilot mobile app

Now you can access AI-powered web chat on the go with the Copilot mobile app available on iOS and Android. When you sign into a work accounteligible license, Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise) automatically adds commercial data protection at no additional cost. This helps you be more productive and creative while also ensuring sensitive data is protected from being leaked into AI models. IT admins can manage the Copilot mobile app with Microsoft Intune. Learn more about Copilot on mobile.

Fine-tune prompts with Notebook in Copilot with commercial data protection

Notebook is a new way to securely interact with the generative AI models powering Copilot—beyond chat, Notebook is like an enhanced scratch pad that lets you fine-tune your prompts. Notebook allows for longer prompts and lets you iterate and refine your prompt over time to get the response you’re looking for. These capabilities make it especially useful for tasks like generating code or developing a piece of writing. It’s also a great way to experience how adding more details to your prompts can produce better responses.

Commercial data protection applies while using Copilot, just sign in with an eligible work or school account. You can access the Notebook feature at the top of copilot.microsoft.com and Copilot in Bing. If you have a Work and Web toggle at the top of the Copilot experience, set the toggle to Web to see Notebook.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (7)A screenshot of a computer showing a Copilot chat box with a Notebook icon above it.

App Assure now supports Copilot customers transitioning to monthly updates

Starting today Microsoft’s App Assure program now supports Copilot for Microsoft 365 customers moving to a monthly update channel, at no additional cost. As more organizations adopt Copilot, they're moving to a monthly update channel for Microsoft 365 Apps.

Companies that move to a monthly update channel get the latest features and custom rollout waves. In addition, monthly updates provide a secure experience that minimizes incidents and disruptions, offer better diagnostics for supportability and minimize helpdesk claims. For customers who need a predictable release schedule, we specifically recommend the Monthly Enterprise Channel.

The App Assure program underscores our commitment to delivering a seamless experience offering app compatibility assistance across line of business applications, third-party software, and Microsoft’s products: macros, add-ins, and drivers. For third-party apps, App Assure will work directly with qualified participants to resolve app compatibility issues. Register for app assure today. 

Support for new languages in Copilot for Microsoft 365

We are now rolling out support for an additional 16 languages in Copilot for Microsoft 365 including Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmal), Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian. These join the growing list of languages in which Copilot is already supported: Chinese (Simplified)​​, English (US, GB, AU, CA, IN)​​, French (FR, CA)​​, German​​, Italian​​, Japanese​​, Portuguese (BR)​​, and Spanish (ES, MX)​​.

In addition, we are also making Chinese (Traditional) available on Copilot for Microsoft 365, meaning that you can now to work with Copilot using that language just as you can in free versions. We will add Chinese (Traditional) to the list of supported languages as the last few known issues are resolved. Learn more about supported languages for Microsoft Copilot here.

We are always improving. Today, Copilot for Microsoft 365 may not yet understand every colloquial expression or linguistic convention in a given language. We are continually refining Copilot’s language capabilities and encourage you to provide us with actionable feedback. We are also continuing to expand the list of supported languages and will share more in coming months.

Improve Copilot skills with Copilot Academy in Viva Learning

Earlier this month we were excited to introduce Microsoft Copilot Academy. Recognizing the need to develop a new skillset around AI tools, Copilot Academy provides structured educational content to help you learn about, discover, and use Copilot quickly and effectively. Copilot Academy is generally available now, available in your Viva Learning app in Teams or the web.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (8)A computer screenshot showing Microsoft Copilot Academy in the Viva Learning app in Teams

Manage Copilot availability in Teams meetings

If you’re a Microsoft 365 admin, now you can manage Copilot availability in the Teams admin center. Either select an existing policy or create a new one, and then select On or On only with retained transcript from the dropdown for the Copilot setting:

When you select On and a meeting organizer with this policy creates a meeting or event, then the Copilot option is set so it is available Only during the meeting. The meeting organizer can change this value to During and after the meeting.

When you select On only with retained transcript and a meeting organizer with this policy creates a meeting or event, then the Copilot option is locked to During and after the meeting and the meeting organizer must turn on transcription to use Copilot.

Restricted SharePoint search began rolling out in public preview for Copilot for Microsoft 365 customers earlier this month. If you’re a Microsoft 365 admin, this enables you to review your content management and data governance practices without losing momentum with your Copilot deployment. You can disable organization-wide search to restrict both enterprise search and Copilot experiences in the SharePoint sites of your choice. Restricted SharePoint search will be generally available in May 2024. To follow the status of the rollout, please check the public roadmap.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (9)Copilot for Microsoft 365 end user experience. There is a message at the top of the screen with the following text: “Your organization's admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts. Learn more.”

Did you know? The Microsoft 365 Roadmap is where you can get the latest updates on productivity apps and intelligent cloud services. Check back regularly to see what features are in development or coming soon.

What’s New in Copilot | April 2024 (2024)

FAQs

Which is better, Copilot or ChatGPT? ›

The bottom line is that ChatGPT-4 is great for starting out, helping you develop new ideas and plan your project, while GitHub Copilot is awesome for when you're deep into coding. It gives you smart suggestions to make your code better and helps you finish tasks faster.

What's new in Copilot Studio? ›

Speech and IVR. Craft rich AI-powered voice solutions using the Microsoft Copilot Studio advanced authoring canvas and native voice support. You are able to opt into some features as part of early access on February 5, 2024, including all mandatory changes that affect users.

How much will Microsoft Copilot cost? ›

The Copilot for Microsoft 365 plan costs $30 per user per month, or you can purchase the plan for $360 per year. You'll also still need a qualifying Microsoft 365 plan. Copilot for Microsoft 365 includes all the features of Copilot Pro, plus some extras.

What are the disadvantages of Copilot? ›

While Copilot enhances productivity, it also risks users becoming overly dependent on the tool, potentially decreasing critical thinking and problem-solving skills​​.

Is Copilot no longer free? ›

On Thursday, Microsoft announced several updates to its chatbot that make the Copilot Pro subscription more attractive. First and foremost, Microsoft finally added a way for users to try Copilot Pro without paying for the $20-per-month subscription.

What is the difference between Copilot Studio and Copilot? ›

Microsoft Copilot Studio is a graphical low-code tool for creating and maintaining copilots. A copilot is an AI-powered conversational interface based on large language models (LLMs) and additional sources of knowledge.

How much does Copilot Studio cost? ›

Microsoft Copilot Studio Pricing Overview

For building a copilot: $200 per month/tenant for 25,000 messages. Additional packs available. For customizing Copilot for Microsoft 365: Copilot Studio is included in the $30 user license.

Is it safe to use Copilot? ›

How Does Microsoft Copilot Keep Your Data Secure. Microsoft asserts that it built Copilot with the same comprehensive approach to security, compliance, and privacy as the rest of its products. This includes two-factor authentication, privacy protections, and compliance boundaries.

What is the controversy with Microsoft Copilot? ›

Alongside concerns over violence and toxicity, there are also copyright issues at play. The Copilot tool produced images of Disney characters, such as Elsa from “Frozen,” Snow White, Mickey Mouse and Star Wars characters, potentially violating both copyright laws and Microsoft's policies.

Is Microsoft Copilot worth it? ›

Organizations looking to improve efficiency and performance are turning to Copilot for Microsoft 365, one of the most powerful productivity tools on the planet. The solution integrates with Microsoft 365 apps and uses gen AI to help you create, edit, share, and collaborate on documents faster and easier.

Is Microsoft Copilot better than ChatGPT? ›

Copilot Studio is more focused on assisting with coding tasks within the Microsoft ecosystem, while ChatGPT Custom GPT offers broader conversational AI capabilities for various language-based tasks.

Is Copilot included in Office 365? ›

Microsoft has integrated Copilot throughout its Office 365 suite of applications to enhance productivity and creativity.

Is there a free version of Microsoft Copilot? ›

Copilot helps you find the right information, create unique content, and get things done faster. To use the free version of Copilot, visit copilot.microsoft.com.

What is better than ChatGPT for coding? ›

Amazon CodeWhisperer (Free) Offered by Amazon, this ChatGPT alternative is a helping hand for faster application building and keeping the information and data secured. Individuals can leverage the AI tool for reference tracking and unlimited code suggestions.

Is Copilot worth using? ›

Organizations looking to improve efficiency and performance are turning to Copilot for Microsoft 365, one of the most powerful productivity tools on the planet. The solution integrates with Microsoft 365 apps and uses gen AI to help you create, edit, share, and collaborate on documents faster and easier.

Is Claude better than ChatGPT? ›

Claude is better at understanding human language and can provide more accurate responses thanks to its ethical, constitutional design. But ChatGPT does a better job at tasks such as content creation, image generation and voice chat, and offers free, unlimited access to a range of services you have to pay for on Claude.

Which is better, ChatGPT or Bard? ›

In general, Bard is said to be better for research, while ChatGPT is said to be better for text generation. Although Bard has more user features available for free, choosing which is better depends on your needs.

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