We’ve been using Copilot and Copilot Pro for a little while and here’s our first impressions of Microsoft’s paid AI services as they exist today. In other words, what you get for your money right now.
It’s hard to justify paying upfront $360 per user for a year commitment to Copilot for Microsoft 365 business/enterprise plans. At least for now. Maybe in the future the price and commitment will be justified but at the moment there’s not enough features and server resources to make the hefty price worthwhile.
Copilot Pro for Microsoft consumers is still pricey and full of future promise. But the price is lower (US$20 a month), charged per month with the option to cancel at any time. If you want to try paid Copilot then Copilot Pro is the way to go.
Copilot is slow. Waiting for a Copilot Pro response can take longer than just doing the job yourself. Copilot certainly doesn’t just ‘pop’ with results as Microsoft’s demonstrations suggest.
Microsoft’s servers are having trouble coping with the demand. Getting this email summary took longer than just reading the original email.
We noticed these delays in both the USA and Europe. Response times will depend, in part, on your location.
And that’s when the system works at all …
Copilot responses should become more reliable and speed up over time as Microsoft adds more hardware to their systems across the world. For the moment, a little patience is required.
Preview = Work in Progress
There are ‘Preview’ tags on Copilot which is partly Microsoft covering itself from legal liability and partly because Copilot is very much a ‘work in progress’ on both a software and cloud hardware level.
Always check what Copilot (or any AI system) produces before saving or sending to others.
More to come
Copilot Pro and Copilot for Microsoft 365 have more features in the pipeline. Most notably Custom GPTs or custom models for specific topics including using in-house data.
When deciding to pay for Copilot, make sure you’re clear about what it can do now and what’s promised for the future.
Paying for future promises
In other words, buying Copilot now means paying for a future Copilot that’s fully resourced at Microsoft’s servers and with features still on the drawing board.
This is a typical Microsoft marketing move we’ve seen before. Release an incomplete product with plenty of hype and promises, then continue to work on the product using paying customers as free testers. Months or years later the product eventually matches the original promises.
It’s a tactic that’s worked well for Microsoft over the decades so there’s no reason for them to change with Copilot.