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Technology Test Drive – Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat)

This post is the first in a series of follow-ups to our Demystifying Microsoft Copilot(s) post, which provided a general overview and assessment of Microsoft’s Copilot technologies.

Give the wide variety of Copilots, we thought it would be helpful to provide some specific feedback on each individual Copilot application and its functions.

Rather than asking Copilot to summarise Microsoft’s plethora of marketing content, we decided our customers, and Fin365 itself, would be better served by test driving them and attempting to find practical application for them in our own business.

As we expand our use of these tools, and as their functionality improves, we’ll continue to update these summaries, so if you find these summaries helpful, I recommend you check back every couple of months.

Microsoft Copilot (Previously Bing Chat)

Microsoft Copliot was launched as Bing Chat in early 2023. While it is similar to ChatGPT, and actually uses OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo LLM, there are some key differences, especially for business who are also using Microsoft 365 technologies such as Outlook, Teams, Dynamics CRM. Some of those differences include:

  • Ability to search the internet and include the latest information in its responses.
  • Ability to access business data such as emails, appointments, documents and surface this information in its responses

As well as answering complex questions using conversational style langugage, Microsoft Copilot also enables users to perform a variety of functions, including:

  • compose letters, essays, etc
  • summarise content (including scanning a website)
  • write code
  • generate and analyse images

Microsoft Copilot – Summarise a web page

Is it already available?

Yes, Microsoft Copilot is freely available at There is also and also as an add-in to the Edge Browser.

Does it cost anything?

No, Microsoft Copilot is free for anyone to use.

How is it useful?

Based on my use, thus far, I have found Microsoft Copilot and related free apps such as Bing Image Creator and Microsoft Designer, helpful for:

  • Writing a draft email, letter, article
  • Generating and editing images based on certain themes.

For example, in our end of year (A Copilot Christmas) video I used Microsoft Copilot to generate some of the images as well as generating a draft of the Christmas message that was included in our end-of-year email.

Microsoft Bing Image Creator

What is it not good for?

One thing I haven’t found all that useful, at this stage, is the chat function designed to replace traditional search engines. Based on the small amount of testing I’ve conducted thus far, it’s difficult to trust the accuracy of the information given the variation that can occur from a slight change in the question.

For example when I asked “What is Microsoft Copilot and how does it differ from Bing Chat?”, I received the following summary.

However, when I asked the engine “Was Bing Chat renamed to Microsoft Copilot?”, I received the following summary.

Is there anything else I should consider?

Yes!! … Data Security.

One of the major reasons to use Microsoft Copilot over other AI tools, such as ChatGPT, is the protection of sensitive business and customer data.

Most AI tools, like ChatGPT, store the data provided and use it to train the underlying AI models. This can include personally identifiable information. For example, if one of your staff uses ChatGPT to help draft an email to a particular client recommending the sale of some shares in XYZ Ltd, from their portfolio with account number 1234567, it is likely (without any preventative action) that all of this information will be retained by ChatGPT in their USA based servers.

A key benefit of Microsoft’s AI tools is the increased transparency and control you have over how sensitive business and customer data are protected.

For example, when accessing Microsoft Copilot using your Microsoft 365 business account, commercial data protection ensures that interactions with Copilot are not saved or used to train the underlying data language models.

Microsoft Copilot Data Protection

Related resources

Read the precursor to this article, Demystifying Microsoft Copilot(s), here.

For anyone interested in diving more deeply into the technical aspects of AI, there are plenty of free online resources such as this lecture series from MIT.

Another great way to keep up to date with all things Microsoft is Lisa Crosbie’s YouTube channel, which is filled with tutorials and reviews on Dynamics 365, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Office applications.

And of course, at any point feel free to reach out to Fin365, if you’d like to discuss how we can help navigate this brave, but exciting, new world.

A Copilot Christmas Video

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