What are the different Microsoft Copilots and how much do they cost?

Choosing the right Microsoft Copilot plan isn’t as simple as it seems. 

Microsoft currently offers seven versions of its generative AI chatbot that are designed for companies and two versions for individual users. 

Pricing is a top concern for organizations considering the AI assistant. Adding a version of Copilot will increase your company’s monthly Microsoft costs and may require a yearly contract. 

Before you or your company pays for these tools, here’s what you need to know about all nine Microsoft Copilot plans and their pricing options. 

Microsoft Copilots for Work

  1. Copilot for Microsoft 356
  2. Copilot for Sales
  3. Copilot for Service
  4. Copilot Studio
  5. Copilot for Security
  6. Copilot for Finance 
  7. Copilot for Azure 

Microsoft Copilots for Individuals

  1. Copilot Free Version
  2. Copilot Pro

Microsoft Copilot FAQs

  1. Security FAQs
  2. Cost FAQs
  3. Comparison FAQs

How Microsoft Copilot Pricing Works

Microsoft offers Copilots for both individuals and businesses. There’s Copilot Studio, Copilot Pro, Copilot for Security… The list goes on and is constantly updated. 

Pricing for the majority of Copilots for Work is per user, per month, except for Copilot for Security, which has consumption-based pricing, and Copilot Studio, which is included in Copilot for Microsoft 365. 

Copilot for Finance and Copilot for Azure are still in public preview, so their pricing information will be announced at a later date.

Copilots for Work: Which Microsoft Copilot is right for my company?

1. Copilot for Microsoft 365

  • Cost: $30 per user per month.
  • Commitment: Annual commitment.
  • Requirements: A product license for Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Business Premium, E3, E5 or Office 365 E3 or E5 is required to purchase Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Copilot’s paid enterprise and business version: Copilot for Microsoft 365 is available to companies using Microsoft 365 who choose to purchase the upgrade. 

This Copilot version integrates with Microsoft 365 apps including Teams, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and more. 

The tool promises to help employees strengthen and streamline work-related tasks, from summarizing research to staying engaged in meetings. 

Pros

Time savings: Copilot helps speed up tasks like transcribing meetings in real-time, summarizing long email threads in Outlook, creating drafts in Word based on prompts, and generating charts in Excel. 

Enhanced productivity: The tool analyzes behavior when using Microsoft apps and will offer tips and shortcuts for greater productivity. It helps employees organize and analyze their data in Microsoft 365, quickly and efficiently. 

Streamlined searches: Copilot for Microsoft 365 enhances searches for requests on job-related tasks, in the company’s Microsoft 365 environment, and through detailed web searches using Copilot in Edge or Copilot in Bing. The tool explains its reasoning for answers and gives links to helpful videos and other sources to expand the knowledge of a query. This encourages employees to learn more and gain greater understanding. 

Cons

Information security risks: Security professionals are increasingly worried about Copilot’s ability to search and gather data from all Microsoft 365 documents, emails, calendars, presentations, contacts, and meetings. If an employee accidentally has access to sensitive information in their company’s Microsoft environment, then so will Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Privacy issues: Copilot for Microsoft 365 analyzes user data to make suggestions, which may raise privacy issues for users or organizations. Although the tool does not keep the prompts an employee sends or receives, it does collect some data about how they interact with it for improvement and diagnostic purposes. This data is encrypted and anonymized, but it could still contain personal or organizational information. 

Cost concerns: Copilot for Microsoft 365 is an added expense on top of a Microsoft subscription, and companies need a yearlong contract to purchase the tool. This may impede smaller businesses that are hesitant to sign a one-year contract on a product that has not been fully proven.

2. Copilot for Sales

  • Cost: $50 per user per month.
  • Commitment: Annual commitment.
  • Includes Copilot for Microsoft 365.
  • Requirements: A product license for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, or Business Premium, or Office 365 E3 or E5 will be required to purchase Copilot for Sales. 
  • Note: Customers who already have Copilot for Microsoft 365 licenses can purchase Copilot for Sales for an additional $20 per user per month. Dynamics 365 Sales Premium customers must pay $30 per user per month for Copilot for Microsoft 365 to get the full Microsoft Copilot for Sales experience.

Copilot for Sales works with Salesforce Sales Cloud and Dynamics 365 Sales and can be configured to connect to other sales solutions.

The tool leverages data from your company’s CRM platform, as well as large language models and data from Microsoft Graph, Microsoft 365 apps, and the web. 

This helps sales teams save time and energy, build stronger customer relationships, and ultimately, close more deals, according to Microsoft. 

Pros 

Personalized customer interactions: Copilot for Sales helps sales teams prep for meetings and strengthen customer relationships. The tool provides past meeting notes, emails, opportunity summaries, and related content in Outlook and Teams. It offers sales tips, related information, and answers to customer’s questions during Teams calls. After a call, Copilot gives meeting summaries including keyword and conversation analysis, competitor mentions, KPIs, and suggested next steps. 

Collaboration with CRMs: Copilot for Sales works with your company’s CRM to help sales teams have a better experience. Teams can capture and edit customer and opportunity details in Outlook and Teams and sync to their CRM platform. Using the tool, they can update records, create and share contact cards, and collaborate with their company’s preferred CRM. 

Simplified tasks: The tool allows employees to quickly draft emails and set up meetings in Outlook using data from their company’s CRM platform and Microsoft Graph. Copilot also helps with creating pitch decks, meeting preparation briefs, and data visualizations in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. 

Cons

Security and privacy risks: Since Copilot for Sales includes Copilot for Microsoft 365, many of the same concerns about privacy and security apply. What’s more, Sales teams may have access to more specific confidential information like pricing models or customer information that should be protected.  

Collaboration setup issues: For Copilot for Sales to be productive, several factors need to be in place. A company needs a well-operating CRM system, seamless connections among Copilot, Teams, Outlook, and either D365 or Salesforce, and precise, properly organized corporate data. CRMs with valuable, organized customer information can be tricky to configure, and not all companies are prepared to integrate theirs with an AI tool that can search and analyze their data in minutes. 

Cost concerns: Like Copilot for Microsoft 365, the yearly commitment cost could be a concern for smaller businesses that do not have the resources to try an unproven tool on top of their other Microsoft subscription costs.

3. Copilot for Service

  • Cost: $50 per user per month.
  • Commitment: Annual commitment.
  • Includes Copilot for Microsoft 365.
  • Requirements: A product license for Microsoft 365 E3 or E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Premium, or Office E3 or E5 is required.
  • Note: Customers who have Copilot for Microsoft 365 licenses can purchase Copilot for Service for an additional $20 per user per month.

Microsoft Copilot for Service uses generative AI to boost traditional customer service solutions. The tool enhances customer experiences and improves agent productivity by integrating with existing contact center and CRM solutions. 

This Copilot variation requires no software installation or complex integrations and can be deployed in Microsoft apps and products—suchas Outlook and Teams— to help agents thrive.

Agents gain access to real-time responses from different content sources, including third-party knowledge bases like Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Zendesk.

Pros 

AI-powered conversations: Copilot for Service enables AI-powered conversations without replacing a company’s existing solutions. It allows agents to connect all their data including information from their CRM, contact center systems, and other sources.  Companies can use out-of-the-box integrations with services such as Salesforce, and configure the tool to meet their needs. 

Agent empowerment: The tool aids productivity by allowing agents to quickly respond to customers with answers from knowledge base articles, documentation, and agent handbooks. Copilot is available where agents already work, including Microsoft 365 apps. Using Copilot for Microsoft 365, agents can summarize cases, update CRM records, and draft emails through access to Copilot in Outlook and Copilot in Teams.

Tailored customization: Teams can configure and customize Copilot for Service to meet their company’s specific needs, and further extend their copilots to unique requirements with Microsoft Copilot Studio (more on that Copilot in the following section). 

Cons

Learning Curve: With new tools, there is often a learning period from the setup and implementation to when end users start to see benefits. Copilot for Service integrates with CRMs, contact center systems, and other sources; this could take time and resources to set up properly before it works well enough for employees to reap the rewards. 

Security Concerns: Copilot for Service includes Copilot for Microsoft 365 which means the tool has access to a large amount of data across Microsoft 365 applications. When working with customer services, this data could include highly sensitive information such as customer personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI).

Pricing problems: Smaller businesses may have issues with signing up for a yearlong commitment without first trying out the tool. Prices listed on the site are explicitly used for marketing purposes and may not reflect the final cost when a company decides to buy.

4. Copilot Studio 

  • Cost: $200 per tenant per month for 25,000 messages.
  • Commitment: Pay per month.  
  • Requirements: Included in aCopilot for Microsoft 365: Enterprise subscription, and in the Digital Messaging and Chat add-ons for Dynamics 365 Customer Service. You can obtain a standalone Copilot Studio subscription from the Microsoft 365 admin center. See more details here.

Copilot Studio allows employees to build copilots using generative AI, dialog creation, plugin capabilities, process automation, and built-in analytics that work with Microsoft conversational AI tools.

Employees can engage with customers and other employees using various languages across platforms such as websites, mobile applications, Facebook, Microsoft Teams, or any channel facilitated by the Azure Bot Framework.

According to Microsoft, these copilots can be created by anyone, without the need for dedicated data scientists or developers. The tool is available as a standalone web app and as a discrete app within Teams.

Pros 

Custom builds: Copilot Studio allows users to build and run their own copilots across websites and other channels. They can create custom copilots and GPTs, incorporating their data and plugins. It also lets them customize their Copilot for Microsoft 365, enabling greater control and efficiency. For example, they can design conversations for predictable scenarios that require specific responses, like compliance or regulatory topics. 

Workflow automation: Copilot helps automate complex business tasks such as submitting expenses, onboarding employees, and updating benefits. Employees may see greater productivity and time savings by automating these processes. 

Low-code platform: With more than 1,200 data connectors and a low-code authoring canvas, Copilot Studio simplifies the process of creating complex workflows and generative answers. Employees could easily use the tool to create a copilot for IT support, a copilot to help customers choose a product, or help suppliers track the status of orders—to name just a few examples from Microsoft. 

Cons

Limited training materials: Copilot Studio is new, and there’s still not much educational material on how to use the tool. End users have expressed frustration about the tool’s learning curve and not being able to find adequate training resources, especially as their companies transition to AI-powered tools quickly. 

Unproven reliability: AI-generated code or content might not always meet a company’s required standards, which means employees need to incorporate thorough reviews and testing. This process can slow employees down as they start getting the hang of the tool. 

Information security and privacy risks: Any Copilot that works with Copilot for Microsoft 365 and has access to a large amount of company data will have security and privacy risks. It’s important to be aware of these issues and make sure your Microsoft 365 environment is secure before implementing AI assistants. Learn how to do that here.

5. Copilot for Security

  • Cost: $4 per hour of usage.  
  • Commitment: Consumption-based model. 
  • Requirements: The only prerequisite for Copilot for Security is an Azure account. However, Microsoft recommends connecting your company’s Microsoft Security tools and integrating other security tools to get the most value from Copilot.

Copilot for Security was officially launched on April 1, 2024. According to Microsoft, it is the only security AI product that combines a specialized language model with security-specific capabilities from Microsoft.

The tool works with other Microsoft Security products, including Microsoft Defender XDR, Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Entra, Microsoft Purview, and Microsoft Defender for External Attack Surface Management. 

It also has integrations with independent software vendors to provide plugins and promptbooks; partners include Cloudflare, Darktrace, and Accenture, to name a few. 

Pros 

Simplified script analysis: Users appreciate Copilot’s ability to easily decrypt scripts, providing clear insights into their contents and making the analysis process more straightforward. 

Faster threat hunting: Copilot accelerates threat hunting by assisting in query writing based on adversary methodologies, streamlining the process and making it more efficient.

Enhanced analyst experience: The tool minimizes the need for practitioners to switch between multiple tools and interfaces. Incident reports can also be generated as a template, ensuring data is readily available for executive review and reducing unnecessary communication loops.

Cons

Learning curve for practitioners: It takes roughly 40 hours of training for security practitioners to be comfortable using Copilot for Security. It’s not a terrible amount of time, but with IT and Security teams already strapped for resources, this learning curve could come at a cost. 

Training isn’t enough: According to Forrester, it also takes four or more weeks to get practitioners comfortable with the technology. This underlines the need for more than training: practitioners should change their behavior for the tool to be most effective.

Integrations are lacking. Integrations are still limited, although Microsoft has plans to roll out more integrations with future updates. 

Copilots in Public Preview 

The following Copilots are in public preview. This means they are still being rolled out with limited capabilities in select global markets.

6. Copilot for Finance

  • Cost: In public preview with pricing to be announced.
  • Commitment: To be announced.
  • Requirements: Requirements to be announced.  

Copilot for Finance offers insights that reduce the time spent on manual, repetitive work for finance professionals. The tool connects directly to Dynamics 365 and SAP and can also be connected to more than 1,200 other systems via Copilot Studio. 

Finance teams can navigate Excel, Outlook, and Teams without toggling between applications to locate what they need. The tool automatically adopts the security, compliance, and privacy policies established in your company’s Microsoft 365 environment.

Pros 

Faster time to decision-making: Copilot helps teams drive growth through actionable recommendations, proactive anomaly detection, and tailored prompts and guidance. Teams can streamline operations with precise commentary, reports, and insights gleaned from various data sources.

Cost reduction: Companies can cut costs and reclaim time by leveraging Copilot to convert manual tasks into more efficient processes. The tool automates labor-intensive tasks such as collections, contract management, and invoice processing. Copilot will generate initial drafts for customer communications, including relevant attachments, to save teams time and resources. 

Boosted productivity: In Excel, Copilot for Finance enables more streamlined data reconciliation. In Outlook, it supports the collections process. Copilot can empower collections teams by giving them a complete summary of customer balance history using Copilot-guided prompts and recommendations. The tool connects to existing financial data sources, including ERP, using prebuilt connectors and Microsoft Copilot Studio.

Cons

Early stage tool: This offer is in its early stages, and there’s less information available about its future costs and benefits. It can be difficult to judge a tool until it has been fully rolled out. 

Sensitive data at risk: Finance data is often highly sensitive and should be handled in specific ways to stay compliant with industry and company requirements. Allowing tools like Copilot to have access to a financial team’s information could herald new security and compliance risks. 

Delayed ROI: Without the proper setup and rollout of this tool, it could be a while until teams see a return on their investment. Although Microsoft markets Copilot for Finance as an assistant that will help these teams be more efficient, and thus cut costs, it could take time before companies see the full benefits. 

7. Copilot for Azure

  • Cost: Copilot for Azure is offered at no additional cost during the public preview period. Microsoft will provide updates at a later date.
  • Commitment: To be announced.  
  • Requirements: You need an Azure account to apply for access. If you are new to Azure, you may sign up for a free account and then apply for access.

Copilot for Azure is an AI assistant that helps employees design, operate, and troubleshoot applications and infrastructure across the cloud and edge.

This variation utilizes language models, the Azure control plane, and deep insights into Azure and Arc-enabled assets. 

Tasks are executed under Azure’s committed framework of ensuring information security and privacy, which according to Microsoft, has one of the largest compliance certification portfolios in the industry.

Pros 

Custom insights: Copilot offers customized solutions for managing employee workloads through an AI assistant tailored to a company’s workspace. Employees can utilize Copilot’s AI support to address queries, compose commands, and execute tasks using natural language.

Optimized environment: The tool enhances cost-efficiency, security, and reliability by leveraging recommendations catered to a company’s Microsoft environment. Copilot for Azure consolidates knowledge and data from hundreds of services, boosting productivity while reducing expenses.

Efficient cloud operations and management: Copilot coordinates data flow across Azure services to gain insights: helping summarize issues, identify root causes, and offer concrete solutions.

Cons

Early phase pains: End users have commented that when using Copilot for Azure for different use cases involving Kubernetes, storage accounts, etc. the tool had trouble understanding the full context of their Azure environment with the resources they gave it. When Copilot doesn’t understand, it will apologize or provide generic steps and CLI commands that take time to sift through and aren’t particularly helpful. 

Overwhelmed requests: The tool is still in public preview and that comes with limitations. Users who have experimented with Copilot for Azure noted they consistently received messages about the overwhelming demand for the tool from Microsoft customers, and that the company had implemented conversation and turn limits. To get the most out of this tool, companies will need to wait until it’s out of preview and more generally available. 

Hallucination issues: Most generative AI tools will occasionally “hallucinate”—aka give inaccurate or misleading responses—and Copilot for Azure is no different. As Microsoft-certified Trainer Jussi Roine put it after trying the tool: “There is a bit of hallucination here and there, which we probably all expect to see now and then.” It’s important to be aware of this weakness when using any Copilot or AI assistant. 

For Individuals: Which Microsoft Copilot is right for me?

8. Copilot Free Version

The free version of Copilot allows users to ask the chatbot questions about various topics—from recipe ideas to fitness plans. A sidebar offers suggestions such as “Designer,” “Vacation Planner,” “Cooking Assistant,” and Fitness Trainer.” Users can then choose the tone of the conversation to be more “creative,” “balanced,” or “precise.”

Although you can play with Copilot’s free version without a Microsoft account, the website encourages users to sign in to ask more questions and have longer conversations. It also offers an app to download and a “Notebook” section that lets users write detailed prompts to collaborate with Copilot on creating content. This is all free for end users, but you are only given five questions per day unless you sign into a Microsoft account, which allows 30 chats per day. 

9. Copilot Pro

Copilot Pro is priced at $20 per user per month and includes “premium AI features.” This tool is designed with individuals and independent creators in mind and is meant to be better optimized than the free version. 

According to Microsoft, it gives users priority access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo for faster performance. It also allows you to build your own Copilot GPTs tailored to individual needs and interests. It integrates with apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook to enhance productivity. The tool generates images and enhances creations using “100 daily boosts” with Designer. 

How Do You Access Microsoft Copilot?

Copilot in Bing

According to Microsoft, Copilot in Bing “builds on the existing Bing experience to provide you with a new type of search.” Copilot takes Bing searches and returns with a more thorough response. It goes beyond compiling a list of relevant links and instead gathers information from across the internet to provide a concise, comprehensive answer. 

Copilot for Bing can be accessed on any device; it’s available as a mobile app and works on different browsers including Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It can engage in chats, generate images with DALL-E 3, and even use photos from your phone in its chats.

Copilot in Edge

Copilot in Edge integrates into the Microsoft Edge browser and offers features based on the context of the web pages you’re viewing. 

When you open Copilot on the Edge sidebar, you can search and summarize the specific webpage you’re on without changing tabs. Copilot will answer questions, compare products, and summarize documents right in the browser’s sidebar. 

Copilot in Edge also allows for the customization of AI-generated images and will soon enable sending emails via Outlook.

Copilot in Windows

Copilot for Windows is built into Windows 11, offering access via the taskbar or a dedicated key on select keyboards. It provides answers from across the web and assists with tasks like adjusting PC settings and organizing windows with Snap Assist. 

Copilot in Windows also has versions of classic Microsoft tools that have been revamped to have “AI-powered features.” For example, Microsoft Paint now has new AI tools to help you edit photos and create art. AI features have also been added to the Snipping Tool, the Photos app, and Clipchamp, which lets you use AI to edit footage. 

Copilot for Windows is mainly for Windows 11, but is available “in preview” on select Windows 10 devices; this means it’s being rolled out with limited capabilities in select global markets.

Microsoft Copilot FAQs and Final Thoughts

Security of Copilot FAQs

1. What are the security risks of using Copilot for Microsoft 365?

The problem with Copilot for Microsoft 365 is it can leverage all the data that an employee has access to: if the employee has access to sensitive information, then so will Copilot, which can lead to potential data leaks.

Security professionals are primarily worried about the tool’s ability to search and gather data from all Microsoft 365 documents, emails, calendars,  presentations, contacts, and more.

The four main risks of using Copilot for Microsoft 365 include oversharing and inadequate permissions, insider risks, external threat actors, and privacy concerns. Read more about these risks and how to combat them. 

2. How do I keep my company’s data safe when using Copilot for Microsoft 365?

A concrete security plan for securing access to Microsoft 365 will make it easier to confidently deploy Copilot. It’s important to make sure your company has the right permissions, access controls, and security policies in its Microsoft 365 environment. To help with this, reach out here.

Cost of Copilot FAQs

1. What is the return on investment (ROI) for Copilot for Microsoft 365?

T-Minus 365 wrote a full analysis of the potential ROI of using Copilot for Microsoft 365. The short answer: “The break-even point for Copilot investment is 54 minutes saved per month given an employee salary of $70,000 per year. Over 100% return is achieved with just two hours saved each month.”

2. Can small businesses afford Microsoft Copilot?

The upfront cost may be intimidating for smaller businesses, but Copilot offers the potential for substantial ROI and the ability to adjust adoption levels as needed. However, without the right rollout and training, that investment could easily go to waste.

Comparison of Copilot FAQs

1. What’s the difference between Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini?

  • Microsoft Copilot: Copilot’s greatest strength (and potential security weakness) is its deep integration with Microsoft and everything companies have inside their Microsoft 365 tenant. If you’re a company that uses Microsoft, then this tool was made for you. However, when it comes to international use, Copilot offers support for fewer languages compared to other AI models. Also, Copilot may not provide as much transparency with sources compared to Gemini, as it relies on Microsoft’s infrastructure, which could limit users’ ability to verify information and assess the credibility of content.
  • Google Gemini: Formerly known as Bard, Gemini is plugged into Google’s ecosystem. When it comes to response speed, Gemini is one of the fastest AI assistants. Gemini’s strong points include its transparency with sources, image recognition capabilities, and text creation abilities. However, the tool currently lacks mobile apps and plugins, limiting its accessibility and integration with other platforms or services, which can hinder user convenience and adoption.

2. Is Copilot Pro worth it for individuals?

So far, Copilot Pro has mixed reviews from online users. Some say it’s markedly faster than the free version, and they like that it allows more messages than the 30 chats per day that you receive in the unpaid version when you sign into your Microsoft account. Others claim it’s been a waste of money, and they dislike that it doesn’t have certain features like the ability to generate charts and the lack of a data analysis tool. However, more features are forthcoming as Microsoft improves the assistant. 

Should I deploy Microsoft Copilot in my company? 

When thinking about deploying Microsoft Copilot in your organization, you should consider several points. First, which version is right for your company, and is it cost-effective? Next, do the benefits of deploying it outweigh the risks? 

Will Copilot save time, make workers happier, and increase productivity through an “AI-employee alliance,” as Microsoft promises, or is it an overhyped tool that opens up organizations to unnecessary risks? 

Without the proper rollout and training for these Copilots, companies may not take advantage of their full potential and could be at a greater security risk. 

One thing is clear: AI assistants aren’t going away anytime soon. Only time will reveal the different security implications and potential benefits of using these Copilots.  

Get in touch here to discover best practices for maintaining your company’s security while deploying generative AI tools. We’ll help ensure the safety of company files across your organization’s Microsoft 365 environment, including SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams.

 

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira