Microsoft renamed Bing Chat to Copilot in what the company says is an attempt to unify the Copilot experience for consumer and commercial customers. However, many believe it was more about trying to invigorate people’s interest in its AI-enabled product.
As the AI war heats up, companies are looking for any way to make their products stand out. Even though Microsoft has monetarily backed its competition, OpenAI, the tech company launched its own Bing Chat earlier this year. After nearly a year of availability, the AI chatbot was not garnering much attention. Now, it seems that Microsoft is hoping a rebranding will help differentiate its AI product from the rest and potentially ignite its usage.
A key change to the commercial terms and conditions of Copilot could entice more companies to try it out. Caitlin Roulston, Director of Communications at Microsoft, explained, “Copilot will update the commercial terms and conditions on December 1 to reflect that it’s generally available product from Microsoft. As part of this, it will inherit Microsoft’s universal license terms for online services … Over time, Microsoft will expand eligibility of Copilot, with commercial data protection to even more Entra ID users at no additional cost.”
The change ensures companies that Copilot will not be used to save nor use data to train Microsoft AI models. This means that companies with an Entra ID do not have to worry about anything that is input into Copilot being seen by others, including Microsoft.
OpenAI announced recently that its ChatGPT was being used by 100 million people weekly. So, the move by Microsoft could have been to separate the AI chatbot from its Bing search engine and make it feel more like a standalone app, like its competition, instead of a fancy tool for searching for something on the internet.
Copilot can be accessed in Microsoft Windows, as well as via Copilot.Microsoft.com and Bing. The AI software will also be available as part of Microsoft 365 F3 starting December 1, 2023, with all other customers being able to choose it as an individual product for $5 per month.