Microsoft shares soared up to 5.8% on Tuesday, following the announcement of a novel artificial intelligence (AI) subscription service for Microsoft 365. This service will incur an additional cost of $30 per month and promises to supercharge user experience with the application of generative AI tools across various Microsoft 365 programs such as Teams, Excel, and Word.
The move comes amid the escalating competition in the field of consumer-driven generative AI tools among technology titans like Microsoft, Google, and IBM.
The AI subscription features Copilot, an AI assistant that delivers functionality across Microsoft 365 programs. Microsoft’s decision to charge for Copilot’s services could result in an impressive 83% increase in the monthly costs for enterprise customers. The AI assistant’s capabilities comprise tasks such as ranking incoming emails, summarizing meetings, analyzing spreadsheet data, providing writing prompts, and designing presentations.
Microsoft further highlighted the security aspect of the new tool. The AI service is anchored in the user’s business data stored in the Microsoft Graph, which includes emails, calendars, chats, documents, and more. Importantly, the tool operates within the user’s preset security, privacy, and compliance policies for Microsoft 365, ensuring a user’s data remains secure while benefiting from enhanced AI capabilities.
Currently, the tool is undergoing testing stages with 600 enterprise customers, including prominent names such as Goodyear and General Motors. While Microsoft has not yet revealed a timeline for its public rollout, the current interest and integration among large enterprise customers underscore the potential for widespread adoption upon its launch.
Additionally, Microsoft has announced a significant upgrade to Bing Chat, its AI chatbot: visual search. With this update, users can upload a photo to Bing Chat or take a photo directly from it and inquire for more information about the subject of the image, enriching the interaction possibilities with the chatbot.
The announcement represents Microsoft’s significant strides in embedding AI into everyday tools, aiming to boost productivity and streamline processes. The evident surge in Microsoft’s stock price reflects investor optimism about the commercial potential of these new AI-integrated tools. It also serves as an example of how companies that effectively leverage AI to enhance their product offerings can see tangible benefits in their market performance.