Microsoft 365 Copilot was introduced on March 16 at the “The future of work with AI” event, showcasing many new features. Let’s take a look at how to use the feature on five important 365 apps, Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
We gathered all the clues before the event, and they all pointed to new AI features for 365 apps. Alongside the chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft 365’s head Jared Spataro’s appearance made it pretty obvious. Most attendees knew what they were going to face beforehand.GPT-4’s release a couple of days ago was also another sign.
Microsoft 365 Copilot
The company announced all the features under the “Microfot 365 Copilot” name and showcased some of the key features during the live-streamed 1-hour event on LinkedIn. The new AI features have the potential to revolutionize the future, especially our work lives.
Generative AI tools have the same goal, making human life easier. ChatGPT helped humanity in many different aspects and showed how AI could be very helpful, even with its fairly limited current state. However, all the other companies are also trying to keep up with OpenAI and Microsoft, two companies that look like the leaders of the industry for now.
Word is probably one of the most used Microsoft 365 apps because its audience is much wider than some of the others on this list. Microsoft 365 Copilot will “help you unleash your creativity at work,” says the company. The AI tool gives you to enter a text-based prompt into its pop-up and asks you to describe what you’d like to create. It also has four different little boxes at the top that are for job descriptions, press releases, project proposals, and a generic “10 ideas for” box.
Besides, you can use data from different 365 apps. For example, Microsoft used a file from OneNote to create a proposal in the example above. It scans the files and generates a draft. You can also ask for it to revise the draft according to your previous proposals. Microsoft Copilot also gives you suggestions to strengthen your work. Copilot will be at the top right of the apps’ toolbar as default.
Excel can be complicated for people who are not familiar with its formulas and general structure. After using Microsoft 365 Copilot, you won’t face any issues, as the AI tool will handle most of the complicated stuff with a single prompt. In its announcement video, the person shows an Excel business sales results page and asks Microsoft Copilot to analyze the data and give three trends.
The icon is visible at the top right, and if you know what you are looking for, you clearly don’t need to spend hours in front of your screen trying to analyze all the Excel data. It even gives you graphics based on your sales analysis and breaks down how it calculates all the information you asked for.
Teams originally received a couple of AI tools before the event. However, these features brought a couple of “meh” innovations. At the event, Teams received a brand-new “Meeting Recap” feature that allows you to see a summary of the meeting that you weren’t able to attend. Microsoft 365 Copilot highlights the important parts and takes notes of the event if you simply press the “Follow” button beforehand.
If you have two meetings simultaneously, you can “follow” one of them with Copilot and attend the other one. For further questions, use the chat box on the right side of the screen.
Outlook is another highly-used 365 app, and Copilot will help you separate important emails from others, helping you prioritize the most important emails. Simply click on the “Catch up with Copilot” button right over your email list, and you will see the “Start Catchup” button to use the feature.
It will also summarize long email threads on the mobile app and provide you with a reply draft, offering the option to use data from an Excel file, for example, a graph, as seen in the video above. The company says, “it is a productivity game-changer.”
PowerPoint is a popular app for students and business people. Sometimes it might take hours to prepare a presentation, but with Microsoft 365 Copilot, you won’t complain anymore. Like some AI tools available online, it will generate a PowerPoint presentation according to your prompt. You can hone and polish it however you want. It also adds more slides or makes it more visual if you wish and even adds speaker notes for you to read during your presentation.
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