Software giant Microsoft Corp MSFT is set to expand its consumer base with the introduction of a new $20 per month AI subscription service aimed at individual consumers and small businesses.
What Happened: In a bold move, Microsoft is set to offer a paid version of its artificial intelligence “Copilot” service, known as Copilot Pro, according to a report by Reuters. This comes after the company rolled out a free AI Copilot version for its Bing search engine last year.
The subscription service offers an AI assistant for drafting texts and crunching numbers on widely-used applications such as Word and Excel. In addition to this, subscribers will have access to new tools and AI models such as GPT-4 Turbo.
Microsoft has also removed the 300-person minimum requirement for purchasing the enterprise version of its software, making the security controls and Microsoft Teams upgrade, which comes with the $30 per month per user Copilot, available to smaller businesses.
Why It Matters: Over the years, Microsoft has made significant strides in AI technology. In December, the company introduced the AI-driven standalone Copilot app exclusively for Android users, offering chatbot features and text composition for emails and documents.
Earlier this month, Microsoft also embedded a dedicated Copilot key into Windows PCs and laptops, providing instant access to the AI-powered Windows Copilot experience.
Despite a slow start, Copilot has shown promise, as highlighted by Piper Sandler analyst Brent Bracelin, who reiterated Microsoft as a favorite AI All-Star stock after attending developer sessions at a Microsoft AI event in San Francisco.
With this latest move, Microsoft is positioned to compete with the likes of Alphabet Inc‘s GOOG GOOGL Bard and DeepMind in the consumer AI market. Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Jared Spataro, believes that the integration of Copilot Pro into everyday applications will give it a competitive edge.
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