The AI-powered future of Office documents has a price, and it’s a high one for companies eager to adopt Microsoft’s newest technology. Customers of Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium can purchase Microsoft 365 Copilot for $30 per user per month.
That represents a significant cost increase above the price of the current Microsoft 365 plans. Microsoft 365 E3, which grants access to Office programs, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and many more productivity features, costs organizations $36 per user each month. Businesses with E3 subscriptions who want these AI-powered services will pay a $30 surcharge for access to Microsoft 365 Copilot, virtually tripling the price. Given that Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs $12.50 per user each month, that amounts to approximately a threefold increase in price.
With its AI-powered Copilot service, which enables organizations to immediately summarize documents, produce emails, and accelerate Excel analysis, Microsoft is attempting to modernize its Office apps. Although it honestly feels like Microsoft 365 Copilot will change Office documents forever, it does appear to be a highly attractive feature addition. However, the cost may prevent many current Microsoft 365 organizations from implementing Copilot in the near future.
Over the past few months, 600 enterprise clients have tested Microsoft 365 Copilot as part of a paid early access program. Access has been granted to organizations like KPMG, Lumen, and Emirates NBD. Microsoft’s chief of consumer marketing, Yusuf Mehdi, writes in a blog post today, “We’re learning that the more customers use Copilot, the more their enthusiasm for Copilot grows.” Mehdi added that “No one will want to work without it any longer, soon.”
Microsoft is yet to announce a release date for Microsoft 365 Copilot. Google will also compete with the software giant. The Google Workspace announcement earlier this year, which included AI-assisted text production in Gmail, Docs, and other services, came only days before Microsoft’s Copilot launch. All eyes will now be on how Google, Zoom, and Salesforce manage pricing for their AI enhancements moving forward. Zoom and Salesforce have also been adding AI-powered services.
Microsoft has invested much in expanding its AI-powered solutions, which contributes to Microsoft 365 Copilot’s premium price. Microsoft has made significant financial investments in its collaboration with OpenAI to date. In order to power these features, tech giants like Microsoft have also been pushing for Nvidia GPUs, thus there is a premium on the tasks that this infrastructure is applied to until chip availability and costs are reduced. To avoid becoming overly dependent on Nvidia and save money, Microsoft is apparently developing its own AI chips.
Additionally, Microsoft is integrating this Copilot experience into Teams’ phone calling feature and Teams Chat threads. More information on these new Microsoft Teams Copilot features may be found here.
Microsoft is releasing Bing Chat Enterprise in conjunction with the pricing announcement. The Bing Chat that is made available to consumers is substantially unchanged but with additional commercial data protection. A preview of this is now available from Microsoft, and it’s free with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium. More information on Bing Chat Enterprise is available here.