Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word users can avoid £19 charge to use ChatGPT tricks in Microsoft 365

an animated gif that shows some examples of how copilot can be used in microsoft apps

Microsoft's Copilot Pro subscription unlocks its clever AI in almost every part of the Windows and Microsoft Office 365 experience, from Word to Outlook and Excel to image-creation — everything is powered by the latest LLM technology from OpenAI

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 20/03/2024

- 04:30

Microsoft has launched a one-month trial for its Copilot Pro subscription

  • Copilot Pro is now available in 222 countries worldwide
  • To celebrate the expansion, Microsoft is now offering a one-month free trial
  • Download Copilot mobile app on Android and iOS to unlock that free month
  • Copilot Pro is based on the latest version of ChatGPT from OpenAI
  • It works across all Microsoft Office apps as well as web browser versions
  • At the end of the trial, Copilot Pro costs £19 per month

Microsoft has expanded the availability of its Copilot Pro subscription to 222 countries worldwide. To celebrate the rollout, Microsoft has debuted a one-month free trial to entice new users to its latest innovation.

Copilot Pro is based on the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the team at OpenAI, the non-profit initially funded by donations from Elon Musk but now supported to the tune of $10 billion by Microsoft.

Known as Chat GPT-4 Turbo, this improved model can handle written prompts with up to 300 pages of written words and uses 2x - 3x less computational power to crunch through your requests.

The upgraded AI is aware of world events up until April 2023, which is more recent than the original iteration of ChatGTP, which hadn't acquired knowledge of anything later than September 2021. In other words, GPT-4 Turbo can now provide information on the first series of The Traitors on BBC One ...but not the second.

a screenshot of windows 11 with the copilot menu openCopilot can now control system settings like switching Wi-Fi networks, battery modes, and magnifier MICROSOFT PRESS OFFICE

Copilot Pro is the only version of the AI assistant that works with Microsoft 365's most popular apps. It can be used to write formulae for Microsoft Excel, build new PowerPoint slides, and summarise lengthy Microsoft Word documents into short bullet points. Microsoft added Copilot Pro to its Microsoft Office web browser apps earlier this month. Until then, it was limited to desktop versions of the applications.

Microsoft has promised Copilot Pro will be added to the iOS and Android apps for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Outlook soon. "We’ll extend this benefit to our free mobile apps as well, including the Microsoft 365 app and Outlook for iOS and Android, in the coming months," confirmed Divya Kumar, General Manager of Search and AI Marketing at Microsoft.

The premium subscription, usually £19 per month, also unlocks early access to the latest models from OpenAI and the ability to build your own personalised Copilot GPT. If you want to start using Copilot Pro for free, you'll need to install the Copilot app on iPhone and Android to unlock the free month offer.

Microsoft Copilot is baked into the latest version of Windows and can be summoned by pressing the Windows + C keys on your keyboard. Microsoft will mandate a dedicated Copilot-branded key on all new Windows 11 laptops and desktop PCs later this year — the first shake-up to the layout of Windows keyboards in almost three decades.

Copilot can answer general knowledge queries, like a traditional search engine. But it's also capable of summarising entire paragraphs into short bullet points and rewriting your text to change the tone. It can also dream up recipes and itineraries, write interview questions and cover letters, find flights and recommend accommodation, and much more.

Of course, this is all possible with the standalone ChatGPT service too. What separates Copilot is the deep ties into the Windows operating system, enabling the AI to change your Windows theme from light to dark mode, turn on "Do Not Disturb", or add a new Bluetooth device.

Microsoft originally debuted Copilot for enterprise customers, but it broadened out the AI assistant to Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 consumers at the end of last year. Since then, it has placed an enormous marketing effort behind its Copilot system, including a glitzy Super Bowl advert.

Copilot — previously known as Bing Chat — can also write shopping lists, generate recipes based on specific criteria, add images to existing documents, and answer general knowledge questions for you. The Redmond-based company, valued over $3 trillion, says Copilot "can be your personal trainer, travel agent, and sous chef". AI responses will be faster for those who pay the £19 per month subscription.

Like all large language models (LLMs), Copilot Pro is only as good as the information that it’s assimilated, so it’s possible you’ll come across factual inaccuracies, misunderstandings, or worse of all, complete hallucinations of events or dates due to a glitch in the code.

Paid Copilot Pro subscribers can generate 100 AI-created images every day with DALL-E 3 too. This will conjure a new image based on your input, drawing on images in its knowledge base. For those who want to test some of these AI features, there is a free version of Microsoft Copilot.

It taps into the same GPT-4 Turbo model from OpenAI but, during peak times when Microsoft’s servers are being hammered with millions of requests from users worldwide, free users will have their requests handled by the older GPT 3.5 model.

That means users who aren't paying the monthly fee will be missing out on the latest improvements and most up-to-date knowledge during the busiest times of day. Without a paid subscription, you’ll also be limited to creating 15 AI-generated images every day.

You can access Copilot Pro and the free version of the service via the Copilot app on the web, Windows, macOS and iPadOS. On any of these platforms, you can also use Copilot Pro within certain apps, including Bing, Edge and Start. Support for iOS and Android is coming soon, Microsoft says.

“With today’s announcements, we continue to bring Copilot to more customers with more options that work for them,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s consumer chief marketing officer said.

“Whether you’re looking to get started with Copilot for free, want to supercharge your Copilot experience with Copilot Pro or are an SMB or Enterprise customer looking to increase your productivity in new ways with Copilot for Microsoft 365, there’s a CoPilot experience for everyone.”


“As we kick off a new year, we’re thrilled to see people increasingly using and loving Microsoft Copilot for work and life,” Mr Mehdi said. “Our goal is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more by bringing Copilot, the everyday AI companion, to millions of people around the world.”

Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019, following up with an eye-watering $10 billion investment last year. So, it's perhaps unsurprising that Redmond-based company is now looking at ways to start recouping some of those costs with a paid subscription for the latest ChatGTP-powered features across its apps and services.

Additional Reporting By Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

You may like