Less than a year after launching Bing Chat – an artificial intelligence chatbot on the Bing search engine, Microsoft announced it is rebranding the ChatGPT-like natural language AI model to ‘Copilot in Bing’. Meanwhile, the corporate-focused version of the chatbot called Bing Chat Enterprise, has also been renamed to Copilot.
The announcement came at the company’s Microsoft Ignite 2023 summit held on November 15.
Microsoft officially called its AI assistant Copilot during the Surface launch event in September. The tech giant has integrated Copilot into Bing, the Windows operating system, Microsoft 365, and its Edge browser.
Microsoft Renames Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise To Copilot
You may be thinking, “Isn’t calling all its AI-powered apps the same name a bit confusing?”
But Microsoft thinks otherwise. In an email to tech news outlet TechCrunch, Caitlin Roulston, the director of communications at Microsoft, said renaming Bing Chat to Copilot “reflects” the company’s vision to create a unified AI experience for consumers and commercial customers.
Earlier this year, Microsoft talked of competing with Google Search on the generative AI front, which led to the launch of Bing Chat. At the time, the company described the chatbot as an “AI-powered copilot for the web”.
But six months on, Bing Chat has failed to live up to the expectations of Bing and Microsoft. According to an August report from StatCounter, Bing Chat did not help Microsoft’s search engine take any market share away from Google, and to make things worse, Google still commands over 91% of the internet search market.
However, the move doesn’t mean Microsoft is doing away with its search engine. In a statement to The Verge, Roulston said that Bing remains a “prominent brand and technology” powering many Copilot experiences and will continue to be a leader in the search industry.
Microsoft Focuses Its Attention Towards OpenAI and ChatGPT
The interesting thing here is that Microsoft’s Bing Chat rebrand comes days after OpenAI revealed that over 100 million people are using ChatGPT on a weekly basis. Despite both companies having a strategic relationship that has seen OpenAI co-develop Copilot for Microsoft on Windows and Bing, they continue to fight for the same customer base that is seeking out AI assistants.
It is clear that Microsoft aims to position Copilot as the defacto AI assistant option for consumers and businesses.
Microsoft is now pitching Copilot as the free version and ‘Copilot for Microsoft 365’ as the paid option of its AI chatbot. Users can still access the large language model (LLM) through Bing, Windows 11, and a dedicated website over at copilot.microsoft.com.
Microsoft Promised Not To Use Corporate Clients’ Data To Train AI Models
Another major announcement made at the event was that starting December 1, users who sign into Copilot with their corporate ‘Microsoft Entra ID’ accounts will have their data protected when using Bing. This means that their data won’t be saved to be used to train Microsoft’s AI models. The company also promised that it won’t have access to it.
Business clients can use the full version of Copilot on a range of enterprise subscription plans – Microsoft 365 E, E5, Business Premium, and Business Standard – at no additional cost. Meanwhile, others will need a Microsoft Account to access the free version of the AI chatbot or pay a $5 fee per month to enjoy all the benefits of the full version.
Copilot is currently supported in Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Windows, and MacOS.