Microsoft has been going all-out with its AI efforts, which are clearly the future of the company. Starting with Copilot launching last year, Microsoft has kept expanding its AI initiatives, including the launch of Copilot Pro and most recently, Copilot+. But with such confusing naming schemes, it’s getting harder to separate what sets Copilot, Copilot Pro, and Copilot+ apart.

If you, too, find these names confusing, we’re here to help clear things up. Let’s take a look at these three products and what they actually offer.

At the heart of all of these products is the core Microsoft Copilot platform. Copilot was originally born as Bing Chat back at the start of 2023, and it was a chatbot similar to ChatGPT. In fact, Copilot uses the same large language model (LLM) as ChatGPT, with the current latest version (as of May 2024) being GPT-4o. The Copilot chat also infuses Bing search into its capabilities, so you can combine its linguistic capabilities with the ability to crawl the web for the most recent information. Copilot can do more than chat, too. It can leverage the DALL-E model to generate images, for example.

But where Copilot starts to stand out is its integration with other Microsoft products. If you’re running Windows 11, the Copilot button on your taskbar also gives you access to extra capabilities, where Copilot can change some system settings for you. For example, you can ask Copilot to take a screenshot for you, or turn on dark mode, empty the recycle bin, and more.

Copilot also integrates with a lot of Microsoft’s products across Microsoft 365, Viva, Dynamics 365, and so on. These are mostly paid products, but all of it revolves around this same foundation of Copilot, but tailored to handle different kinds of data.

Copilot Pro

A subscription service that’s… better

With AI and Copilot being as popular as they are, Microsoft naturally felt inclined to make money off of it, and there are users enthusiastic enough to pay for a subset of additional features. And so, in comes Copilot Pro. This is a subscription service that offers a few benefits if you already love using Copilot in your daily life.

  1. Advantages of Copilot Pro:
    • Early access to the latest AI models (e.g., GPT-4 Turbo).
    • Faster responses during peak usage times.
    • Faster image generation in Microsoft Designer.
    • Integration with Microsoft 365 apps (Word, PowerPoint, etc.).
  2. Costs for Copilot Pro:
    • Requires a Microsoft 365 subscription (minimum $7/month).
    • Additional $20/month for Copilot Pro.
    • For Microsoft 365 Family, it’s $20 per user.
  3. Difference Between Copilot Pro and Copilot for Microsoft 365:
    • Copilot Pro: Designed for consumers.
    • Copilot for Microsoft 365: Geared toward business users, costs $30 per user per month, and includes features like Teams integration.


AI that runs on your PC

The most recent addition to the Copilot family is Copilot+, but it’s actually a bit different from the rest of the Copilot offerings. Microsoft is using the term “Copilot+ PC”, which refers to computers with a more powerful NPU, with at least 40TOPS of AI performance at INT8 precision.

Certainly! Let’s break down the key points from those paragraphs:

  1. Local AI Processing:
    • Copilot+ PCs allow AI tasks to run locally on your PC, reducing reliance on cloud processing.
    • Not all features are part of the standard Copilot set.
    • New feature: Recall—similar to Windows 10 Timeline but uses AI to identify what you’re viewing. Helps find documents by searching for specific words.
  2. Additional Copilot+ Features:
    • Cocreator in Paint: Run locally.
    • Windows Studio Effects: Includes filters.
    • Live Captions: Real-time translation.
    • Some Copilot workloads now run locally on your PC.
  3. Cost and Compatibility:
    • No extra cost if your PC supports it.
    • Only new PCs handle these features.
    • NPUs (Neural Processing Units) with 40TOPS or more: Qualcomm Snapdragon X series chips.
    • Intel and AMD will introduce similar capabilities (Arrow Lake and Strix Point).
    • Expect more features as NPUs advance, possibly exclusive to newer devices.

These products aren’t competing

The biggest thing to take away from all this is that Copilot Pro and Copilot+ aren’t competing with each other, and in fact, do very different things. While both are AI-based products, Copilot Pro is a subscription service that enhances the capabilities of Copilot across chat and image generation, on top of bringing its capabilities to Microsoft 365 apps.

Meanwhile, Copilot+ is a set of tools that run locally on your computer. They’re also AI-based and rely on language models, but they’re not features that are usually a part of Copilot, and you can’t get them by just paying for them. Copilot+ exists to leverage AI hardware you can get in your hands, so you need a supported computer. At the same time, you can’t use Copilot+ to replace any of the features of Copilot Pro, either.

Of course, as both products evolve, it’s possible that this separation becomes different or disappears altogether. It’s still early days for AI, so things are going to change a lot over the next few years.

We hope these tips have been helpful in your business. Please let us know if you have any questions about your IT environment or how to best utilize AI. We are here for you! Contact us at (732) 780-8615 or email at [email protected].

JOÃO CARRASQUEIRA, “Copilot, Copilot Pro, and Copilot+ — breaking down Microsoft’s confusing AI products“,, June 5th, 2024