What is Copilot for Microsoft 365? Explaining the mechanism and features


Microsoft has begun offering the “Copilot for Microsoft 365” service, which is based on OpenAI’s GPT-4, and is attracting attention.

This service is expected to save time and improve productivity with Microsoft 365 products such as Excel and PowerPoint, which many people use in their work.

In this article, we will explain how Copilot for Microsoft 365 helps improve business efficiency, its mechanism and features.
Although it has not yet been widely adopted by domestic companies, please use it as a basis for making decisions about future implementation.

<Table of contents>

What is Copilot for Microsoft 365?

What you can do with Copilot for Microsoft 365
– Excel
, PowerPoint
, summarizing long texts (Word)
, summarizing conversations with many threads (Outlook)
, creating minutes (Teams) (Word)


What is Copilot for Microsoft 365?


Copilot for Microsoft 365 is an AI service built into Microsoft 365 applications such as Excel and PowerPoint. It suggests ways to use each application and generates documents and images.
It was announced by Microsoft in June 2023, and has been attracting a lot of attention since it began offering to businesses in November.

At the developer event “Microsoft Ignite” held in November, it was announced that the entire AI service would be unified with “Microsoft Copilot.”
Now, I will explain in detail the features, mechanism, and fees of Copilot.


As mentioned above, the biggest feature of using Microsoft 365 applications is that they teach you how to use them and generate them on your behalf. Anyone can produce high-level output even without the skills to utilize Microsoft 365.

The responses are quick and generated in real-time, which can save work time and improve efficiency and productivity.
In addition, your data is securely protected, and prompts, answers, and data obtained from Microsoft 365 Graph and applications are not learned, so you can use it with peace of mind that sensitive information will not be leaked.

About fees

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is currently only available in enterprise plans. It costs $30 per month per user, which is approximately 4,500 yen in Japanese yen. However, a separate usage fee for Microsoft 365 products is required.


Copilot for Microsoft 365 uses a technology commonly referred to as GitHub Copilot. GitHub Copilot was originally developed by GitHub and Open AI. To put it simply, it is a service that uses AI to support programming coding.

By combining this technology with a large-scale language model and incorporating it into Microsoft 365 applications, even non-engineers can now utilize Microsoft 365 Copilot.

The flow of using Copilot is to issue instructions through prompts and generate output based on those instructions.

Specifically, like ChatGPT, the user first gives instructions using a prompt on the screen. The large-scale language model then follows the prompts, generates output using Microsoft Graph, and returns that output to the user.

What you can do with Copilot for Microsoft 365

We will explain usage examples in five representative applications.


Support for complex functions

If you don’t know the function formula in Excel, the answer will be output by asking you a question about the function.

For example, by asking a prompt such as “I want to find the relevant data in Excel and calculate its total value,” it will suggest a function that is a combination of VlookUp and Sum. Additionally, if there is an optimal combination of functions to continue our work, we may suggest it.

Utilization in data analysis

It is also useful for data analysis in Excel. For example, you can create graphs from sales data to visualize sales data. The data can then be used to predict future sales and assist in a series of marketing tasks.


Creating presentation materials

When creating presentation materials, you can give specific instructions to Copilot about what kind of materials you want to create and generate them.

The slides will be created based on the specified content. You can start creating and tell when you want to incorporate animation, and the image generation tool DALL-E 2 is also built in, so it will generate the images you need.

Cooperation with other applications

Copilot for Microsoft 365 also works with other applications, allowing you to create slides from Word documents and create summaries of Teams meetings using PowerPoint.

Long text summary (Word)

It is also useful when you want to summarize long data. For example, if you want to pick up only the necessary information from a long list of information on a site, you can send a prompt to Word to generate a summary, and a summary will be output.

Even if you want to change the tone from the original text, you can save the effort of editing by instructing the user to change the tone.

Summarize threaded conversations (Outlook)

This can be used when there are many threads when exchanging emails in Outlook.
For example, you can request a summary of a thread, and the summary will be output without having to scroll for a long time.
Even if there is a handover due to a change in responsibility, you can save time spending time with your predecessor to investigate the causes of past complaints and confirm the situation. You can quickly respond to the summarized content and strengthen your relationship with your customers.

Minute creation (Teams)

Copilot for Microsoft 365 helps you create minutes of meetings in Microsoft Teams. Copilot for Microsoft 365 allows you to understand the content that took a long time or that you were unable to understand. You can create meeting minutes smoothly by bullet-pointing only the main points and determining TODO for each person in charge.

Also, even if you join a meeting midway through, if you ask them to tell you the main points and to-dos for the first 20 minutes, they will output the actual main points and bulleted tasks.


Now you have a better understanding of Copilot for Microsoft 365. Although it is necessary to determine whether the output information is correct, we believe that we were able to see the expected value in improving work efficiency and productivity.

Skills that have been required up until now will no longer be required at such a high level if you rely on Copilot to some extent.
Microsoft’s AI development and research will continue to advance, and Copilot for Microsoft 365 will continue to evolve into even more accurate products. Why not start by trying it out now?


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