Microsoft brings artificial intelligence to the office

The competition for the best solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to a head. First, Microsoft massively upgraded its Bing search engine with AI and started chasing Google. Now the company is following suit with its office software.


Microsoft will integrate comprehensive artificial intelligence functions into its most important office programs. This was announced by company CEO Satya Nadella in Redmond on Thursday. With the "Microsoft 365 Copilot", users:inside of Office programs could benefit from the novel AI functions that have been causing a stir in the IT world for months. Office components that will receive a "Copilot" extension include Word for word processing, Outlook for e-mails and calendars, PowerPoint for presentations and Teams for chats.

"Today marks the next big step in the evolution of the way we interact with computers," Nadella said. The group CEO lined up the announcement with the legendary introduction of the graphical user interface by computer scientist Doug Engelbart in 1963 and the debut of the first iPhone in 2007.

Increase in productivity promised

"This will fundamentally change the way we work and unleash a new wave of productivity growth," he said. With the new "copilot for work," Microsoft is giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface - natural language.

For example, Nadella presented a new type of business chat together with Microsoft manager Jared Spataro. This not only works with the data of a public AI language model, but also accesses personal data such as calendar entries, emails, chats as well as other documents of the users. "It lets you do things you've never been able to do before," Spataro promised.

Instructions via voice control

This would allow people to give verbal instructions to the program, such as, "Tell my team how we updated the product strategy." The software would then generate an appropriate status update based on meetings, emails and chats.

In Outlook, users can then ask questions like this one: "Create a summary of the Alpha project emails I missed during my vacation over the past ten days, and list all the questions my team leader asked." In Excel, even complicated data evaluations can be triggered in natural language without having to type syntax of formulas in the spreadsheet.

Attack on AI expertise from Google

With its broad-based AI offensive, Microsoft is attacking Google's previously untouched leading position in the areas of Internet search and online advertising. The integration of the ChatGPT text robot into Bing and the Microsoft Edge browser plays a key role here. With "Microsoft 365 Copilot", the world's largest software group also wants to secure and further expand its supremacy in the area of Office software. (SDA)

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