“Currently Copilot shows some promise but feels more like a preview than a full release.”

Microsoft Copilot, touted as an AI-powered collaboration tool, has generated a lot of excitement in the business community.

However, my team and I were a bit more skeptical of Copilot’s promises, and its ability to live up to them. With Copilot being so new, and not cheap, I wanted to test it out for myself so that you wouldn’t have to!

As I delved further into its capabilities, I found a mixed bag of features that promise efficiency but often fall short of expectations. I have provided you with a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of Microsoft Copilot, shedding light on why it may not be the ideal investment for businesses.

The Good:

  1. Transcription and Recap of Calls: Among the standout features of Copilot is its ability to transcribe and recap calls, providing valuable insights without manual notetaking. This feature streamlines communication and saves time during and after meetings.
  2. Group Chat Summaries: Copilot’s capability to summarize large group chats offers a convenient way to catch up on discussions and extract key points efficiently. However, this feature is unreliable and provides sufficient summaries of large group messages only some of the time.
  3. Passive Data Extraction: I had success in extracting data from documents without opening them manually, showcasing the potential for automated data retrieval.
  4. Timeline Summaries: Requesting a timeline summary yielded promising results, demonstrating CoPilot’s ability to gather information from various sources and compile them into a coherent summary.

The Bad:

  1. Limited Functionality: Copilot’s functionality is heavily dependent on specific platforms and file locations. For instance, documents need to be uploaded to OneDrive for CoPilot to be able to work with them and even then, the functionality is limited. This limitation restricts its usability and interoperability across different ecosystems.
  2. Incompatible with Excel: I found that CoPilot was unable to scan, extract, or summarize data from Excel spreadsheets. I consider this to be a HUGE drawback for CoPilot.
  3. Limitations with Email: Copilot was also unable to directly search through my email folders on command or provide the user with any specific information from within email messages. Instead, Copilot utilizes the Microsoft 365 backend/Viva Insights data to give a general overview of emails that have been sent. This limitation makes Copilot ineffective when it comes to managing emails.
  4. Inconsistent Performance: I experienced mixed results with Copilot’s chat summarization feature, ranging from comprehensive summaries to oversimplified outputs. Similarly, its responsiveness and accuracy in providing responses in Word documents have been erratic. There were times I waited over 30 seconds to get a summary, which may not sound like a lot, but when you’re sitting there watching, you could have just read the message.
  5. Performance Issues: Copilot’s speed in generating responses and summaries has been subpar, leading to frustration. Additionally, interruptions during tasks, such as canceling summary generation by clicking on another chat, hindered my productivity.
  6. Complex Setup: I, and even some of our highly skilled techs, have encountered difficulties in configuring Copilot across various Microsoft platforms, including issues with activating the chatbot in certain environments like Microsoft 365 Apps. Essentially, it’s just buggy.

Is Microsoft Copilot Worth It for Your Business?

Our answer: It depends.

Currently, Copilot shows some promise but feels more like a preview than a full release. For my personal day-to-day needs, the platform’s limitations, inconsistent performance, and technical hurdles undermine its value proposition.

That said, while I still feel that it needs to improve, it is a useful tool. If you’re willing to spend $30 per month, per user, on an annual commitment (no month-to-month option), it could be worth trying out. It has the potential to make your life easier by automating administrative tasks, but it really does depend on your personal and business needs. If you spend a lot of your time taking notes in meetings, writing documents, and making PowerPoints, then Copilot could be a great fit for you. However, if you spend most of your day working in Excel, then it is probably not the right tool for you.

Ultimately, I would love to see Microsoft Copilot offer a month-to-month option (or trial) for those wanting to test at an enterprise level. In my opinion, the tool is too new and not quite fleshed out enough to warrant a year-long commitment. However, I am excited to see how Microsoft Copilot continues to grow and improve to better fit people’s needs.