Skip to main content
Open menu
Resources & insights

ChatGPT vs Microsoft Copilot vs Copilot for M365: What Sets Them Apart?  

When it comes to generative AI-powered productivity solutions, ChatGPT is the headline-grabber, released to a massive fanfare in 2022. While it’s certainly ground-breaking, its many flaws (notably around data security) mean it shouldn’t be a viable AI tool for business. 

After its highly-anticipated launch in January 2024, many of our clients are asking us about how to incorporate Copilot, Microsoft’s AI-powered assistant tool, into their workflows. It’s built for business, with more features that help organisations move faster, and importantly, robust data protection.  

In this article, we’ll give you a snapshot of what sets Copilot apart from ChatGPT – and why it’s the right choice for your organisation. The world of AI is moving very quickly – this information was correct at March 2023. 

ChatGPT 

ChatGPT from OpenAI was released in 2022 and quickly became the world’s go-to AI assistant. It captured the globe’s imagination because it could generate human-like text content in response to natural language prompts. It was so simple that anyone could use it, and you saw the results right in front of your eyes. 

ChatGPT is based on a Large Language Model (LLM) trained on multiple data sources, including publicly available data on the internet. The vendor, OpenAI, collects user data to train its chatbot, so it can be more accurate moving forward. 

ChatGPT Key Features 

ChatGPT delivers web search and browser-based chat, where you ask the AI questions, receive answers to your questions and refine them to create content. 

Custom GPTs are specialised versions of ChatGPT that focus on one specific subject. Paid ChatGPT users can access custom GPTs including search, transcription, data analysis, and more. (Most of these features are also available in Copilot. We’ll discuss this more later in the article.) 

ChatGPT Versions 

There are currently two versions of ChatGPT available: 

  • Free: Unlimited access to version 3.5 of ChatGPT 
  • ChatGPT Plus ($20 per user per month): Access to GPT-4, its most advanced model with greater knowledge and reasoning capabilities.  

Premium users also get access to a massive range of plug-ins, including DALL-E, OpenAI’s AI-powered image generator. (DALLE-3 is also accessible via Copilot for Web) 

The Copilot Suite of Products 

The first thing to note is that Copilot isn’t just one solution. Instead, it’s a suite of products, all with slightly different capabilities.  

For our client base – largely knowledge-based, risk-focused organisations – the two most important solutions are Copilot for Web and Copilot for M365. So, we’ll focus on these solutions in this article.  

Other Copilot applications target specific vertically-aligned applications such as Microsoft’s CRM and ERP suites. These include: 

  • Github Copilot – AI-powered coding assistant (the first version of Copilot) 
  • Copilot Pro – For individual users and families 
  • Copilot for Sales – AI assistant for salespeople, including CRM integration 
  • Copilot for Service – AI for call centres 
  • Copilot in Microsoft Viva Insights – AI for employee management 

Introducing Copilot for Web 

Copilot for Web was born out of Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI – and since then, it’s fair to say that ChatGPT Plus and Copilot for Web have evolved in parallel, with features from both products being adopted by the other partner.  

Both solutions specialise in browser-based chat and web search, answering questions prompted in natural language. Crucially, however, Copilot offers commercial data protection (CDP), guaranteeing that Microsoft will not expose your data to any third parties for training purposes, making it the obvious choice for enterprise clients. 

Copilot for Web Key Features 

Let’s look at some of the things Copilot for Web can do: 

  • Natural language processing – Interact with Copilot for Web as if you’re having a conversation with another person, making it ideal for customer service chatbots 
  • Content generation – Prompt Copilot for Web to write letters, articles, stories and just about anything else. Great for quick content creation 
  • Language translation – Copilot for Web will translate anything from one language to another 
  • PDF file analysis – Pull data from PDF documents 
  • Image generation  – Turn prompts into visual content 

The standalone version of Copilot is free for M365 subscribers as part of the licence,  offering access to: 

  • ChatGPT-4 – Open AI’s state-of-the-art large-language model 
  • DALLE-3 – OpenAI’s visual AI solution. One of the best models for generating images to use as part of content 

Introducing Copilot for M365 

Copilot for M365 is a separate product that brings the power of Copilot to your Microsoft 365 environment. Copilot for M365 delivers a simple way for organisations to get started with AI, as it’s embedded in the Microsoft 365 solutions you use every day, including Outlook, Teams, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.  

Think of it as your AI-powered, always-available workplace assistant, sitting quietly in the Microsoft apps you use daily, just waiting to be called upon. You can use Copilot for M365 to complete the tasks that usually take up your time, like summarising a Teams meeting or drafting an email to a client. What’s more, it’s easy to use. You simply tell Copilot what to do in your own words. 

Copilot for M365 Key Features 

Let’s look at Copilot for M365 in more detail. 

1 – Document Creation  

With Copilot, you can jumpstart your creativity in Outlook, Word and PowerPoint – like a pro. 

Simply tell Copilot what you want – whether it’s something simple like an email or more complex like an investment memorandum – and it will return with a draft in seconds. You’ll probably want to add to the draft or ask Copilot to refine it, but it gets you past that ‘blank page stage’, which is often the most time-consuming part of document creation. 

In addition, because Copilot for M365 is deeply integrated with your Microsoft 365 tools and data, it can provide information that’s unique to you and your company – for example, customers, project names or company initiatives. 

For example, if you’ve just had a Teams meeting with a customer and you’d like a summary with the next steps, you could open your Outlook email and try a prompt like: 

‘Draft an email to Customer X summarising the key action points from our Teams meeting and asking for a response by Monday.’ 

Copilot will analyse your previous Teams meeting with that customer and craft the email, saving you valuable time. 

2 – Data Analysis  

Combining Copilot for M365 and Excel unlocks huge data analysis potential. Feed it usable data and the right prompts, and it will deliver key insights you can act on immediately. What’s more, it will do it instantly. 

People who perform data analysis tasks will gain significant benefits from using Copilot for M365, as it helps them craft the right formulas, create visualisations and deliver results more quickly. 

3 – Communication  

Microsoft Copilot for M365 helps you communicate better with your colleagues and customers by speeding up response times and also helping you clarify your message. If you can’t think of the right words to convey your thoughts in an email (we’ve all been there), simply ask Copilot to put something together. For example, something like: 

‘Summarise this email thread and confirm the actions, assignee and required date for each action, note where actions don’t have any assignees and ask for people to respond.’ 

or 

‘Draft an email congratulating the team on the success of Project Coconut, referencing the business outcomes from the slide deck.’ 

It also helps you collaborate better with your team members. For instance, when you set Copilot to automatically transcribe, take minutes and summarise your Teams meetings (a key feature of Copilot for M365), no one needs to take notes, and you can all be fully focused on the meeting. 

4 – Automation  

When you dig deeper into Copilot, a world of new opportunities for automation reveals itself. Manual tasks such as requesting approval for documents or collating data for reports can now be performed automatically by Copilot.  

It’s simple to prompt Copilot to create chains of events, such as: 

‘Send an email with suitable flights for the visit to Tokyo from London and Edinburgh and block out the time in John and Jane’s calendars. If they accept, book the flight.’ 

or 

‘Draft a document based on the project brief, send it to Denise for review and to the designated approvers, excluding Diane, who is on annual leave.’ 

You can also integrate Copilot with tools outside the Microsoft ecosystem, like your CRM or project management tool, to unlock even more possibilities. 

5 – Innovation 

The more you incorporate AI (through Copilot for M365) into your workflows, the less time your people spend on manual, low-brain-power tasks. They can then spend that time working on the things only humans can do, thinking creatively and driving your organisation forward. 

Want proof? A survey of Copilot early adopters gave the following glowing feedback: 

  • 75% of respondents said Copilot saves them time finding what they need in files 
  • 71% said Copilot saves them time on mundane tasks 
  • 70% said it makes them more productive 

Microsoft Copilot Pricing 

How much does Copilot cost? It depends on the version you want.  

If you want to get your hands on Copilot for Microsoft 365, it’s currently $30 per user per month. That’s around £25. You have to make an annual commitment. You must also remember that this price is on top of your existing Microsoft 365 subscription package.  

How do Copilot and ChatGPT handle data? 

Perhaps the most significant difference between Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT is how they work with data. 

Firstly, they work with different datasets. ChatGPT works with OpenAI’s LLM which is drawn from vast amounts of data publicly available on the internet. It also collects data from users to improve the solution’s performance and make the user experience more personalised. Data collected includes: 

  • User input 
  • Chat history 
  • User preferences 

With this data, the solution trains the chatbot to make it more accurate and responsive. 

Microsoft uses the OpenAI model for Copilot, but it runs and deploys the model in Microsoft’s own cloud, completely separate from OpenAI. No data is shared between Copilot and OpenAI. This is Microsoft’s guarantee of commercial data protection (CDP). 

CDP is crucial for Copilot’s business users, who don’t want to see the data they share with Copilot seen and used by others. For example, if your data is unsecured, Copilot could expose it to users who didn’t know they had access to it. Imagine someone asking Copilot about salaries and discovering a salary spreadsheet that was mistakenly saved in a public location. It would be a disaster. 

However, for Copilot for M365 users, this guarantee is even more essential. Because Copilot for M365 is embedded in your Microsoft 365 environment, it can also access your organisation’s internal data, such as files, emails and chats. With this great power comes great responsibility, which is why Microsoft guarantees to protect your data.  

If you use Copilot for M365, your sensitive data will not leak out to your competitors if they use it too. It’s valuable peace of mind in these complicated times. 

Book your Copilot Readiness Diagnostic  

ChatGPT led the way by showcasing the benefits of AI. But Microsoft have taken the technology and made it enterprise friendly. Copilot for Microsoft 365 takes it to the next level by bringing in your organisation’s data and methodology. 

Doherty Associates can help you adopt Microsoft Copilot into your business. This usually starts with a free 1-hour Copilot Readiness Diagnostic call where we will cover: 

  • Assessing Readiness: understand how prepared your business is to deploy Copilot. 
  • Mitigating Security Risks:  understand the potential risks and how to mitigate them. 
  • Building a Business Case: discuss your reasons for adopting Copilot and how to achieve ROI. 
  • Exploring Possibilities: discuss pain points and opportunities to enhance your operations. 
  • Planning Deployment: discuss key user groups and use cases specific to your industry. 

Get in touch today to book your call –  Doherty – Contact page 

Related posts

Doherty Associates IT Solutions

Blogs

Microsoft ​​Azure: Empowering Businesses Through Digital and App Innovation 

Read more

Blogs

Doherty Associates achieves Fortinet Advanced Integrator Partner Level

Read more

Blogs

GDPR Tech Prep: 5 Steps for Compliance Today

Read more

We’re here to help

If you want to achieve better outcomes for your business through a more intelligent use of technology, talk to us.

Contact us