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Microsoft Edge: Copilot AI assistant will make your Office tasks easier

Microsoft says its new 365 Copilot AI assistant will work with Bing chat to help you fulfil tasks, make bookings, or find information seamlessly between your web browser and Office suite (Microsoft)
Microsoft says its new 365 Copilot AI assistant will work with Bing chat to help you fulfil tasks, make bookings, or find information seamlessly between your web browser and Office suite (Microsoft)

Microsoft is moving forward with OpenAI’s artifically intelligent products in a big way.

The tech giant announced on Tuesday at its annual Build developers conference that the 365 Copilot AI assistant will be coming to the Microsoft Edge web browser, and it will also work together with your other Microsoft products.

365 Copilot is kind of like the 2023 upgrade to Clippy, the old-school digital assistant that was once built into Office. Only instead of helping you find functions in Microsoft Word, Copilot will be plugged into all of Microsoft’s products and be able to work between them.

The idea is for Copilot to help you complete tasks in Outlook and Office by looking at the content of the websites you visit. Microsoft says it is the first to integrate AI-powered search in the world, whereby Copilot, the Bing search engine, the new OpenAI-powered BingChat all work togerher.

Work browsers and Edge Workspaces

On top of this, the tech giant has created a special Microsoft Edge for Business browser, to deal with privacy and cybersecurity problems caused by hybrid work, which sees people remotely log onto company servers from home, often on their own PCs, and then in the office on company-owned computers.

Microsoft is making it possible for users to now separate their work and home lives, so personal data like browsing history and passwords aren’t being synced to work. There will now be two different browsers — one for work and one for personal use.

Work-related websites, including those that have a dedicated work login page, will automatically open in the “work” browser, enabling system administrators to set controls and improve security, while popular services like Facebook will open in the “personal” browser.

Plus, Microsoft has created its own competitor to Google’s hugely successful online collaboration tools.

Over the next few months, Edge Workspaces will be made available to enterprise-level firms around the world, enabling you to collaborate and work together from the same set of files and browser windows. You can try it out here in the public preview, for now.

Plugins galore

Microsoft also announced a raft of new plugins that will enable developers of popular apps to build new experiences so consumers and enterprises will be able to use languages to ask Microsoft 365 Copilot and Bing Chat for answers and actions from connected services.

The tech giant’s new shared Bing plugin platform will feature plugins from popular services like Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, TripAdvisor, and Zillow.

This means Bing Chat will now be able to make restaurant reservations for you, help you check out hotel and attraction reviews, look up a house to buy or even check out whether you can pay in three for that new computer monitor you’re wanting.

And you can ask Bing to complete tasks like this for you either on your PC, or on the go using the Bing mobile app.

Microsoft says that many other content providers are now working on plugins to work with Bing too, including Spotify, Skyscanner, Bandsintown Notable and Shopify.