Microsoft Stacks Two of Its Enterprise AI Tools: Bing Chat Enterprise and Windows Copilot
Windows Insiders signed up to the Beta Channel should soon be able to start testing Microsoft's AI-enabled chat service.
Microsoft has taken the first steps toward incorporating Bing Chat Enterprise with Window Copilot, now in preview.
On Monday, the company announced that it is now "beginning to roll out Bing Chat Enterprise in the Windows Copilot Preview for eligible commercial customers."
Windows Copilot was introduced in May, and Microsoft had indicated back then that a preview on Windows 11 would appear in June. The Windows Copilot preview is presently available as a Windows Insider Dev Channel release, but it is also "currently rolling out" to Windows Insider Program participants in the Beta Channel.
The Beta Channel is a more stable version of early Windows Insider Program test releases than Dev Channel releases. Maybe some organizations use the Beta Channel for production work, and it's these organizations that may see the new Bing Chat Enterprise feature on Windows Copilot preview.
Bing Chat Enterprise is an AI-enabled chat service that can "generate content, analyze or compare data, summarize documents" and even write code. Microsoft claims that the data used with Bing Chat Enterprise "will not leak outside the organization." Moreover, the data are not saved and Microsoft has "no eyes-on access to it."
Microsoft has described which commercial customers will be eligible to use Bing Chat Enterprise in Windows Copilot in this document. It's the E3/E5-type Microsoft 365 subscribers that may see the new Bing Chat Enterprise feature on Windows Copilot preview.
Microsoft is turning on Bing Chat Enterprise by default for those E5/E3-type customers, starting this month and the next, for organizations with the following subscriptions:
- For users with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium licenses, Bing Chat Enterprise is on by default in late August 2023.
- For users with Microsoft 365 A3 and A5 Faculty, Bing Chat Enterprise will be turned on by default in late September 2023. Students aren't eligible.
Microsoft noted in a recent Bing blog post that educational faculty members with Microsoft 365 A3/A5 subscriptions were getting Bing Chat Enterprise "at no additional cost." Student, though, don't get access.
This Bing blog announcement also noted that Bing Chat Enterprise is "now supported in the Chrome desktop browser (using the latest Stable Channel update) for Windows, Mac, and Linux." Microsoft also pledged to add Bing Chat Enterprise support for "other browsers," as well as on mobile devices via the Edge Mobile app, which has Microsoft's Swiftkey support.
Bing, Browser and Mobile Support
The Bing Chat Enterprise preview also is available online via Bing.com search and via the Microsoft Edge browser's Sidebar feature. It's "free" via those venues for E3/E5-type subscribers. Here's how Microsoft's Bing Chat Enterprise landing page described that aspect:
Bing Chat Enterprise is available via bing.com/chat and the Microsoft Edge for Business sidebar at no additional cost for customers who are licensed for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, Business Premium, or A3 or A5 for faculty.
Microsoft also plans to sell Bing Chat Enterprise in a "Standalone" subscription offering, which, when it's available, will be priced at $5 per users per month.
Microsoft's document included instructions for IT pros on how to turn on Bing Chat Enterprise if it hasn't somehow been enabled by default. It's also possible to turn it off, but Microsoft warned that users will still have access to the consumer Bing Chat experience, which "does not offer commercial data protection."
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.