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Microsoft Copilot vs. ChatGPT: A Comprehensive Comparison

Updated: Jan 18

Which AI assistant is best for your organization?


In the realm of artificial intelligence and natural language processing, Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT are two prominent platforms that have garnered significant attention. Currently, ChatGPT has over 100 million users, while Microsoft Copilot has over 1 million paid users, in over 37,000 organizations.


Both platforms have made major strides in assisting users with various tasks, but they differ in their approach, capabilities, and intended use cases. Below, we’ll provide an overview of each platform, its strengths and weaknesses, and the best use cases for each one.



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What is Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot acts as an AI companion assisting users with everyday tasks such as answering emails, scheduling meetings, creating documents or PowerPoints, and more. The platform integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, and more.


Similar to other generative AI tools, Copilot is powered by large language models (LLMs), and considered a machine-learning network. LLMs are trained on vast amounts of data from numerous sources, including books, news articles, social media posts, forums, and more. The platform incorporates all this data from users’ Microsoft applications and provides suggestions and responses based on users’ actions.


For example, if you’re drafting a press release on your company’s latest product offerings, you can tell Copilot to create a PowerPoint presentation based on the information. Copilot will do so automatically, saving you valuable time.


Capabilities of Microsoft Copilot

One of the major advantages of using Copilot is its seamless integration with Microsoft 365 products, which increases user productivity, access to data, and overall efficiency. Some of the top capabilities and integrations of Copilot include:


  • Word: Copilot relies on language learning models and predictive analyses to write, summarize, edit, and create additional documents right alongside users.

  • PowerPoint: Using natural language commands, Copilot can transform initial ideas into well-designed, in-depth presentations.

  • Excel: To help users get more from data, Copilot works within Excel spreadsheets to uncover additional insights, analyze and identify trends, and craft stunning data visualizations. The platform displays data insights and visualizations almost instantaneously.

  • Teams: Copilot adds productive capabilities to Teams that are designed to make meetings more productive and efficient. For example, the platform can add and update meeting invites in real-time and add action items, enabling teams to create, build, and finish projects more effectively.

  • Outlook: Copilot brings an extra layer of organization to users’ inboxes by managing and synthesizing communications. This frees up users’ time, enabling them to read and respond to emails more quickly.


microsoft-copilot-a-whole-new-way

What is ChatGPT

Created by Open AI, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence platform that generates dialogue. The robust chatbot relies on machine learning algorithms to quickly process and analyze large amounts of data and create a response to users’ inquiries. Because of the way it was written, ChatGPT can understand written and spoken human language, enabling it to understand information as it’s inputted.


For example, you can ask ChatGPT to draft a blog article on how technology is affecting certain industries and what businesses can do to overcome them. Or you can ask it to draft a press release around your company’s latest product offerings. You can also tell the platform to write a poem or explain how climate change works and it will generate a response.


Capabilities of ChatGPT

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to process and generate human-like responses in real-time. Additional ChatGPT capabilities include:


  • Natural language processing: ChatGPT can understand and generate human-like text, making it an ideal platform for numerous text-based tasks, such as document creation.

  • Conversational AI: Chatbots, virtual assistants, and customer support representatives can engage in dynamic, context-aware conversations with ChatGPT.

  • Content creation: From articles and stories to poems and short-form content, ChatGPT can create content in seconds.

  • Test summarization: ChatGPT can summarize lengthy text documents, making it a valuable tool for research and content curation.

  • Language translation: The platform features translation tools that enable it to translate text between multiple languages. This aids in communication and reduces the challenges of language barriers.

  • GPT Creation: As of December 2023, you can also create your own GPTs within ChatGPT. This means you can create an AI, tell it what to specialize in, and you'll essentially have a customized expert in that area. You can create image creators, and writing assistants, the possibilities are endless.

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Picture by: NC State Poole Thought Leadership

How are they Different?

At first glance, Copilot and ChatGPT appear to be similar. Both are able to create documents, improve productivity, and reduce time spent on manual tasks. To help understand the differences between the platforms, we’ve created the table below:


Copilot

ChatGPT

Purpose

Support Microsoft 365 users with application tasks.

Simulate human conversations and respond to human inquiries.

Training Data

Collects text and code from additional Microsoft 365 applications.

Features a vast collection of text and code.

Capabilities

Create presentations, draft emails or other documents, generate ideas, provide keyword suggestions, and more.

Respond to inquiries, create a myriad of creative content, and produce text.

Integration

Integrates directly with additional Microsoft product offerings.

Can either be used independently or in conjunction with additional business programs.


Pros and Cons of Copilot and ChatGPT

There are pros and cons to each platform, the understanding of which can help teams determine which tool is best for their organization, or even for a specific task the user is trying to perform.


Pros of Microsoft Copilot

  • Made for developers: Microsoft Copilot includes Github Copilot, which is tailored to the unique needs of software developers, making it an invaluable tool for coding tasks.

  • Real-time assistance: The platform provides users with immediate suggestions—from document creation and meeting invites to coding. This helps increase user productivity and reduce development time.

  • Direct integration with additional tools: The platform can seamlessly integrate with a number of tools, including Microsoft 365. This eliminates the need for users to switch between platforms when completing tasks like writing code or drafting documents.

  • Easy-to-use: Copilot features an easy-to-use, intuitive interface, enabling users to quickly master its functionalities.

Cons of Microsoft Copilot

  • Limited scope: Because Copilot just pulls information from your organization's dataverse, this doesn't include comprehensive data pulled from the web.

  • Subscription-based: Copilot does offer users a free trial; however, to access the platform’s full capabilities requires a subscription. This may be costly for some users.


microsoft copilot dashboard

Pros of ChatGPT

  • Versatile Reach: ChatGPT’s capabilities extend every inch of the internet (up to 2021 unless you have the paid version) and is thereby suitable for a myriad of text-related tasks.

  • Wide availability: Unlike Copilot, ChatGPT is available through APIs, enabling users to access the platform from anywhere. Additionally, developers can integrate ChatGPT directly into their applications and services.

  • No subscription required: While Copilot requires a subscription, ChatGPT does not require one for basic use. However, users wanting API access will have to pay an associated cost.

Cons of ChatGPT

  • Limited code-specific knowledge: ChatGPT is not as proficient in code generation and comprehension when compared to Microsoft Copilot/Github Copilot.

  • Data cap: The free version only includes data from the web up until 2021.

Choosing Between Copilot and ChatGPT

Ultimately, the choice between whether to use Copilot or ChatGPT will largely depend on your organization’s unique needs and requirements.


Both ChatGPT and Copilot are incredibly intuitive AI platforms that provide organizations with distinct focuses and capabilities.


Oftentimes, you may have use cases for both of these powerful tools, in which case selecting BOTH may be the answer.


Need Help Deciding?

Still not sure whether Copilot or ChatGPT is better for you? Learn more about the value and benefits of Microsoft Copilot, and how to get started here.

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