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Microsoft’s AI-powered Copilot is getting plug-ins

Microsoft’s AI-powered Copilot is getting plug-ins


The plug-ins could be a big differentiator for Microsoft’s 365 productivity software.

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Illustration: The Verge

Microsoft’s 365 Copilot, the company’s AI-powered assistant for its suite of productivity software, is going to get plug-ins, Microsoft revealed as part of its Build announcements on Tuesday. With the update, you’ll be able to add new functionality to the assistant so that you can customize it for your specific needs.

There will be three types of Microsoft 365 Copilot plug-ins, according to a blog post from Microsoft EVP Rajesh Jha: plug-ins leveraging OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, Teams message extensions and Power Platform connectors. The early access program will launch with more than 50 plug-ins, including offerings from Atlassian and Adobe. When the plug-ins officially launch, Microsoft says that there will be thousands available.

It’s the company’s latest step in making its AI tools more flexible for more people and could be an important way the company differentiates itself from its competitors. Google has its own productivity-focused AI tools under the Duet AI branding, but they aren’t widely available and don’t support plug-ins yet.

Copilot isn’t the only app getting plug-ins; earlier this month, Microsoft announced that plug-ins would be coming to its Bing AI chat, which could be useful for finding a restaurant reservation through OpenTable, for example. OpenAI also recently added support for plug-ins with ChatGPT, and Microsoft and OpenAI are embracing an “open standard for plug-ins that integrates across OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft copilot offerings,” Jha wrote.