In-Depth

All the Copilots: Microsoft Explains 'The Ecosystem Is Larger than You Think'

Unfortunately, the exact number of AI Copilots unleashed on the world by Microsoft is apparently unknowable, like the value of Pi, beyond the comprehension of humans or machines.

For a recent work project I tried to find out just how many "Copilot" AI assistants had been unleashed on the world by Microsoft. That turned out to be harder than it sounds, with various AI tools themselves (including Microsoft Copilot) unable to list all of them. I soon gave up, with even old-fashioned, time-consuming internet searches not up to the task.

But Microsoft this week took a stab at rounding up all the Copilots, explained in a video by the company's Reynald Adolphe, senior developer advocate, who explained GitHub Copilot - The Ecosystem Is Larger Than You Think.

Reynald Adolphe
[Click on image for larger view.] Reynald Adolphe (source: Microsoft).

Even so, he doesn't actually list all the Copilots, according to what I can discern (see below), but he provided a nice start. He discussed:

  • GitHub Copilot
  • Copilot for VS Code
  • Copilot for Visual Studio
  • Copilot for Codespaces
  • Copilot for MS 365
  • Copilot for Business

"I'm here to talk about the Copilot ecosystem, and coding is just part of its services," Adolphe said.

Here's what he said about each:

Copilot for VS Code
"Copilot made a major impact here, providing suggestions for code, entire functions, or even documentation comments based on the context of existing code. It significantly accelerates the development process and helps in learning new programming languages and frameworks, especially with the introduction of chat and VS Code where you can actually communicate with it like ChatGPT."

Copilot for Visual Studio
"Microsoft integrated Copilot functionality into its more full-fledged feature IDE, Visual Studio, thereby expanding its reach to a broader spectrum of developers working on larger and more complex projects across languages and platforms. And yes, many are still using Visual Studio and have been for years, way before Visual Studio Code."

Copilot for Codespaces
"Given that Codespaces is a cloud-based development environment, the integration of Copilot here allows developers to get AI-powered code assistance directly in the cloud, facilitating collaborating, coding and project development without the need for local setups."

Copilot for MS 365
"Copilot has been extended into productivity products like Microsoft Teams and MS 365, although under different branding and functionalities, focusing on collaboration and productivity. For instance, in MS 365, AI features similar to Copilot's philosophy help in drafting emails, creating content, and summarizing documents. In Microsoft Teams, AI enhancements aim to facilitate meeting summaries, action item tracking, and more efficient communication."

Copilot for Business
"An extension of Copilot, but tailored for enterprise use with features and policies designed to fit into various business environments. It can integrate with enterprise-grade software development tools and workflows, offering customized suggestions and learning from the specific code bases it's exposed to."

Adolphe concluded: "In closing, we can see Copilot in all its variations in its ecosystem, serving to enhance productivity, providing suggestions, automating repetitive tasks, offering insights. For developers, it means faster coding and learning, right? For office workers, it translates into quicker document drafting and data analysis. And for teams, that offers streamlined communication and project management."

But Wait, There's More!
Unfortunately, I knew of some others that Adolphe didn't cover, so the above list is incomplete.

For example, there's Copilot for Security, described in an announcement post as "the first security product to enable defenders to move at the speed and scale of AI. Security Copilot combines this advanced large language model (LLM) with a security-specific model from Microsoft. This security-specific model in turn incorporates a growing set of security-specific skills and is informed by Microsoft which "includes Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and connects with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform to bring sales insights and next-generation AI into the flow of work."s unique global threat intelligence and more than 65 trillion daily signals. Security Copilot also delivers an enterprise-grade security and privacy-compliant experience as it runs on Azure's hyperscale infrastructure."

There's also Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot which according to another post provides AI across various areas including:

  • Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Viva Sales
  • Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Service
  • Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
  • Copilot in Dynamics 365 Marketing
  • Copilot in Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Copilot in Microsoft Supply Chain Center

There's also Microsoft Copilot for Sales, which "includes Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and connects with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform to bring sales insights and next-generation AI into the flow of work."

Also, while not providing specific individual custom-tailored Copilots, Microsoft has described its general Copilot for other areas in posts including: Meet your AI assistant for education: Microsoft Copilot.

So I give up. The exact number of AI Copilots provided by Microsoft is apparently unknowable, like the value of Pi, beyond the comprehension of humans or machines.

But there's a bunch of 'em.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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