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Microsoft rebranding Bing Chat to Copilot – Here’s what that means

All things Microsoft AI under one name.

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on November 17, 2023
Bing Chat has rebranded as Copilot.
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Microsoft is rebranding “Bing Chat” and “Bing Chat Enterprise” to “Copilot”. The name Copilot is already in use by the big tech firm, referring to its AI assistant. It will now refer to all things artificial intelligence throughout the company, and Bing Chat will cease to exist by that name. Microsoft’s Bing search engine will continue to exist in the same form, only now you will search Bing or ask Copilot, depending on whether you need a search engine or a generative AI chatbot (respectively). Here’s how to get your head around Microsoft rebranding Bing Chat to Copilot.

Bing Chat is now Copilot

The software tech giant has taken the decision to rebrand all its AI efforts to share the same name – Copilot. This means that Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise are now both called Copilot, the Microsoft AI assistant. While the name will not be differentiated, you can still subscribe to the different payment tiers and receive that same level of service.

Copilot previously referred to the AI capabilities being integrated into existing Microsoft software, such as Microsoft 365 Copilot. This led to Copilot, Microsoft 365 (and other software suites like Microsoft Office), Bing Chat, and Bing Search each being distinct entities. As a result, there were two AI chatbots among them – Copilot, the AI assistant for software, and Bing Chat, the AI assistant for search (directly comparable to OpenAI’s ChatGPT).

Microsoft Copilot on start menu for Windows 10 on PC.
Microsoft Copilot for Windows 10 on PC (The update will replace the phrase “new Bing”).

The new Copilot experience is the spiritual successor to Cortana, which is now discontinued. Microsoft Cortana was released in December 2015, but saw discontinuation on Xbox in 2020, followed by mobile platforms in 2021, and across its Windows operating system in 2023, with total discontinuation of support on August 11th, 2023.

Microsoft now has one AI chatbot: Copilot.

Yusuf Mehdi, CCMO at Microsoft explains the initial decision to lead with Bing Chat.

It has all the positive things, it’s four letters, it has one syllable, it’s global, and it has equity. So we said we’re gonna stick with the Bing brand.

Yusuf Mehdi, Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft
✓ Steve says

Why is Microsoft rebranding Bing Chat to Copilot?

Despite what is sure to be some initial confusion, this isn’t a total branding blunder.

Microsoft used its investment in OpenAI, and resulting exclusive technology partnership, to drive traffic to Bing Search, and away from its key competitor, Google. By associating it’s AI chatbot with Bing, Microsoft grew its search engine market share to a historical high, a growth curve which has since plateaued, and so the Bing Chat branding has served its purpose: Capture the early adopters.

It was able to do this because Google Bard was released after Bing Chat, as the latter used existing technology (GPT-4 from OpenAI) while the former rushed its own proprietary LLM, PaLM. Now, a simple and unified branding approach makes more sense in the long-term.

Caitlin Roulston, Director of Communications at Microsoft confirms that “Bing remains a prominent brand and technology powering many Copilot experiences while continuing to be a leader in the search industry.” Users with a Microsoft Entra ID will enjoy commercial data protection.

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Is Copilot still free?

Yes, the new Copilot is a free AI chatbot (artificial intelligence assistant). It will serve the same functions as the now-discontinued Microsoft Cortana, and will likely see a similar rollout across software and hardware platforms. We may see a ChatGPT-like interface across Microsoft AI products on Windows for PC, MacOS, Microsoft Edge, Android, iOS, Xbox and more. Microsoft 365 Copilot will not be free, however.

Steve is an AI Content Writer for PC Guide, writing about all things artificial intelligence. He currently leads the AI reviews on the website.