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Microsoft 365 gets new Copilot treatment, here’s what we think about the update

New Copilot update for 365 is a mixed bag
Last Updated on July 1, 2024
Microsoft Copilot logo and tagline
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Microsoft’s integration with AI continues with a significant update to Copilot for Microsoft 365. This suite of AI-powered tools aims to revolutionize how you work with familiar applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint. But does it truly deliver on its promises? Let’s delve into the key features of the June 2024 update and see if Copilot genuinely helps content creators and collaborators.

SharePoint gets an AI update

First up, SharePoint gets a facelift. The ability to rewrite and enhance existing content is a winner, promoting consistent brand voice and saving time. However, the jury’s still out on AI-generated images in Word and PowerPoint. Will they become creative partners or clip-art clunkers? Time will tell, but the focus should be on empowering users, not replacing their visual sense.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 – Image Source: Microsoft

Streamlined Teams with Copilot

On the collaboration front, Copilot’s deeper integration with Teams offers a welcome boost for streamlining communication. But the real star is the ability to access a wider range of information within Word and PowerPoint. Summarizing emails and PDFs directly within these apps feels like a productivity game-changer. Let’s hope the accuracy of information pulled from these sources, especially for presentations, is up to snuff.

Excel improvements

Excel also gets a shot in the arm with Copilot’s new office update with the ability to handle more conversational interactions. This increased flexibility is a breath of fresh air for those who don’t always work in rigid tables. While Loop integration offers a potential head start for collaboration, its long-term viability remains to be seen.

Our thoughts

The update offers a mixed bag of features when it comes to usefulness. The ability to rewrite and enhance existing SharePoint content and access a wider range of information within Word and PowerPoint are clear winners. Streamlining communication, maintaining brand consistency, and boosting documents with data from emails and PDFs are functionalities that should help productivity.

However, the usefulness of AI-generated images and Loop integration remains to be seen. While the former might save time for basic visuals, its ability to create professional or unique content is uncertain. Similarly, Loop’s viability as a long-term collaboration tool is yet to be proven.

Microsoft caters to admins as well, with Copilot’s availability in standalone plans and a new Copilot dashboard offering valuable insights. These features empower IT to optimize Copilot’s implementation within their organizations. Overall, the June update is a promising step forward, but some features require a wait-and-see approach.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.