At the Microsoft Build 2023 conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and vice president Yusuf Mehdi announced a series of AI tools for developers.
Nadella began his keynote by revealing that Microsoft’s AI assistant, Copilot, will integrate with Windows 11. The announcement was met with considerable excitement from the audience.
Available in preview in June, Windows Copilot will operate within the Windows taskbar and work with large language models and data from Microsoft 365 apps (e.g., calendar invites, documents, chat logs) to create content, edit existing projects, and customize settings – all through natural-language prompts used by the Bing GPT-4 chatbot.
Additionally, Nadella unveiled 50 plugins that will let users customize Microsoft 365 Copilot to meet their specific needs and connect across apps. Plugins include ChatGPT and Bing plugins, as well as Teams message extensions and Power Platform connectors, enabling developers to use their existing investments.
“Today, we’re announcing the extensibility model for Microsoft 365 Copilot with plugins,” Mehdi explained. “Developers can now integrate their apps and services into Microsoft 365 Copilot with plugins to reach hundreds of millions of people where they work every day. Plugins are tools that augment the capabilities of AI systems, enabling them to interact with APIs from other software and services to retrieve real-time information, incorporate company and other business data, and perform new types of computations.”
Microsoft 365 Copilot is currently available to select users via the Early Access Program.
Nadella said that Bing has become the official search engine for ChatGPT. ChatGPT Plus users will now have access to ChatGPT’s new Bing search functionality, which will provide users with more up-to-date information.
The announcement follows Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI and its introduction of GPT-4 Bing Chat earlier this month.
To further improve interoperability, Microsoft will be using the same plugin that OpenAI uses for ChatGPT, enabling developers to use chatbots across consumer and business applications.
According to Microsoft’s blog, Bing is adding to its support for plugins. “In addition to previously announced plugins for OpenTable and Wolfram Alpha, we will also have Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, and Zillow, among many others in the Bing ecosystem,” wrote Microsoft chief communications officer Frankie Shaw.
Microsoft also introduced its data analytics platform, Microsoft Fabric, at the Build conference.
Microsoft Fabric is a unified analytics platform that includes data engineering, integration, warehousing, data science, and business intelligence connected to Microsoft’s OneLake data lake.
Microsoft Fabric aims to eliminate “chaotic data silos created by different developers provisioning and configuring their own isolated storage accounts,” according to Arun Ulagaratchagan, corporate vice president of Azure Data, in a blog post. Fabric uses shortcuts to simplify the data-sharing process. Shortcuts let developers share data between users and applications without having to move or duplicate information.
Yusuf Mehdi announced that Copilot for Microsoft Fabric would soon be launched.