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Technology

Microsoft renames Bing Chat to Copilot as it competes with ChatGPT


Everything comes to Copilot, including Bing.

Today at Microsoft Ignite 2023, the company renamed Bing Chat, the AI-powered chatbot it launched on Bing earlier this year, to Copilot in Bing. Meanwhile, the premium, business-oriented version of Bing Chat, which was previously called Bing Chat Enterprise, has also been rebranded as Copilot.

Why is the name changing? To avoid sowing confusion, Microsoft swears – despite the fact that the company now has a dozen products sharing the Copilot branding.

“Renaming ‘Bing Chat Enterprise’ to ‘Copilot’ reflects our vision to create a unified Copilot experience for consumer and business customers,” Caitlin Roulston, director of communications at Microsoft, told TechCrunch via email.

That makes sense. But it could also be that Bing Chat hasn’t moved the needle much for Bing – and so Microsoft is looking to separate the technology from the search engine that launched it. An August report from StatCounter found that Bing had failed to take any market share from Google six months after launching Bing Chat; Microsoft disputed the findings.

Microsoft Copilot

Image credits: Microsoft

It’s not just the name that’s new. Starting December 1, users who sign in to Bing with a business account – a Microsoft Entra ID, to be precise – will benefit from “business data protection” when using Copilot in Bing. This means that their data will not be saved or used to train AI models, Roulston explains, and Microsoft will not have access to it.

“Copilot will update the terms of sale on December 1 to reflect that this is a generally available Microsoft product,” she added. “As part of this, it will inherit Microsoft’s universal licensing terms for online services… Over time, Microsoft will expand the eligibility of Copilot with Commercial Data Protection to even more Entra ID users, at no cost additional.”

Copilot is now available on Windows in addition to Copilot.Microsoft.com and Bing, and is available across Microsoft’s range of business subscription plans – Microsoft 365 E, E5, Business Premium and Business Standard – at no additional cost. Copilot will be included in Microsoft 365 F3 starting December 1. For all other customers, it will be available a la carte for $5 per month.

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For more Microsoft Ignite 2023 coverage:

This story was originally published at 8:00 a.m. PT on November 15 and updated at 3:20 p.m. PT.



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