It’s clear that AI is a major focus for Microsoft right now. Interest in AI and what it can do for the workplace and productivity has skyrocketed in the past year alone. With AI being at the forefront of demand it’s unsurprising that Microsoft has been putting out new developments for the space quickly to keep up.
Microsoft only recently put out their newest generation of AI assistant to replace Cortana which is only now available for preview to beta testers. This AI assistant is called Microsoft Copilot which uses LLMs (large language models) with data from the Microsoft 365 apps and the Microsoft Graph to be “your copilot for work”.
Microsoft Copilot will be found integrated across all apps and aims to significantly better productivity output and creativity. It will remove the uninteresting parts of everyday tedious tasks, enabling users and teams to focus on the things that matter. After speaking to trusted providers of IT Support in London it’s clear that this latest productivity tool alone is already an exciting development for the Microsoft family of products and services.
But Copilot had barely been announced when Microsoft announced additional features for it. Microsoft has now given Copilot support for plugins.
Plugins are great for bridging the gap between the user’s needs and the platform’s set capabilities without affecting the source code. Plugins are essentially pieces of software that “plug in” to existing frameworks to add features to help the user. In regards to Copilot, enabling support for plugins allows developers to integrate apps and services to augment the capabilities of AI systems. This means that it can further enable them to interact with APIs to retrieve real-time information, perform new types of services and incorporate company and other business data.
Currently, Microsoft has announced three types of plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot which include ChatGPT plugins, Teams message extensions and Microsoft Power Platform connectors.
With these three types of plugins, users can now have access to more than 50 different plugins from partners like Adobe, Atlassian, ServiceNow, Spotify, Mural and more. Over the next months, we can expect thousands more additional third-party and line-of-business plugins to be added as well. According to IT Support Companies London businesses trust to manage their networks and IT, allowing the ability to add such an extensive ecosystem of plugins to Copilot will bring unprecedented value to users and make an already anticipated product more exciting.
Microsoft has also come out to say that by using new capabilities in Teams Toolkit, users can easily create, test and debug plugins. This means developers can use Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code and CLI to create Teams message extensions that can function as plugins for Copilot.
By allowing plugins, Microsoft is creating more Office 365 Solutions to enable developers to participate in AI opportunities and benefit from the tooling, management, distribution, commerce and enterprise readiness that comes with the Microsoft 365 and Teams platform.
Microsoft’s goal has always been to maximize productivity, app discovery, app reach and revenue for its users. This latest development is the company’s latest step to making its products and services, especially those using AI, to be more flexible and useable for more people who are working to grow and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Other companies like Google are also working on AI-powered productivity tools but they are not widely available and don’t currently support plugins so this is a big win for Microsoft. AI is becoming an essential tool for the workspace. Whether a company is using it for simple and small tasks or complex projects, adopting AI into the workspace will improve workflow and meet growing demands.