Despite the news that Microsoft plans to lay off of another hundred plus employees and was forced by regulators to renegotiate its acquisition timeframe for Activision Blizzard, the company’s stock is at an all-time high thanks to a new artificial intelligence subscription service.
Microsoft has been touting the free consumer version of its generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) powered Copilot services across its lineup of platforms since early January of this year, and now the company is set to deliver an advance version of the same Copilot program to enterprise customers, for a price.
During Microsoft’s Inspire conference yesterday, the company announced early access to Security Copilot as well as pricing for a subscription-based Copilot solution dubbed Bing Chat Enterprise for E3 and E5 Microsoft 365 customers that comes in at $30 a month per user.
Bing Chat Enterprise makes use of the Microsoft graph combined with Large Language Models trained by OpenAIs ChatGPT4 to offer over verifiable answers with citations, visual analysis with auto-generated charts and images throughout many of Microsoft’s Office products such as Excel, Word, Teams, and more.
The news of a new way for Microsoft to bilk Microsoft 365 customers of up to 50% more per seat with an additional value-add in Bing Chat Enterprise raised Microsoft’s stock as much as 5.8% yesterday and led to a stock price of $365 up from $345 just the day prior.
While the media and some journalists are preoccupied with the company’s regulatory drama, Microsoft has quietly continued to improve the company’s portfolio with consistent cloud service gains as well as timely investments that now include its plunge into GPT solutions to both infuse its own platforms with as well as benefiting from the licensing to third parties through its partnership with OpenAI.
Microsoft is currently testing a consumer version of Bing Chat in Windows 11 and plans to really explore the GPT platform in Windows 12, which begs the question of what economical cost the resource draining solution could be handed to users of the company’s next flagship operating system.
If it’s going to cost $30 per user for enterprise, how does Microsoft balancing offering a similarly functional version to a potential billion users?
Google has also made moves to imbue its own services with versions of its large language models and GPT offerings, but due to the nature of its partnering rather than forging creating an in-house solution, Microsoft seems to be beating Google to the punch as far as marketing ready-made products.