Microsoft has selected ‘Copilot’ as the new brand name for its AI chatbot service, intensifying the competition previously known as Bing Chat. The American software giant sees AI as the most significant upgrade to its Bing service since the beginning of the year when it integrated a ChatGPT-like interface into its search results. However, less than a year later, the Bing Chat brand was discarded and transitioned to Copilot. The new name will be uniformly used across Bing, Microsoft Edge, and Windows 11.
Initially, Microsoft’s AI ambitions were aimed at competing with Google in the search field. But now, the company has shifted its target towards ChatGPT, as reported by The Verge. The rebranding took place just days after OpenAI revealed that 100 million people are using ChatGPT weekly. Despite their multi-billion-dollar partnership, Microsoft and OpenAI continue to compete for customers who need AI assistants.
The company also makes no secret of its intention to position Copilot as an option for both general consumers and businesses. “Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise will now simply become Copilot,” announced Colette Stallbaumer, General Manager of Microsoft 365. Previously, Microsoft had chosen the name Copilot for its AI chatbot in Windows 11.
Microsoft currently introduces Copilot as a free version of the AI chatbot, while Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a paid option. Business users log into Copilot using Entra ID, while general users only need a Microsoft account. Copilot is officially supported in Microsoft Edge or Chrome running on Windows or macOS.
The rebranding implies Microsoft’s desire for Copilot to become an independent experience, and users don’t have to indirectly open it through Bing. The Bing search service is now just a part of Copilot’s power. Experts interpret this new move as indicating intriguing shifts in the perspectives of Microsoft’s leadership.
The company had previously invested a lot of effort into deploying AI within its search engine and aspired to seize market share from Google. However, Microsoft recognized that competing with the search giant is not as simple as adding AI services when Google still holds over 91% of the market share ten months after the launch of the new Bing Chat, according to StatCounter. In addition, the company might also realize that direct competition with ChatGPT could offer more benefits in the future.