Lukewarm reception for Microsoft's Copilot Pro amid performance, cost grumbles

Pricey AI assistant met with enthusiasm and indifference

Just over a week after Microsoft unveiled Copilot Pro and rolled the service out to more customers, users are complaining about performance, and the platform is being met with a shrug by administrators.

A glance at social media shows many are decidedly underwhelmed by the Pro experience as complaints about performance begin to mount up.

Mikhail Parakhin, head of advertising and web services at Microsoft, and the person who memorably agreed that the Windows Start Menu was getting worse, told struggling users that the server side "looked good" and suggested there might be something amiss with their browser.

Parakhin also asked the internet for its opinion on whether AI fatigue might be setting in, something users appear to be divided on. Some praised the technology's "transformative benefits," while others worried about attention being lavished on AI at the expense of other system improvements.

The actual answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Microsoft's relentless cheerleading for AI and its Copilot services might be wearing, but the technology is proving invaluable for some. GitHub Copilot, for example, has evolved into a handy tool when it comes to coding.

It is still early days for Copilot and Copilot Pro in Microsoft 365, though. Following the service's wider release, some users have struggled to justify the price tag. One described it so far as "very underwhelming," and although the service's ability to summarize chats and emails met with approval, the user said they were "struggling to find a use for it."

Another said that Copilot Pro "seems to be a solution looking for a problem to me," while others reckoned there were some benefits, but it was an expensive perk at $30 per user per month.

The complaints over performance are embarrassing for Microsoft, although as a new service, such problems are not unexpected. The confusion over the value proposition is, however, more significant. Microsoft needs AI to become an indispensable productivity tool to justify its investment. While GitHub Copilot has largely succeeded, the performance issues and grumbles over cost show that Microsoft still has a way to go elsewhere. ®

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