The Microsoft GA that wasn't: Analyst rips into availability of Copilot in Fabric

Torn between keynote and blog: Not all AI coding assistant's features appear available

Microsoft stands accused of making misleading claims about the general availability of products at its recent Build conference.

In a presentation introducing new features in Microsoft's new SaaS data management and analytics system, chief technical officer Amir Netz said (43:35) Microsoft chatbot Copilot was generally available in Fabric.

In material released to the press, Microsoft said something a bit different. "Copilot in Fabric is generally available in Power BI and available in preview in the other Fabric workloads," it said.

But Andrew Snodgrass, analyst with Directions on Microsoft, has pointed out that a blog post by Kim Manis, Microsoft veep of product management, paints a different picture.

It says: "While the report creation experience is now generally available, there are other Copilot experiences in Power BI that are available in preview. For example, the Copilot-powered 'Data overview' button in the Explore experience provides a summary of your semantic model to help you get started and can even generate synonyms and linguistic relationships to ready your model for natural language interpretation."

Elsewhere, the blog states: "The Copilot in Fabric experiences for Data Factory, Data Engineering, Data Science, Data Warehouse, and Real-Time Intelligence are also all still available in preview."

In addition, Snodgrass pointed out customer choice is curtailed when trialling AI tools. Copilot in Fabric is would be "enabled on-by-default for all eligible tenants, including the preview experiences."

By eligible tenant, Microsoft means "customers with a paid Fabric capacity (F64 or higher) or Power BI Premium capacity (P1 or higher) have access to Copilot," he said.

"Currently, the ability to use Copilot preview features is either on or off for everyone. There's no setting that allows customers to limit use during evaluation. A new feature is expected to limit its use by capacity, but that has not arrived yet," he said.

Snodgrass said he is a fan of Copilot and plans to use it in Fabric extensively when it really hits GA.

"But these features are not GA, so please don't use them in production. Preview features are not supported by Microsoft, and the features will likely change before they reach GA. This means if customers aren't careful, they could end up spending a lot more than they expected simply evaluating preview features," he said.

The Register has contacted Microsoft to offer it the opportunity to respond. ®

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