New Microsoft Copilot updates target individual users, small businesses with ‘Pro’ subscription tier and cheaper pricing

Microsoft Copilot brand image with logo and multi-colored images
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Copilot has received a raft of new updates as the tech giant looks to expand its user base among small businesses and individual users. 

The announcement includes the launch of a new subscription tier for Microsoft 365 Copilot, which is now generally available for customers on the Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Business Standard subscription tiers.

This new plan is priced at $30 per user, per month, and will see the tech giant scrap minimum seat purchasing rules.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 initially launched last year, but was targeted mainly at larger enterprises with a 300-seat minimum. The company said it plans to scrap this limitation and allow customers to purchase between one and 299 seats.

Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for modern work & business applications at Microsoft, outlined the changes in a blog post yesterday, revealing that the company will also allow customers to use Copilot in Office 365 E3 or E5.

Spataro revealed the changes will specifically cater to small businesses as Microsoft looks to broaden its user base beyond large enterprises.

Microsoft Copilot price plans for small businesses and large enterprises

Microsoft Copilot subscription prices are changing (Image credit: Microsoft)

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the heart of every community and the lifeblood of local economies,” he said. “They have an outsized impact on the world and markets they support — in the United States, this category accounts for 99.9% of business and employs nearly half of the workforce.”

“These businesses stand to gain the most from this era of generative AI—and Copilot is uniquely suited to meet their needs.”

The move from Microsoft comes just one month after it announced general availability of Copilot for Microsoft 365 for education customers. The firm said it plans further expansions to also include a no-seat minimum tier.

Microsoft Copilot Pro broadens horizons for individual users

In addition to its 365 announcements, Microsoft also confirmed the release of a new Copilot Pro subscription tier aimed at individual users. 

The new subscription tier, which costs $20 per user, per month, brings AI-powered features to popular Office apps such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, alongside a raft of additional tools for users.

Users can prompt Copilot to rephrase paragraphs, generate text, or summarize documents in Word, for example, as well as the ability to generate PowerPoint slide decks from scratch using the AI tool.

Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer at the tech giant said the new Pro tier is aimed at “individuals looking to supercharge their Copilot experience”.

“Whether you need advanced help with writing, coding, designing, researching or learning, Copilot Pro brings greater performance, productivity and creativity.

Microsoft Copilot image showing the AI tool being used to generate images from user prompts

The Microsoft Copilot 'Pro' tier will include image generation updates (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft said Copilot Pro will provide “priority access” to the latest large language models, starting with OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo model.

This means users will be able to access GPT-4 Turbo during peak times, offering faster performance and greater reliability. A future update will also give users the ability to toggle between models, Microsoft said. 

Enhanced AI image creation capabilities will also be rolled out with Image Creator from Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator).

A key feature of the new Pro tier highlighted by Microsoft includes the ability for users to create their own custom ‘Copilot GPTs’. 

The Copilot GPT Builder feature launched last year, but was targeted initially at business users. The expansion of Copilot GPTs will now enable individual users to “customize the behavior of Microsoft Copilot” on a topic that is specifically catered to that user’s interests.

“A handful of Copilot GPTs will start to roll out beginning today with specific purposes such as fitness, travel, cooking and more,” Mehdi said. “Soon, Copilot Pro users will also be able to create their own Copilot GPTs using Copilot GPT Builder.

Microsoft strengthens its Copilot selling points

Rory Bathgate headshot
Rory Bathgate

Now that the business case for Copilot has been established at the large enterprise level, it makes sense for Microsoft to bring Copilot to businesses with fewer than 300 employees. Many small businesses have the most to gain from AI summarization or text generation, with the productivity gains of generative AI enabling their limited employees to tackle workloads typically reserved for much larger teams.

It’s arguably with small businesses and startups that generative AI assistants such as Copilot will really prove their worth. These firms face the daunting task of bringing products to market in short time frames, with existential stakes, or suffer from shortages in key areas.

Microsoft will be watching closely for the first small business Copilot success stories and championing them widely – ‘we can help your 150-seat team compete with larger competitors’ is a very strong selling point.


An IBM eBook with four ways for cost optimization and innovation

(Image credit: IBM)

Discover how you can trim IT costs and fund innovation 


Copilot Pro also follows this trajectory as it extends Copilot access to individuals seeking the efficiency and insight gains of Microsoft’s flagship AI offering across their productivity apps. It’s part of the same brand consolidation that saw Copilot brought to Windows 11 and the addition of a Copilot shortcut on laptop keyboards.

It’s notable that with Copilot Pro’s GPT-4 Turbo, users are essentially given the same experience as ChatGPT Plus at the same price point while being neatly packaged within the Microsoft suite. It’s clear that although Microsoft has spent the last year putting OpenAI front and center in its AI messaging, it is now moving to make its Copilot branding and subscription tiers an attractive proposition in its own right.

While this doesn't imply a specific shift in the relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI – the former has a non-voting seat on OpenAI’s board and is OpenAI’s sole compute partner – there is something to be said for the degree of disconnect that the move affords Microsoft.

Should we see a repeat of November 2023’s OpenAI chaos, in which the surprise firing of CEO Sam Altman raised existential fears for the firm, Microsoft’s emphasis on ‘Copilot’ as a product rather than GPT-4 or OpenAI APIs could help it transition to replacement models more smoothly.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

For news pitches, you can contact Ross at, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.

With contributions from