Microsoft recently launched their own AI chatbot called Copilot, offering developers an “AI pair programmer” to boost their productivity.
I was eager to give this new tool a spin, so here is my experience getting started with Microsoft Copilot.
What is Microsoft Copilot?
Microsoft Copilot is an A-powered programming assistant designed to boost productivity. It integrates into development environments and suggests potential code completions or entire blocks of code based on the context of what a developer is working on.
Copilot is trained on public code and continues learning from the way developers use it. By automating repetitive tasks and recommending solutions tailored to a developer’s style, Copilot aims to streamline workflow and reduce time spent on rote coding.
Getting the most out of Copilot involves learning the integrated development environments it supports, giving clear inputs and examples, collaborating with other Copilot users, and keeping the tool updated.
How to use Microsoft Copilot
1. Log in to the new Copilot
- Go to Copilot.Microsoft.com
- Click “Sign in” and use your Microsoft account credentials (Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, Xbox, etc.)
- Can create a free Microsoft account with any email
- Currently only works on Chrome or Edge browser on Windows or MacOS
2. Start Asking Questions
- Enter prompts and questions in the text box at the bottom of the screen
- Hit enter or click the send icon to submit them to Copilot
3. Understand How Copilot Works
- Conversational format similar to ChatGPT
- Answers, style, and interface differ from other AI assistants
- Can tweak response format and sources used
- Provides textual responses based on prompts
The key steps are to sign in with or create a Microsoft account, enter textual prompts and questions for Copilot, and review the responses to see Copilot’s capabilities in action. As you use it more, you’ll better understand how to frame prompts and interpret the AI-generated responses.
Here’s a breakdown of the key elements in the Microsoft Copilot interface to help you understand how it works:
- Text Area: This is where you enter text prompts and questions for Copilot to respond to.
- Add Image: You can upload an image for Copilot to analyze using AI, similar to Google Lens.
- Microphone: Use your device’s microphone to speak prompts and questions instead of typing them.
- New Topic: Select this to clear the previous conversation and start a new one with Copilot.
- Sources: Copilot gathers responses in part from web pages, and will list any sources used below its messages.
- Suggested Follow-Ups: Copilot suggests related follow-up questions you can ask based on its responses.
- Conversation Style: Choose between more creative, balanced, or precise response formats to match your needs.
- Prompt Counter: Tracks how many prompts you have entered in the current conversation.
- Like/Dislike Buttons: Provide Copilot feedback on the usefulness of its responses.
- Copy/Export Buttons: Let you save Copilot’s responses for future reference.
The key goal is to show how Copilot leverages AI to have a conversational dialogue where users can provide textual or spoken input and receive intelligent responses. The interface allows tweaking the style and sources behind responses.
Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered chatbot that can answer questions, change system settings, create images, and assist with tasks like coding, finding answers to questions, and writing emails.
You can access Microsoft Copilot through various Microsoft applications like Windows, Microsoft 365, Teams, and Microsoft Edge.
Yes, Microsoft Copilot can be used on mobile devices through the Microsoft Edge app and there’s also a standalone Microsoft Copilot app for Android devices.
Ready to Supercharge? Try Copilot
In the few hours I’ve used Copilot so far, I can already tell it’s going to level up my productivity as a developer. The AI coding suggestions are uncannily good in most cases, giving me a head start instead of a blank screen. If you code for a living, Copilot is definitely worth test driving in my experience.
I’m excited to continue collaborating with my new AI pair programmer in the coming months. Let me know in the comments if you try out Microsoft Copilot too!