Microsoft Copilot continues to improve, gaining 3 new popular plugins — here's what they are and how to use them

Image of Copilot integration with plugins
Copilot now features plugins to different applications. (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced that Copilot now has plugins with some of Copilot user's favorite applications. 
  • The plugins currently available or coming soon are Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, OpenTable, and Shop. 
  • You can choose up to 3 plugins for a conversation, and you can potentially find a flight and hotel through Kayak while booking a restaurant through OpenTable all through Copilot. 

While overall ChatGPT adoption seems to be high, especially in an enterprise setting, Copilot doesn't seem to have hit the mass market appeal that ChatGPT has. This difference is likely due to lagging in useful features. Today Microsoft took a step to remedy that, while not as exciting at GPTs in the GPT store for ChatGPT, application plugins for Copilot are a good step in the right direction. 

One other change was made to Copilot with today's announcement on the  Windows Blog. They added new 'skills' that allow Copilot to do more with your system. 

What are Copilot Plugins? 

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Earlier today, @yusuf_i_mehdi on Twitter(X) announced that plugins supporting popular apps are now available in Copilot. Plugins are basically API connections to these different applications that allow you to query these apps and get results directly from Copilot. 

In my Copilot preview, I currently have access to 6 plugins. Search, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, OpenTable, and Shop (owned by Shopify.) Using these plugins, you can ask for normal conversation answers from Copilot and get back responses without scouring these different websites or apps for the information you're looking for. Let's take a look at how it works. 

If you don't know what these apps are for, let's break them down and explain what they can be used for.

  • Empty listInstacart - Ask about recipes, discover the ingredients you need, and then get it delivered from local stores.
  • Kayak - Search flights, stays & rental cars, or get recommendations on where you can go on your budget.
  • Klarna - Search and compare prices from thousands of online shops. Only available in the US.
  • OpenTable - Provides restaurant recommendations with a direct link to book.
  • Shop - Search for millions of products from the world's greatest brands.

How do plugins work in Copilot? 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

I'm going to go ahead and test these plugins out in Copilot and share the responses with you. As you can see in the above image, you can toggle on the plugins you want and then start a conversation. 

Here is my first query: Hello, please find me the cheapest flights from LAX to Auckland New Zealand in the next 3 months. Also, find good restaurants in Auckland and hotels as well as car rental prices

Copilot's response using Kayak and Opentable: 

Flights from LAX to Auckland Accommodations in Auckland Car Rentals in Auckland

Kia ora! 🇳🇿 Let's explore your travel plans to Auckland, New Zealand! Here are some options for you:

Alaska Airlines offers a non-stop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL) departing on March 1 at 11:52 PM and arriving on March 3 at 10:25 AM. The return flight is also non-stop, departing from AKL on May 31 at 8:15 PM and arriving in LAX on the same day at 1:20 PM. The total price for this round trip is $1,531. You can book it here.

Here are some stays in Auckland for your consideration:

Orewa area 5 mins to Beach: Located in Whangaparaoa, this stay is priced at $189 per night. Book here.

Birdsong on Waiheke - Stay Waiheke: Situated in Onetangi, this stay has excellent reviews with a perfect score of 10.0. The nightly rate is $176. Book here.

Private Treaty Bnb: Located in Manukau Central, this stay is priced at $366 per night. Book here.

For more options, check out this link.

Looking for wheels? Here are some car rental options:

Supplier choice: Daily rate of $89. Book here.

Pickup truck: Daily rate of $93. Book here.

Standard car: Daily rate of $152. Book here.

For more car rental options, visit this page.

Enjoy your trip to beautiful Auckland! 🌟

Is Copilot finally on the way to becoming a more useful app? 

Microsoft is going all in on Copilot, even introducing a Copilot key on new Windows 11 laptops in 2024. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

I'll admit that I prefer ChatGPT Plus to Copilot, even though it costs money. The main reason I prefer ChatGPT is its extra features over Copilot, and it allows me to make images of different sizes, which is a big deal for me. Microsoft is betting a lot on Copilot, even introducing a dedicated Copilot key for new laptops in 2024. 

I do think these plugins are a step in the right direction. Some of the coolest things in ChatGPT are the different GPTs that users can create and sell/share via the GPT Store. With all that being said, based on the results I found when I searched, I would have difficulty trusting Copilot to give me the best deals. There might be a way to have it track prices and trends that could help a smart shopper get the best deal, but based on the searches I tried, they all seem to be somewhat generic. 

Copilot still needs that killer app or feature that brings the masses to it. Right now, it's a watered-down version of ChatGPT Plus and sometimes seems more convenient to use. Microsoft knows what they need to do to make Copilot better and more appealing, but their current strategy seems to be to force it everywhere and hope people start using it. In the end, Copilot must have a unique feature that brings people in if Microsoft wants it to succeed. 

Colton Stradling
Contributor

Colton is a seasoned cybersecurity professional that wants to share his love of technology with the Windows Central audience. When he isn’t assisting in defending companies from the newest zero-days or sharing his thoughts through his articles, he loves to spend time with his family and play video games on PC and Xbox. Colton focuses on buying guides, PCs, and devices and is always happy to have a conversation about emerging tech and gaming news.