Microsoft Copilot is now using the previously-paywalled GPT-4 Turbo, saving you $20 a month

Microsoft Copilot on Android
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Copilot leverages OpenAI's latest LLM, GPT-4 Turbo.
  • Microsoft promises accurate responses, better image analysis, and a wider knowledge scope for the chatbot with this addition. 
  • A recent study indicated that Microsoft's launch of a dedicated Copilot app on mobile didn't impact ChatGPT's revenue or installs, this might give it the upper hand. 
  • Unlike ChatGPT, which has buried the GPT-4 Turbo feature behind a $20 subscription, users can access the feature as well as DALL-E 3 technology for free. 

2024 is indeed the year of AI, and Microsoft is fully placing all its bets on the technology, especially after its multi-billion dollar investment in the technology. The company started the year in high gear having unveiled a dedicated app for its AI-powered assistant, Copilot to iOS and Android users. This further extends its reach beyond Bing, Microsoft Edge, and Windows 11.

Microsoft has been hard at work shipping updates as well as new features to the chatbot every so often, and even rebranding it from Bing Chat to Copilot. And for the longest time, OpenAI's ChatGPT has dominated the mobile market share. However, there's a likelihood that we might potentially see a shift in the future. 

Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT are practically the same apps with subtle differences. Both ship with OpenAI's GPT-4 Turbo model and DALL-E 3 technology.

For a bit of context, Copilot previously used the GPT-4 model. While it worked just fine in most cases, its knowledge was limited to information from September 2021 backward, which made it extremely hard to leverage the tool when sourcing information about current affairs. Recently, the chatbot was spotted providing inaccurate information regarding the forthcoming US elections

With GPT-4 Turbo, Microsoft promises accurate responses, a wider knowledge scope, and better image analysis, as spotted by Tom's Guide. According to the company:

"GPT-4 Turbo performs better than our previous models on tasks that require careful following of instructions."

Why pay for GPT-4 Turbo while you can access it for free?

(Image credit: Windows Central)

You heard it right, Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT are quite similar. The only difference is that OpenAI has buried most of these features behind its $20 ChatGPT Plus subscription. But as it happens, you don't have to necessarily have the 20-dollar subscription to access the GPT-4 Turbo model, as you can access it for free via the Microsoft Copilot app as well as DALL-E 3 technology, too.

Our Managing Editor, Richard Devine previously subscribed to ChatGPT Plus but felt rather short-changed, further echoing his preference for Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) over ChatGPT Plus.

Devine further shared his sentiments highlighting the main reason why he went for the ChatGPT Plus subscription as follows:

"At the time, that was to use GPT-4 on ChatGPT, but also in eager anticipation of plugins and any other goodies OpenAI had up their digital sleeves. And yet, a couple of months later, I'm sat looking at ChatGPT and wondering why I've wasted (to now) $40. 

It's got more intense this past week because Microsoft has revealed what's coming next to Bing Chat. A lot of it covers features I'd hoped to be playing with on ChatGPT by now. Plugins, chat history, exporting, charts, all awesome stuff. And not locked behind a fairly pricey subscription that doesn't even seem to give you what you're paying for."

(Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

A recent survey by Appfigures revealed that Microsoft's launch of the Copilot app was rather unfruitful, having accrued 2.1 million downloads on iOS and Android since launch. The researchers further revealed that the launch didn't impact ChatGPT's revenue or installs, though it has been on a downward trend by itself. 

While the research team didn't disclose why ChatGPT is on a downward spiral, previous reports cited several issues, including the high-cost implication involved in running the chatbot, instances of the chatbot giving inaccurate responses and being outrightly dumb, and the general loss of interest in the technology by users which has negatively impacted its user base.

Microsoft hasn't officially announced that the feature is rolling out to its Copilot, though it has highlighted the plans in the past. The feature may be rolling out to users in waves, therefore, it might not be available to everyone just yet. It's featured on the app's main homepage, you'll need to tap on the toggle labeled Use GPT-4 to start leveraging the feature.

Do you think Microsoft incorporating the GPT-4 model into its Copilot will improve its accuracy and ultimately grow its user base? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Microsoft Copilot| Apple App Store | Google Play Store

Microsoft Copilot| Apple App Store | Google Play Store

Microsoft's Copilot app is now available for iOS and Android users. It ships with a ton of features, including the capability to generate answers to queries, draft emails, and summarize text. You can also generate images using the tool by leveraging its DALL-E 3 technology. It also ships with OpenAI's latest LLM, GPT-4 Turbo, and you can access all these for free.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • naddy69
    "2024 is indeed the year of AI".

    Well, at least someone at MS thinks it will be. But it's January 16 and it is WAY too early to make that statement.

    Remember, Microsoft at one time thought that dual screen Android phones were going to be a Big Thing too.

    Also remember that Microsoft once thought that VR was The Next Big Thing. Now we have Apple going down that dead end alley. 🙄
  • fjtorres5591
    naddy69 said:
    "2024 is indeed the year of AI".

    Well, at least someone at MS thinks it will be. But it's January 16 and it is WAY too early to make that statement.

    Remember, Microsoft at one time thought that dual screen Android phones were going to be a Big Thing too.

    Also remember that Microsoft once thought that VR was The Next Big Thing. Now we have Apple going down that dead end alley. 🙄
    AR. HOLOLENS is augmented reality not Virtual reality.
    But you're right that Apple is me-tooing its way down that road. Won't be pretty; they're ZIGing whlile the world is ZAGing.

    Thing about AR is the software is ready but the hardware isn't. Not at a mainstream price. $3500 isn't going to work. Hopefully they're back-burnering HOLOLENS, not killing it. Its time will come.

    A lesson to be learned from WindowsCE and Windows Phone: timing matters. One was early, one was late.

    " AI"?
    They're early but not enough to prevent success.
    So far they're just staking out as much turf as possible. Later they'll do the deep dives.