Copilot for OneDrive will fetch your files and summarize them

Vector collage of the Microsoft Copilot logo.
The Verge

In a blog post, Microsoft gave users a sneak peek into Copilot for OneDrive, which it plans to release in late April. Copilot for OneDrive will take on the role of a research assistant of sorts, being able to both find, summarize, and extract information from a wide range of files. These include text documents (Word and rich text), presentations, spreadsheets, HTML pages, PDF files, and more. Users can ask Copilot to tailor summaries to their liking, such as only including key points or highlights from a specific section.

We knew an AI overhaul of OneDrive was coming since last fall, when Microsoft announced the third generation of the cloud storage service. The company promised that AI would make searching for files easier and faster, and would be able to intelligently summarize and organize documents. Users could ask Copilot to quickly find their tax documents or summarize that boring PowerPoint presentation from work, for example.

A screenshot of Copilot for OneDrive.

The chatbot will also be able to respond to natural language prompts and answer highly specific questions about the contents of a user’s files. Some examples given by Microsoft included asking Copilot to tabulate a week’s worth of beverage sales and throw the data in a table view by day. Or, asking it to list the pros and cons of a project, or display the most recent or relevant files. Users can even ask Copilot for advice on how to make their documents better.

Copilot on OneDrive will also be able to create outlines, tables, and lists for users, based on existing files. A few examples given were:

• Using the /sales-enablement.docx as reference, create an outline of a sales pitch to a new customer.

• For these selected resumes, create a table with names, current title, years of experience, educational qualifications, and current location.

• Create a list of frequently asked questions about project Moonshot.

OneDrive users will get an early taste of Copilot later this month, when Microsoft will roll out summaries of shared documents. Users can include an AI-generated summary of a Microsoft Word document before sharing, which recipients can read in their email before even opening the document.

Copilot will be available on OneDrive for web, or from the file viewer in Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint. It’ll be available for work and school customers with a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license sometime in late April.