Microsoft Copilot is now more accurate and powerful, thanks to a free upgrade to GPT-4 Turbo

 ChatGPT on a Google Pixel 7 Pro.
ChatGPT on a Google Pixel 7 Pro.

What you need to know

  • GPT-4 Turbo has replaced GPT-4 when using the free version of Microsoft Copilot.

  • Copilot Pro subscribers can choose to use GPT-4 rather than GPT-4 Turbo if they'd like.

  • GPT-4 Turbo has a knowledge cutoff date of April 2023, which is significantly more recent than the September 2021 cutoff date of GPT-4.

  • GPT-4 Turbo also has a 128k context window, which is also much higher than that of GPT-4 (8k context window).

Microsoft Copilot just got a significant upgrade, expanding the capabilities and knowledge base of the AI tool across platforms. Copilot now uses GPT-4 Turbo rather than the older GPT-4. The change brings the knowledge base cutoff to a much more recent date and increases the context window of Copilot dramatically. The end result is a more knowledgeable tool that can handle more information at once.

The news was shared by Mikhail Parakhin on X (formerly Twitter). Parakhin is Microsoft's lead for the Windows client and also speaks about Copilot on X frequently.

Parakhin shared in follow-up posts that GPT-4 Turbo is available at all times for the free version of Copilot and available in both Creative mode and Precise mode. If you prefer to use GPT-4, you'll have to be a Copilot Pro user.

Copilot Pro | $20 at Microsoft Store

Copilot Pro builds off the free version and has better performance and priority access during peak times, as well as more image creator boosts that let you create more AI generated images in a single day. Copilot Pro also enables AI features in Office apps, something the free version doesn't have.View Deal

GPT-4 vs GPT-4 Turbo

Microsoft Copilot prerelease 2023
Microsoft Copilot prerelease 2023

GPT-4 Turbo is the latest model from OpenAI, at least until GPT-4.5 Turbo or some other model comes out eventually. GPT-4 Turbo has a knowledge base that extends up to April 2023, which means it can recall information up to that date. The GPT-4 model has a cutoff of September 2021, so it is much more limited when it comes to recent events.

Of course, April 2023 is still almost one year ago, so Microsoft fills in those gaps. Microsoft explained the secret sauce that powers Bing Chat, which has since been rebranded to Copilot. That proprietary tech combines Bing search engine information and OpenAI's GPT technology to generate responses. When you look at how Bing information and GPT work together, it's easy to see why Microsoft first called the tool Bing Chat, but the tech giant has shifted away from Bing branding when it comes to AI.

In addition to having a more recent knowledge base cutoff, GPT-4 Turbo has a 128k context window. In contrast, GPT-4 only has an 8k content window. OpenAI explained the four main benefits of GPT-4 Turbo over other models:

  • Context window (some models have as low as an 8k context window while some have an 128k context window)

  • Knowledge cutoff (some models have been training on more up to date information which makes them better at certain tasks)

  • Cost (the cost for models vary, our latest GPT-4 Turbo model is less expensive than previous GPT-4 model variants, you can learn more on our pricing page)

  • Feature set (some models offer new features like JSON mode, reproducible outputs, parallel function calling, etc)

  • Rate limits (different models have different rate limits, check out the limits page for more details on each models limits)

OpenAI also has a page that outlines all of the differences between GPT models.

The end result for users of the free version of Copilot should be better generated responses from the AI tool. Those who prefer the GPT-4 model will have to pay for Copilot Pro, however.