Microsoft’s on fire recently with the addition of some super-useful features thanks to its artificial intelligence assistant Copilot, and it looks like OneDrive is finally getting a much-needed AI boost. Soon, you’ll be able to search through your files without having to open them to find the relevant info simply by asking Copilot the question you want answered.
Say you’re looking for a specific figure or quote but you have too many files to start searching, or you’re like me and don’t organize anything into folders at all (oops). Instead of opening every document and scanning through to find the specific bit of info you’re looking for, you’ll be able to pull up Copilot and tell it what you want to find. You could ask it to find a specific bit of info from a lecture presentation, or group project, and Copilot will go through the files and provide the relevant answers.
According to MSPoweruser, this feature will work across multiple file types including DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, and more, so you won’t be restricted to just Word documents.
The feature is included in Microsoft’s 365 roadmap, due to be released to users sometime in May 2024. Hopefully, we’ll see this trickle down to Microsoft’s free Office for Web suite (formerly known as Office Online) which includes an in-browser version of Microsoft Word and 5GB of OneDrive cloud storage.
A win for the unorganized girlies
This feature alone is enough to entice me away from Google Drive just for the convenience alone. There’s nothing worse than having to crawl through your folders and files to find something you’re looking for.
I would have appreciated this feature when I was at university, especially with how many notes and textbooks I had scattered around my school One Drive account. By bringing Copilot into the mix, I could have found whatever I was looking for so much faster and saved myself from a fair amount of panic.
If you work in an industry where you’re constantly dealing with new documents with critical information every day, or a student consistently downloading research papers or textbooks, this new addition to Copilot's nifty AI-powered skill set is well worth keeping an eye out for.
While I am disappointed this feature will be locked behind the Microsoft 365 subscription, it’s not surprising – Microsoft is investing a lot of time and money into Copilot, so it makes sense that it would use its more advanced features to encourage people to pay to subscribe to Microsoft 365. However, there’s a danger that if it paywalls all the most exciting features, Copilot could struggle to be as popular as it deserves to be. Microsoft won’t want another Clippy or Cortana on its hands.