February 28, 2024

Screenshot of Microsoft AI copilot user interface.

Ask the AI chatbot anything.
Screenshot: Quartz

Microsoft hasn’t had an ad in the Super Bowl since 2020. But this Sunday (Feb. 11), the company is buying a spot in front of the masses watching American football — with an ad for its AI assistant, Copilot. Expect to see other companies trotting out their AI products on the TV screen.

The company says it has more than 1 million paid subscribers to its AI assistant, which starts at $30 a month to help users draft up emails or create PowerPoints across its Office apps.

Find, create and get things done faster with Microsoft Copilot

A Microsoft ad coming to the Super Bowl illustrates how much the company — which lost its momentum a decade ago as it fell behind other giants like Apple, Google, and Meta — is back to leading the tech giant pack. The company briefly overtook Apple as the most valuable company in the world.

And that’s driven by how Microsoft has had a lead on generative AI technology, which powers chatbots. The company has invested billions of dollars into ChatGPT maker OpenAI, which spurred a wider industry race to build generative AI products. One of Microsoft’s first products released last year was an AI revamp to search engine Bing, built on OpenAI’s technology.

That said, not all ideas thrown at the wall will stick. Since Bing’s relaunch, its share of the global search engine market has moved just a little more than half a percentage point to 3.37%, according to data from market research firm Statcounter.

When asked whether Bing’s AI lift has increased market share as much as he wanted, Microsoft’s chief consumer office Yusuf Mehdi told Quartz that the company has had millions of new users try it out, and that “it’s been a great point of progress.”

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