Google Introduces Duet AI for Workspace Apps, Challenges Microsoft’s Copilot

At the recent Google Next conference in San Francisco, Google announced its decision to make artificial intelligence (AI) tools available to enterprise customers for $30 per user per month. The move by the Alphabet-owned giant (GOOGL.O) is a strategic response to the increasing demand for AI-powered productivity enhancements. This pricing aligns with the monthly rate of Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) “Copilot”, which includes applications like Teams and Outlook.

  • Google intensifies investments in generative AI following Microsoft’s backing of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
  • The company revealed a new generation of its custom AI chips and a tool for watermarking AI-generated images.

The Essence of Duet AI

Duet AI, initially unveiled at Google’s I/O developer conference, extends across all Workspace apps. These applications encompass Gmail, Drive, Slides, Docs, and more. More than just a virtual assistant, Duet AI offers a multitude of features:

  1. Gmail and Docs: Users can give a simple text prompt for Duet AI to produce results.
  2. Slides: By typing a few descriptive words, users can command Duet AI to generate images.
  3. Sheets: Duet AI can assist in project planning.
  4. Meet: Duet aids in note-taking during video calls for those absent.

Among the early adopters of this AI tool is the lingerie brand, Adore Me, which uses Duet AI for content preparation.

Workspace Integration and User Experience

One of the most distinguishing facets of Duet AI is its seamless integration into various Google apps. Over a million users have tried Duet AI, and with this new offering, any paid Google Workspace user can access it. Duet offers:

  • AI-based lighting and sound tweaks in Google Meet.
  • Automated meeting and chat thread summaries.
  • Grammar checks, creative content generation, data-driven charts, and document summarization.

For those familiar with Microsoft’s Clippy and ChatGPT, Duet AI can be seen as a fusion of the two, balancing helpfulness with creative prowess. Duet can be accessed either through a separate menu or directly within an app, streamlining the user experience.

Competitive Landscape: Google vs. Microsoft

With Duet, Google sets its sights squarely on Microsoft’s territory. These AI-enhanced tools, central to both tech behemoths, symbolize the potential future of work. Their mutual belief in AI’s ability to redefine productivity is evident in their product offerings and pricing strategies. Some key insights:

  • Both companies charge $30 per user for their AI systems.
  • Duet AI’s fee is on top of existing Google Workspace subscription charges.
  • Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, announced its pricing a few months after Google’s private pre-order began.

Aparna Pappu, the head of Workspace, revealed in an interview with CNBC that smaller teams’ pricing structure is still in the pipeline. Given the potential for errors with AI, she advises users to double-check Duet’s outputs, especially when handling business-critical data.

Revenue and Market Penetration

While Google primarily generates its revenue from online search and ads, its Workspace suite is progressively gaining traction:

  • In Q2, Google Cloud, which includes Workspace, garnered $8 billion in revenue. During the same period, Microsoft’s Office products and cloud services accounted for $13.5 billion.
  • Google Workspace’s user base has grown from 6 million in 2020 to 10 million presently.

Over 1,000 customers are currently trialing the new AI tools, with a consumer version of Duet AI for Google Workspace slated for release early next year. In contrast, more than 3 billion people globally use Google Workspace, revealing a massive potential for expansion and increased adoption of AI tools.

Jonas Muthoni is the Founder and CEO of Deviate Agency; he has contributed to several online publications, including Forbes. He loves to write on topics ranging from leadership and business to technology. Writing has always been his passion, and He has been writing for online publications over the last several years.