Microsoft faces the financial realities of GitHub Copilot

Emre Çitak
Oct 11, 2023

GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered coding assistant that was launched by Microsoft in 2022. It is designed to help developers write code more quickly and efficiently by suggesting code completions, functions, and entire files. Copilot has been praised by many developers for its productivity-boosting capabilities, but it has also come under criticism for its cost and its potential to promote lazy coding habits.

In a recent report, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Microsoft is losing money on GitHub Copilot. According to the report, Microsoft is losing an average of $20 per user per month on the service. This is reportedly due to the high costs of developing and maintaining Copilot, as well as the low price that Microsoft is charging for the service.

Microsoft loses money GitHub Copilot
According to reports, Microsoft is losing $20 per user per month from GitHub Copilot - Image courtesy of GitHub Copilot

Developing and maintaining the GitHub Copilot

Developing and maintaining Copilot is a costly endeavor. Microsoft has to pay for the computational resources that are needed to train and run Copilot's AI models. The company also has to pay for the engineers who develop and maintain the service.

Copilot is currently available for a monthly subscription fee of $10. This is a relatively low price for a service that can potentially boost developer productivity by a significant margin. However, the low price is reportedly one of the reasons why Microsoft is losing money on Copilot.

Read alsoGitHub Copilot vs ChatGPT: Which one is better for coding?

What's next?

It is unclear what the future holds for GitHub Copilot. Microsoft has not commented on the reports that it is losing money on the service. However, it is possible that the company will raise the price of Copilot in order to make it profitable.

It is also possible that Microsoft will make Copilot a freemium service, with a basic tier that is free for everyone and a paid tier that offers additional features.

If Microsoft does raise the price of Copilot or make it a freemium service, it could have a significant impact on developers. Many developers have come to rely on Copilot to help them write code more quickly and efficiently. If the service becomes more expensive or less accessible, it could lead to a decrease in productivity for many developers.


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