Applying for the Project Cortex Preview Program

December 17, 2019

Welcome to the Project Cortex blog!

In November 2019, we announced that we will be admitting a limited number of additional customers to our Project Cortex Preview Program. The announcement garnered a lot of interest from our customers and we were pleased to hold our first Preview Program office hours call this week to share quick demos of the product and discuss the preview program requirements. (View the Microsoft Teams live event recording of the office hours call.)

What is the Project Cortex Preview Program?

The Project Cortex Preview Program offers select customers access to Project Cortex and engagement with the Microsoft product team bringing the solution to life. By actively testing features and providing constructive feedback over the course of 4 to 6 months, you’ll help us ensure we produce a solution that meets our customer needs and reflects potential use cases.

The program is not intended for lightweight evaluations; it demands a high level of usage, commitment and engagement with Microsoft.

What are the program requirements?

  • Your organization must transact primarily in English
  • Your organization must actively use Microsoft 365 with a commercial tenancy
  • Your intended use cases should match our initial design for the product; we don’t want to frustrated customers who are primarily interested in scenarios we wont ship until after general availability.
  • Your organization must commit to the following:
    1. Enable at least 5 users to actively test the solution and provide feedback (directly or indirectly)
    2. Use actual production files and content to test our AI models
    3. Provide constructive feedback via a Microsoft Teams group chat on a regular basis
    4. Attend and participate engineering calls each week –
    5. Commit to be featured in a published case study as a public named reference.

If your organization is interested in joining the program and can make the commitments mentioned above, complete and submit the Project Cortex Preview Program Application by January 8, 2020 (11:59 PT) to be considered for this private preview.

What happens next?

Microsoft will select a limited number of candidates based on the application we receive, and we’ll be contacting those customers directly by the late January 31, 2020 to onboard them to the program. The preview program will run through June 30, 2020.

If you haven’t heard back from us by January 31, 2020, don’t worry.  We’ll continue to expand the preview program for new scenarios throughout 2020, and we hope to add even more customers later in the year.

Although we’d love to include everyone, we also want to control our numbers to ensure the highest quality of personal support throughout the program.

Since our office hours call, we’ve gotten several questions from interested customers. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions:

How is Project Cortex priced?

Pricing and packaging have not been finalized.  Project Cortex will be a premium service in Microsoft 365, and final packaging will be determined in part based on customer feedback as part of the private preview.

What paperwork is required?

You will need to sign a Case Study & PR Release Form and the Preview Services Agreement and have an active NDA with Microsoft.

What licensing will be available for those in the program?

Preview customers will be given all the licensing they need to be successful as part of the program at no additional charge.

What about after the program? Will customers still have access to those licenses?

Project Cortex is a premium service; final packaging details will be announced prior to general availability. If you would like to continue using Project Cortex after the preview, we’ll work with your account team to plan a smooth transition.

Will the documents that customers use for the preview program be confidential?

Documents used in this program will be in the customer environment. As such, Microsoft will not have access. All documents can be deleted after the preview.

How does Project Cortex protect the security and compliance of content?

Project Cortex is based on the security and compliance of content enforced across Microsoft 365.  For example, access, retention labels, data sovereignty and information barriers are all maintained consistently before and after the activation of Project Cortex.  In addition, organizations can apply even more stringent restrictions on the scope and availability of topic information shared by Project Cortex.

Are English language documents the only ones supported in the program>?

At this time, we require participants to be organizations transacting in English. We will expand into other languages later in 2020.

Will you move content for us from our source environment to Microsoft 365?

The content must already be in Microsoft 365. We can’t support migration as part of this program, however, Microsoft offers services and solutions such as the SharePoint Migration Tool, FastTrack, and partner solutions to help with any transition.

We’re excited to be working with so many great customers! If you have additional questions about the program, please reach out to one of the following resources:


  • Chris McNulty, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft 365