Microsoft Brings Designer, an AI-Powered Art-Generating Tool, to Free Version of Teams

Microsoft has announced that Designer, an AI-powered art-generating tool, will now be available in the free version of Teams.

This feature, currently in preview on Windows 11, allows Teams users to utilize Designer, a Canva-like app, for creating designs such as presentations, posters, and digital postcards.

Users can provide text prompts or upload images, and Designer, powered by DALL-E 2 (OpenAI’s text-to-image AI), generates design ideas. The tool also offers customization options through drop-down menus and text boxes.

The “Designer” is accessible via the web and Microsoft’s Edge browser through the sidebar. Initially announced in October, it has received new features over time, including caption generation and animated visuals, with additional advanced editing features planned for the future.

While Microsoft aims to monetize Designer through Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions, specific pricing details have not been disclosed. However, Microsoft has assured that certain functionality of the tool will remain free, although the exact features included in the free version have not been specified.

Other Teams updates revealed today have even less to do with artificial intelligence.

Users of GroupMe, Microsoft’s free group messaging program, may now create Teams calls by starting a call from within any new or existing group conversation.

And, as of this week, Teams’ communities feature, which allows users to connect, share, and communicate in Discord-like groups, is now supported on Windows 11 (with macOS and Windows 10 compatibility to follow). Windows 11 users, like Teams communities on other platforms, can create communities, host events, monitor material, and be notified of forthcoming events and activities.

In the upcoming days, a new community discovery feature will be rolled out on Windows 11, iOS, and Android. This feature enables Teams users to join communities focused on various topics such as parenting, gaming, gardening, technology, and remote work. Community owners on iOS and Android can choose to allow their communities to be discovered on Teams. Owners have control over approving or rejecting membership requests, assigning owner controls to others, creating polls using MSForms, and sharing posts as emails.

In addition, Teams community members can now record videos using their mobile devices, benefiting from an enhanced capture experience with updated filters and markup tools. On iOS, community owners can also scan and invite individuals using email or phone numbers from online documents, paper directories, or other lists via their phone cameras.

These new features arrive as Teams continue to experience significant growth, driven by the shift towards remote and hybrid work. The number of daily active Teams users has nearly doubled from 145 million in 2021 to 270 million in 2022.

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