Microsoft Drops Wait List To Try AI Powered Microsoft Designer

Microsoft on Thursday announced an expanded preview of Microsoft Designer, its generative artificial intelligence design creation application.

Microsoft Designer lets users "quickly create stunning visuals, social media posts, invitations, and more," the announcement suggested. It's been updated from its debut back in October, and now is getting integrated into a sidebar in the Microsoft Edge browser. If Microsoft Designer is available in Edge, it can be enabled by clicking the sidebar's "+" icon, the announcement explained.

Microsoft Designer combines text and visuals in response to a text prompt. It uses OpenAI's DALL-E model to create the images. Users now get "canvas" resizing options that will automatically shift the design elements after resizing. It supports "up to 20 different social media layout sizes."

Another new capability in the expanded preview is the ability to create animated visuals, which can be used for backgrounds. Also, Microsoft added the ability to get text copy suggestions. The preview now creates different caption and hashtag options based on a particular design.

Other improvements yet to come in Microsoft Designer include the ability to edit backgrounds by selecting "Fill, Expand background, Erase and Replace background" options for designs.

Microsoft explained a little bit about its product intentions for Microsoft Designer in a footnote to its announcement. Users of the expanded preview are just getting a subset of the planned features. The Microsoft Designer product eventually will be released "both as a free app and with more premium features available to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers."

The latter description suggests that Microsoft is conceiving of Microsoft Designer more as a consumer type of application, perhaps like its Microsoft Publisher app but with generative AI capabilities.

Microsoft has been well situated to create its AI-based Microsoft Designer product, noted Derek Johnson, director of product for Microsoft Designer," in a Thursday Twitter post.

"When the AI revolution took the world by storm, we were prepared: our team has been building with AI for over 7 years," Johnson wrote. "This enabled us to come together to build something truly unique with AI at its very core, poised to revolutionize the design process for people everywhere."

Microsoft has removed the waitlist to use the expanded Microsoft Designer preview. It just requires being signed into a Microsoft account to use it, and is otherwise easy and hassle-free to try.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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