Microsoft has announced the introduction of Designer, an AI-powered art-generating tool, to the free version of Teams, offering users a seamless design creation experience. Available in preview on Windows 11, Designer functions as a Canva-like app, enabling users to generate designs for presentations, posters, digital postcards, and more. By accepting text prompts or uploaded images, Designer leverages DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s text-to-image AI, to ideate designs. With intuitive drop-downs and text boxes, users can further customize and personalize their creations.
Originally announced in October, Designer has seen continuous enhancements, including the addition of caption generation and animated visuals in April. Microsoft has promised further updates, including advanced editing features. While the ultimate goal is to monetize Designer through Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions, the company has assured that some functionalities will remain free, although specifics have not been disclosed.
In addition to the Designer update, Microsoft has also introduced other new features to Teams that focus less on AI. GroupMe, Microsoft’s group messaging app, now allows users to initiate Teams calls directly from within new or existing group chats. Moreover, Teams’ communities feature, which facilitates Discord-like group collaboration, is now supported on Windows 11, with macOS and Windows 10 compatibility expected in the future. Users can create communities, host events, moderate content, and receive notifications about upcoming activities.
Teams’ forthcoming communities discovery feature, set to roll out on Windows 11, iOS, and Android, will enable users to join communities centered around 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 the ability to approve or reject join requests, assign owner controls to others in the group, create polls through MSForms, and share posts as emails if desired.
As part of these updates, Teams community members can now capture videos using their mobile devices, utilizing an enhanced capture experience with updated filters and markup tools. On iOS, community owners can also scan and invite individuals via emails or phone numbers, using their phone camera to streamline the invitation process.
These exciting new features arrive as Teams continues its impressive growth, fueled by the rising demand for remote and hybrid work solutions. The number of daily active Teams users nearly doubled from 2021 to 2022, surging from 145 million users to an impressive 270 million, highlighting the platform’s increasing popularity and utility in the modern workplace.