Microsoft Designer looks a lot like the Canva design app. (Canva even has been testing a text-to-image creation capability which is similar to one of Designer's key features.) Microsoft is touting Designer, Create and Image Creator as key elements of a family of Microsoft Creator tools. In addition to being part of Microsoft 365, these tools will be integrated with Bing and Microsoft's Edge browser, officials said.
Designer, as earlier leaks indicated, is for creating social media posts, invitations, brochures and other types of designs by either starting from scratch or using Microsoft-provided templates. Under the covers, Designer uses Microsoft AI technologies and the OpenAI DALL-E 2 model which allows users to create custom images using text or images.
The new Microsoft Create site, also announced today, is meant for not just Designer users, but also other people who are creating any kinds of assets: documents, videos, presentations and more. It includes templates, curated articles and videos with how-to and inspirational information.
The coming Image Creator tool, which builds on top of the image search capabilities in the Microsoft Bing search engine, is another piece of today's Surface event announcements. Via Image Creator, which will use the same DALL-E 2 image generator technology that's part of the Designer app, users will be able to type a description of some image they're seeking, along with additional context, such as location, activity and art style and Image Creator will build it.
Officials said they plan to make available "soon" a limited preview of Image Creator for select geographies. Once Image Creator is widely available, users will be able to access it by navigating to the Bing Images tab and clicking on "Image Crator." They also will be able to access it via bing.com/create or via the Image Creator icon in the sidebar of Microsoft Edge. Officials stressed that they will be working with OpenAI, the creator of DALL-E 2, to try to weed out inappropriate results from the Designer app and Image Creator.
Those interested in trying out the Designer app can sign up for early access to the free web preview. Once the app is generally available, Microsoft plans to make it available in either as a free app or a premium app with more features that is part of Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers. This is similar to the way Microsoft is making available its Clipchamp video editor. Clipchamp is available today as a free editing app for Windows 11 and on the web. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers and Clipchamp "Essentials" subscribers get access to additional premium features.