Microsoft seems to be gearing up to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into its popular desktop operating system and related products, including Windows 11. According to reports, the Redmond-based software giant is working on enhancing the Photos and Paint apps with AI features such as optical character recognition (OCR) and generative AI for creating and manipulating images. These additions could significantly enhance user experience and streamline tasks for Windows 11 users.
Unnamed sources cited in a report by Windows Central reveal that Microsoft is focusing on three applications for incorporating AI features: Photos, Camera, and Paint, along with the Snipping Tool used for capturing screenshots. Currently available on Windows 11 out-of-the-box, these applications could receive functionality updates either through app updates on the Microsoft Store or via regular feature updates to the operating system.
The Microsoft Paint app may soon integrate generative AI, enabling it to generate images on the fly based on user prompts and allowing editing within the app itself. Previously, Microsoft introduced the capability to generate images using user-provided prompts on its AI-powered Bing app and included OpenAI’s DALL-E text-to-image model.
The default Photos app, used to open images on Windows 11, and the Snipping Tool could receive the OCR support that is already available on smartphones. OCR support would eliminate the need for users to rely on third-party online services for such functionality and would be a convenient addition for millions of users. The report even includes an image from an internal build of the Camera app, showcasing OCR support that detects text from a photo.
Despite the exciting prospects of these AI features, it remains uncertain when or if Microsoft will eventually release them to Windows users. Some features may require specific hardware for neural computation to function reliably. Reports suggest that a major software upgrade for Windows 11 is expected next year and could potentially include many of these AI capabilities. However, it is important to note that some of these features are still in the experimental phase, indicating that it may take some time before they are made available to users.
The addition of AI capabilities to Windows 11’s Photos, Camera, Paint, and Snipping Tool applications has the potential to enhance user productivity and convenience. If implemented successfully, these AI features could revolutionize image manipulation, enable prompt-based image generation, and simplify text detection with OCR support. While the exact timeline for their release remains uncertain, Windows users can look forward to a feature-rich operating system upgrade in the near future.