Microsoft brings one of the Google Pixel’s best features to Windows 11

Windows Photos upgrade - phtoo of two dogs with background blurred
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Google Pixel series has given us some of the best phones on the market, and one thing that sets it apart from other phones is the suite of built-in generative AI features, like Best Photo and Magic Eraser. Now, thanks to an upcoming tool coming to the Windows Photos App, you won’t need to buy a whole new phone just to get your hands on these types of features. 

Microsoft has announced in a blog post that the ‘Spot fix’ tool in the desktop Photos app will be getting an AI boost, and will now be known as ‘Generative erase’. 

Generative erase will allow you to remove imperfections from your photos in a more natural-looking way, like removing random people in the background and replacing them with an AI-generated backdrop - basically, the exact same way that Magic Eraser works on a Pixel phone. Microsoft notes in the blog post that “Generative erase creates a more seamless and realistic result after objects are erased from the photo, even when erasing large areas”. 

Windows Photos App

The before-and-after is quite impressive - the AI alterations are barely noticeable at first glance. (Image credit: Windows)

Keep it coming!

The example ‘before and after’ image in the blog post shows a very cute dog on the beach, wearing a collar, with some people in the background. After using Generative erase, the new photo looks entirely organic, with the dog collar free and no people in the background. Even when you zoom into the photo to where the collar and people originally were, you can’t see any obviously visible evidence that the image was altered at all. 

It’s an incredibly impressive editing job - considering that it takes very little time and zero effort - and I’m very excited to see it in action when it does make its way over to Windows. It won’t just be Windows 11 users who get to enjoy the new feature, either; Microsoft will be adding the full suite of Photos AI features to Windows 10 too, proving that the older OS isn’t dead just yet.

Currently, the tool is reserved for Windows Insiders, the community of Windows enthusiasts and developers who get early access to potential new features. However, the fact that Microsoft is publicly discussing the feature is a good sign that we will see it sooner rather than later. Alongside Generative erase, the blog notes very briefly that we could also see background blurring and removal features join the Photos app in the same upcoming update. 

The company recently announced that Microsoft Paint was getting another string of new AI features as well, so we may be seeing the beginning of a Windows-wide revamp when it comes to creative AI tools. It seems like Microsoft is putting a lot of time and effort into implementing useful generative features into its apps, which is good news for Windows users who want to experiment with artificial intelligence - without having to make a million accounts on different platforms to do so. 

Via The Verge.

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).