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These new apps are coming to Windows on Arm, and they're a big deal

Posted May 22, 2024 | Windows

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

It’s been a week for Microsoft, kicking things off with its Surface and AI event on Monday ahead of Build. At the hardware event, the company launched Copilot+ PCs, a new tier of Windows computers designed for the AI-powered future. 

With the focus mainly on supporting AI applications both on-device and in the cloud, you may have missed Microsoft’s nod to the various new creative applications coming to the Arm platform. Here’s why those are a pretty big deal, too. 

Also: I just ordered the cheapest Surface Pro option – why I (probably) won’t regret it

At the Surface and AI event, Microsoft announced that Adobe’s flagship apps will be available on the new Copilot+ PCs. I repeat, Microsoft shared that while Photoshop, Lightroom, and Express are already available, creative apps like Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and more will be available this summer. 

Why is this a big deal? Until now, Adobe applications have not been designed to run natively on Windows on Arm. Rather, most desktop applications, like Adobe Photoshop, have been developed for the x86-64 architecture used by Intel and AMD processors. That means support for various instruction sets and high-performance multi-core processing was much more refined on the more popular platform.

This discrepancy caused Arm users to have a less-than-ideal experience using Adobe’s creative suite, including limited plugin access and more bugs. Even though many Adobe alternatives exist, Adobe remains a staple for many creative professionals, and learning to use an entirely new application can be a real pain point. 

Adobe and Microsoft’s new partnership means that Adobe is finally creating native Arm64 versions of its applications suited for running natively on Copilot+ PCs, guaranteeing users a more optimal experience when using its services, including all the latest AI tools like Generative Fill in Photoshop and Generative Remove in Lightroom.

Also: I just ordered the cheapest Surface Pro option – why I (probably) won’t regret it

“Adobe Creative Cloud customers will benefit from the full performance advantages of Copilot+ PCs to express their creativity faster than ever before,” Microsoft said in a release. 

Microsoft also announced that other creative apps, such as DaVinci Resolve Studio, CapCut, and Djay Pro, have also been optimized to run natively on the Arm64 processor. AI features such as Magic Mask in DaVinci Resolve Studio and Auto Cutout from CapCut can be carried out with the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) of the Copilot+ PCs. Here’s to hoping that this latest commitment will lead to more app developers creating for Windows on Arm.

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