Microsoft is venturing into the realm of AI-powered PCs with the introduction of laptops equipped with Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors. However, this debut comes with a limitation: these devices currently lack native support for several critical applications, including various Adobe Creative Suite programs.

While some Adobe applications have been optimized for Arm64 architecture, notable exceptions like Premiere Pro, After Effects, InDesign, and Illustrator remain unsupported. According to Aaron Woodman, VP of Windows Marketing at Microsoft, Illustrator and InDesign are slated to receive native Arm versions by July 2024. However, video editors will have to wait longer, with Arm-native versions of Premiere Pro and After Effects expected later in the year.

Despite the promising performance metrics and improved battery efficiency demonstrated by the new Qualcomm chipsets, they face challenges when running non-native software. Emulation is required for applications not optimized for Arm, which can introduce performance issues and occasional glitches. Adobe’s software suite, particularly Premiere Pro and After Effects, demands significant processing power and does not operate smoothly under emulation, as noted by Windows Central.

Recent tests indicated that Premiere Pro struggled with multiple layers and effects in its emulated version, with rendering times notably slower compared to Intel devices. However, simpler tasks like editing 1080p 30fps videos were reported to be relatively smooth.

The expectation is that transitioning Adobe programs to run natively on Snapdragon chips will greatly enhance performance. Competing software like DaVinci Resolve already boasts a native Arm64 version that reportedly runs seamlessly on Snapdragon Elite X PCs.

While the roadmap for Illustrator and InDesign is clear, the timeline for Premiere Pro and After Effects remains uncertain. Moreover, beyond Adobe, other software requiring native Arm versions, such as popular video games like Halo Infinite and Fortnite, are also not initially available for Microsoft’s Copilot + PCs.

In conclusion, while Microsoft’s venture into AI PCs with Snapdragon technology shows promise, the path to full software compatibility, especially with demanding applications like Adobe’s, remains a work in progress.