Microsoft confirms when Adobe apps will natively run on Qualcomm Snapdragon PCs

Microsoft Surface Pro 11
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With the first wave of laptops running Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus, Microsoft's foray into AI PCs is underway. Unfortunately, they are launching without the ability to natively run certain apps, including a number of Adobe Creative Suite programs.

Some Adobe apps are already optimized for Arm64 but the video editing tools Premiere Pro and After Effects, along with InDesign and Illustrator were not. 

As reported by our sister site, Windows Central, Aaron Woodman, VP of Windows Marketing for Microsoft, said that Illustrator and InDesign will receive native Arm version in July 2024. Video editors will have to wait longer as he said that those versions won't arrive until "later this year." 

While the new Qualcomm chipsets are producing impressive numbers in testing and improved battery life, they do have flaws for software. Apps that aren't native to Arm have to run through emulation which can introduce performance issues and occasional glitches. 

There are apps that don't take as much processing power that can run via emulation without notice but Adobe's programs are not that, especially Premiere Pro and After Effects. 

According to Windows Central, it was not possible to run Premiere Pro via emulation. Apparently, that has changed recently. In our hands on with the Asus VivoBook S 15, we didn't try any Adobe programs. However, we did test Windows Studio Effects and it worked a gem.

Windows Central did test Adobe products and said that emulated version of Premiere Pro struggled with multiple layers and effects and rendering was vastly increased over Intel devices. Though they did say editing simple 1080p 30fps videos was relatively smooth.

With the powerful processing that the Snapdragon chips bring, we imagine that making the Adobe programs run natively will vastly improve performance. DaVinci Resolve, an Adobe competitor, has an Arm64 native version that apparently performs smoothly on Snapdragon Elite X PCs. 

Outside of Illustrator and InDesign, we don't know when exactly these new laptops will get access to the native version of Premiere Pro and After Effects. 

Adobe isn't the only app that needs a native version. Popular video games like Halo Infinite and Fortnite aren't available at launch for Microsoft's Copilot + PCs. Not to mention feature like the Copilot button that is little more than a fidget key.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.