Skip to main content

Microsoft just made Paint relevant again

Cocreator tool in Window Paint app creating an image from mountains.
Windows Latest

The controversial Recall feature has grabbed all the headlines from Microsoft’s Copilot+ announcements yesterday, but this new AI feature is also making Paint relevant again.

It’s called Cocreator, and it’s a new AI feature that can turn your quick sketch, augmented by text, into a much more realistic and impressive image. The exciting thing is that it does all this in real time. It might not get it right the first time, so you’ll need patience, and the more details you give about what you want in the image, the better.

You’ll notice three options at the top right: Layers, Cocreator, and Image Creator. The difference between Image Creator and Cocreator is that Image Creator will only create an image based on what you type. The Cocreator option will use what you draw and what you type to make your image.

There is also a Creativity slider to improve or worsen the image quality and a Style drop-down menu where you can choose from options such as Charcoal, Digital Art, Oil Painting, Watercolor, Pixel Art, Anime, Photorealistic, or Ink Sketch. Our editor who attended the event remarked that it was impressive in terms of just how responsive the Creativity slide was and how quickly the images were being generated.

It’s the kind of feature that’s perfect for Paint, an often-ignored piece of software.

Some might consider Cocreator Microsoft Designer’s little brother, but it still gets the job done. What’s the downside? You’ll need a Copilot+ PC with an NPU (neural processing unit).

Although it seems like there should be no reason your laptop’s GPU or CPU couldn’t be tasked with the feature in lieu of having an NPU,Microsoft seems happy to make this an exclusive feature of its new, shiny Copilot+ PCs.

Editors' Recommendations

Judy Sanhz
Judy Sanhz is a Digital Trends computing writer covering all computing news. Loves all operating systems and devices.
Nvidia and Microsoft are solving a big problem with Copilot+
The Surface Laptop running local AI models.

When Microsoft announced Copilot+ PCs a few weeks back, one question reigned supreme: Why can't I just run these AI applications on my GPU? At Computex 2024, Nvidia finally provided an answer.

Nvidia and Microsoft are working together on an Application Programming Interface (API) that will allow developers to run their AI-accelerated apps on RTX graphics cards. This includes the various Small Language Models (SLMs) that are part of the Copilot runtime, which are used as the basis for features like Recall and Live Captions.

Read more
Copilot+ was a monster announcement. Here’s how I think Apple will respond
The Surface Laptop shown in front of a Copilot+ sign.

Microsoft's big Copilot+ announcement last week was certainly impressive. Combining both an embrace of AI and Arm, it went along way toward not just catching up with MacBooks -- but actually surpassing them.

But Microsoft's time in the spotlight won't last too long. Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is next week, and the rumored Mac announcements will either make Copilot+ look a lot less impressive -- or make Apple appear out of touch.
Rumored AI announcements

Read more
Windows 11 just took copying and pasting to the next level
Windows 11 logo on a laptop.

It's not often that we get innovation in something as basic as copy and paste. But in a new update to Windows 11, copying and pasting is getting supercharged with AI -- and it doesn't even require a Copilot+ PC.

As reported by Windows Latest, Microsoft announced a new PowerToys feature at its Build developers conference that makes copying and pasting especially useful for developers. Once enabled, you'll be able to choose from three pasting options: Paste as plain text (Ctrl+1), Paste as markdown (Ctrl+2), and Paste as JSON (Ctrl+3).

Read more