Who Can Help Apple Solve New MacBook’s Biggest Problem?



Not everyone wants or needs Photoshop.

This is going to be an important phrase over the next few months and years. It could equally apple to 4K video editing suites, sprawling Integrated Developer Environments, 3D rendering software, or any other heavy lift application. But Photoshop appears to the be the standard bearer it is.

So, over the next few months as Apple starts to run down the road that Microsoft carved out last year, as ARM-based computing gains momentum in consumer laptops and desktops, as we see the differing philosophies from Cupertino and Redmond play out, just remember this. Not everyone wants or needs Photoshop.

I’ve been using Microsoft’s Surface Pro X for the last few weeks. Launched last year, it is the first of Microsoft’s recent Surface devices with an ARM processor. Running x86 based applications requires emulation, and currently only 32-bit apps are supported; 64-bit support is expected to appear on the Windows Insider beta program next month with a consumer update early in 2021. Naturally native ARM applications are supported.

It’s become my go-to laptop for around the house, garden, and the occasional trip away. There are a handful of key applications that I need for my audio and radio work that, due to being 64-bit x86 apps will not run on the Pro X. And that’s fine. I need them for my work, which happens at my desk on a computer with a lot more power (and hardwired connections).

That’s not what the Pro X is designed for. It’s a device designed to be highly mobile, with built in 4G LTE connectivity, instant on capabilities, with long battery life, and to offer a set of apps tailored to that experience. Of course developers and power users are going to push it – that’s what we do – and when 64-bit x86 arrives my advanced editing and broadcast tools will be installed (for now I am more than happy to have Audacity for editing on the Pro X, and that runs fine).

What has saved the ARM-powered Pro X from the tsunami of compatibility issues that faced the first-generation Windows RT powered Surface

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