Microsoft just made Paint relevant again

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