Microsoft acquires video editor Clipchamp to expand its productivity tools
Microsoft has acquired Clipchamp, a cloud-based video editor that’s available on the web. The company announced the acquisition with the goal of empowering creators, which is something we’ve heard before.
There’s quite a bit of history that makes this acquisition all the more notable. Back in the 2000s and early 2010s, Microsoft had a tool called Windows Movie Maker, which was included in Windows and also got a couple of standalone releases. This was a basic video editor, but it let you put together clips, images, and music to create your own videos. This tool was discontinued, however, and after 2017, you could no longer download it from Microsoft directly.
Nowadays, if you want to edit videos on Windows, you can use the Photos app for Windows 10, but the feature set is much more limited and the UI isn’t as intuitive. Not to mention, it’s likely you didn’t even know it existed, since it’s a part of the Photos app instead of its own thing.
The Clipchamp acquisition offers some hope that Microsoft may soon include a proper video editor in Windows 11. Clipchamp offers a fully featured video editor you can easily access anywhere. It supports multiple video and audio tracks you can combine in any way you’d like, trim, and so on. It even provides stock video, images and, audio you can use for your video projects.
As we mentioned at the top, Microsoft says it wants to empower creators, and it’s not the first time we hear that. Back in early 2017, Microsoft released Windows 10 version 1703, and it was called the Creators Update. That’s when it debuted Paint 3D – an app that was supposed to replace the classic Paint app – and Xbox live streaming with Beam (later renamed Mixer, and then killed off in 2020). It seems as though Microsoft’s efforts were misguided at the time, seeing as the two big creative features didn’t really go anywhere. We also didn’t get a proper video editing tool back then, not even with the Fall Creators Update (version 1709) that followed.
In the meantime, macOS ships with iMovie, a solid video editor for beginners that comes at no extra cost, making it the go-to for many aspiring creators. As Microsoft mentions in its blog post, without an easy-to-learn tool, it’s easy to feel lost when getting started with video editing. Interestingly enough, Microsoft doesn’t even mention its Photos app once in its announcement, which should show you how viable of a tool it is.
Microsoft says that Clipchamp fits right alongside the productivity tools in Microsoft 365, as well as Windows itself. That could suggest we’ll see the power of Clipchamp built into Windows 11 in the future, but also that it could connect with other Microsoft 365 apps. A potential use case could be embedding a video in a PowerPoint presentation, for instance. Another potential use case could would be adding those tools to Flipgrid, an educational video platform Microsoft also acquired recently.
Right now, Clipchamp is available for anyone to use for free, but you’re limited to exporting videos at 480p. Some paid plans are available that add higher exporting resolutions and cloud storage. If Microsoft plans to include Clipchamp tools in Microsoft 365, certain features could require a Microsoft 365, but the company could also choose to make more capabilities free as part of Windows 11.
Of course, that all remains to be seen, and the company says it will have more to share about its work with Clipchamp in the future. We’ve seen a few apps getting major changes in Windows 11, though, including Snipping Tool, Clock, Paint, and even Photos, so it certainly seems believable that video editing features would eventually make their way in as well.