Clipchamp LedeSource: Windows Central

In the latest Insider build of Windows 11, Microsoft rolled out Clipchamp as the operating system's video editor. The tool is now an inbox app, meaning it will come preinstalled on PCs. Not everyone is happy with Microsoft moving to a web-based app for its video editor, but I think being a web app is the right structure for Clipchamp.

For those unfamiliar with Clipchamp, it's a web-based video editor that aims to allow complex editing without requiring high-level knowledge of video production. It has a multi-layer editing interface, but it is easy to get into. The app integrates with cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Microsoft's OneDrive. It also has a large library of stock images and videos, though how many you can access depends on the plan you have.

Microsoft acquired Clipchamp in September 2021. Shortly after the purchase was announced, I reviewed it while creating a highlight reel for my American football team.

"Clipchamp is a solid video editor for creators and business professionals who need to make videos," I said back in September. "It's basic enough to jump straight into but has enough features to make more complex videos. Its integration with cloud services, stock libraries, and graphics options make it easy to bring in the content you want for your videos."

Clipchamp InterfaceSource: Windows Central

I've seen some around the web discount Clipchamp because it's a web app. The thought process is that native applications are inherently better than web-based ones and that Microsoft should have gone in that direction for its video editor. With Clipchamp being an inbox app, some argue that it should be a native app that uses the same design language as the rest of Windows 11. This is the approach that Microsoft took with the Photos app and some of its other inbox applications.

While I'm as much of a fan of "true" UWP apps as anyone, a lot of the criticism I've seen doesn't take into account how far web apps have come in 2022. Web apps are powerful, versatile, and a valid path for app development for the modern web. Clipchamp wasn't perfect in my testing, but it was perfectly fine for basic video editing. I ran into some syncing issues and the app's free plan limits exports to only 480p. Despite those limits, it's a fine video editor and is something I think Microsoft can build on.

When I reviewed the video editor, it hadn't received any secret sauce from Microsoft. I expect the service to get better over time as it gets integrated into Windows 11. I also hope that Clipchamp's higher plans will be included with Microsoft 365 at some point. At the moment, the video editor is overpriced for what it is.

Clipchamp Editor MedClipchamp on Windows 11.Source: Microsoft

Microsoft doesn't care which type of an app a program is, as long as it can do the job. Clipchamp was built with the web in mind and integrates with other web services, like Dropbox, OneDrive, and even GIPHY. It makes sense to take something that already worked well and to improve it without starting over.

Clipchamp isn't going to beat Adobe Premiere Pro, or even some free or cheaper alternatives like OpenShot or DaVinci Resolve, but it is a fine video editor. Most importantly, it's an improvement over the current video editor on Windows 11.