Why you can’t natively slum it with Windows on your Apple Silicon Mac – yet

You can’t natively pollute your Apple Silicon Mac with Windows because Qualcomm has an exclusivity deal with Microsoft for Windows on ARM.

M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max form a family of chips that lead the industry in performance, custom technologies, and power efficiency.
Apple’s advanced M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max form a family of chips that lead the industry in performance, custom technologies, and power efficiency.

Rich Woods for XDA Computing:

Qualcomm actually has an exclusivity deal with Microsoft for Windows on ARM, and speaking with people familiar with it, we’ve learned that the deal is set to expire soon…

One thing I wasn’t able to learn is when the deal will expire, only that it’s the thing holding back other chip vendors from competing in the space. It’s possible that Samsung might want to throw its hat into the ring with its Exynos processors too, especially given its recent partnership with AMD for graphics power.

This is also presumably why Apple Silicon Macs aren’t officially supported for running Windows 11, so hopefully that will change as well.

MacDailyNews Take: Fret not, those who strive to make a sow’s ear from a silk purse, you can still pollute your Mac with Windows using Parallels Desktop 17.

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  1. Windows 11 ain’t all that. In fact, it’s a tart bit of tat. It’s sour, and fat. Don’t take off your hat. It’s not smart, unlike your cat. Bad behaviour? It’s a prat. Yep, Windows is a dirty rat. Curdled chemicals in a vat. A dog you don’t want to pat. Worse than a giant gnat.

    Win 11 ain’t all that.

    1. Can’t disagree with your sentiments, but wow how your delivery could sure do with a makeover.

      However back to the point Microsoft itself is investing in Arm based chips so clearly some modification to that exclusivity is on the cards, it hardly suits it if it wants to expand its software on Arm generally.

  2. The last time I ran Windows extensively (because of work PC laptop) was XP. I still have a virtual machine of it somewhere, if I boot up my older Mac mini and run VMware Fusion. That might actually be fun, like running a Mac with Mac OS 9 😆 The Windows interface gets a big interface overhaul with every major iteration (after Windows 7), so I’d probably be lost with Windows 11. In contrast, Mac OS stays consistent, evolves slowly and steadily.

  3. Generally speaking the days where you need to run Windows on Mac are gone. I was worried about this from the moment Apple announced moving the Mac to ARM based chipset. I still need to use Windows for highly specialized applications like accounting for law firms, and lots of medical apps.

    I’ve taken a different direction. I purchase Windows as a Service and run remote virtual machines, or I put a Windows machine in the computer room and let people connect to it via Microsoft Remote Desktop.These solutions are more than fast enough for typical administrative work. Not trying to play games though.

  4. Win11 actually runs amazingly fast under Parallels. There’s no need to otherwise pollute my precious Mac by allowing Windows to run natively. That’s just blasphemous!

  5. Yes, I like others here use specialized software that requires Windows. The simple reality is more software is available for Windows than Mac. To the rescue as others have already stated – Parallels fit the bill…

    FYI MDN TAKE, you have it exactly backwards:

    “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”

    ~ The Reverend Jonathan Swift (1801)

  6. I need one old Windows game platform program that will never be updated or converted.

    To run it on my M1 MacBook Air, I use Parallels 17. I joined the Microsoft Development Group. Through them, I can download an ARM version of Win 11. On my iMac, I just use Parallels 17 and Win 11.

    It works flawlessly. In fact, in looking at my work lap and friends PC, I think it actually runs better and faster.

    I think everyone should run Win 11 and get the full Windows experience. It keeps reminding how, no matter how much effort they put in to win, it is still a clumsy, clunky system. I am reminded why I am a Mac OS user every time I use Win.

    1. Running Windows on my work Mac for over a decade going back to XP, indeed, educates one instantly on the stark differences between OSes.

      If you are one of the lucky ones that don’t need to use Windows on your Mac, no need to do so.

      Simply suffice it to say you are using the best tools and no need to prove it…

  7. As I understand it, based upon several articles, “Apple Silicon” is not ARM architecture but is, instead, it’s own, proprietary, architecture. However, Apple have supposedly licensed the ARM instruction set. Does that make Apple subject to the supposedly exclusive licensing agreement? I’m sure Apple have some clever lawyers at work examining that question.

    One other question is why ARM would enter into such an agreement. It runs contrary to their past business practices and general philosophy.

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