by Jason Snell
Windows on ARM comes to the Mac… officially
Parallels announced on Thursday that Microsoft has officially authorized running Windows 11 Pro for ARM processors on M1 and M2 Macs via the Parallels Desktop app for Mac.
Previously, users of Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion have found success virtualizing Windows for ARM by downloading and installing prerelease versions, but it was never approved by Microsoft and only unofficially supported by the makes of those VM apps.
But as of now, it’s all on the up-and-up. Earlier today I downloaded the Parallels Desktop installer, used the app to install Windows 11 Pro directly from Microsoft, bought and entered a Windows product key, and I was off and running.
While Windows itself runs at near-native speeds on M1 and M2, if you want to run Intel binaries on Windows, they’ll run using Microsoft’s code-translation layer—the Windows equivalent of Rosetta—and things will slow down.
Whether Apple and Microsoft will ever make the effort to bring Boot Camp to Apple silicon remains to be seen, but at least running Windows on M1 and M2 Macs is now not just a sneaky workaround but an entirely legal and supported option for Mac users who need to run Windows 11 Pro on Apple silicon.