Windows can run natively on the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs, though it is 'really up to Microsoft' whether it will provide support.
The transition of Apple Macs from Intel chips to the company's own Silicon M1 systems is generally smooth. The issues that users encountered with the new Macs are not that many and are mostly minor. There is one lingering question, however, and that centers on whether Microsoft will support the version of Windows running on the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs.
The new Apple Silicon M1 Macs can run Windows natively, and without any glitch so far. As to whether Microsoft will support the Windows version on the new Mac is another question. This was according to Craig Federighi, the VP of software engineering at Apple.
Federighi noted that while the ARM version of Windows could natively run on the new Apple Silicon M1 Mac, it is really up to Microsoft if it will support such a setup. Apple's VP of software engineering reminded everyone that Microsoft's present licensing does not allow Apple to use its ARM version of Windows 10 because it is not preinstalled on the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs. Furthermore, Microsoft stated in a recent interview that it did not have any new updates to share when news outlets asked the company whether it will make some modifications that will allow its Boot Camp on ARM Macs. On the other hand, industry observers witnessed apps such as CrossOver bring support for Windows apps running on the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs through emulation.
Windows could run natively on new Apple M1 chip – if Microsoft lets it - https://t.co/MZhk9uDD2R
In a recent interview, Apple's VP of software engineering, Craig Federighi, revealed that Microsoft's ARM version of its Windows operating system should be able to run on the ... pic.twitter.com/riBDclzOkh — Techosmo (@techosmo) November 21, 2020
Recently, Parallels, a software company engaged in virtualization software development for macOS, announced it is working on Windows virtualization software with M1 compatibility. As regards support for Windows natively running on Apple Silicon M1 Macs, Federighi can just only point towards the direction of Microsoft. In an interview with Ars Technica, the VP shared his opinions regarding core technologies of Apple Silicon Macs that will enable it to run Windows natively. "We have the core technologies for them to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn, of course, supports x86 user-mode applications. But that's a decision Microsoft has to make, to bring to license that technology for users to run on these Macs. But the Macs are certainly very capable of it," Federighi said.
Apple's Craig Federighi says Microsoft could bring a version of Windows 10 on ARM to the Apple M1 processor if they wanted to - https://t.co/hoGf8ZaXFe… pic.twitter.com/2J53zaxrzN — AZ (@AzArdit) November 21, 2020
Federighi also lauded CrossOver for its decision to bring support for Windows apps on the M1 Macs, noting that cloud solutions for such apps are really possible. Industry observers, however, note that the emulation approach of CrossOver on the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs is not as consistent as that of other virtualization software found on Intel Macs. This means there are still issues to resolve with CrossOver's support for Windows apps running on Apple Silicon M1 Macs, aside from the question of whether Microsoft will support Windows running natively on the new machines.