Will M1 Macs ever run Windows? It’s up to Microsoft.


Apple MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon running Windows
Macs with Apple Silicon could run Windows for Arm. Potentially.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, says Macs with the new M1 processor could run the version of Windows Microsoft created to run on similar chips. Apple did nothing to make that impossible. So whether Apple Silicon Macs ever run Windows depends on Microsoft.

Macs with Intel processors could use Boot Camp to run Windows because the operating system was created for Intel chips. But the switch to Apple Silicon brought Boot Camp to an end.

Windows for Apple Silicon is possible

But perhaps Boot Camp isn’t dead, after all. Microsoft offers a version of Windows for ARM processors like the Apple M1. And Federighi says Macs using this chip could run that version.

“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,” the Apple SVP told Ars Technica. “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.”

Currently, Microsoft doesn’t license Windows on ARM to individuals. It’s only available to companies that make PCs. That would have to change for an Apple Silicon version of Boot Camp to be possible.

Whatever Microsoft’s decision, there are other options. CrossOver from Codeweavers allows Apple’s newest machines to run x86 software built for Microsoft’s platform. And Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac runs Windows 10 and macOS Big Sur virtual machines simultaneously.


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