Microsoft says Windows 11 on Apple Silicon is ‘not a supported scenario’

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Windows 11 not supported on Apple Silicon. It's not surprising, but it is a shame.
It's not surprising, but it is a shame.
Photo: Dwayne/Flickr CC

Microsoft has dashed hopes that Windows 11 might one day be available on Apple Silicon machines. The company says running its newest operating system on an M1 Mac is “not a supported scenario.”

The statement comes after Parallels Desktop 17 users ran into hardware compatibility errors when running Windows 11 on newer Apple devices.

Windows 11 not supported on Apple Silicon

Mac users who enjoy the Boot Camp feature that allows Windows to be installed alongside macOS on Intel devices have been waiting for an alternative that provides a similar experience on Apple’s own ARM chipsets.

The best case scenario would be for Microsoft to make the ARM version of its operating system — currently available only to official PC makers — fully compatible with newer Apple devices. But that’s probably not going to happen.

What’s more, Microsoft doesn’t seem interested in making Windows 11, set to make its official debut in less than a month, compatible with virtualization software that allows other operating systems to run on top of macOS.

“We asked Microsoft whether running Windows 11 on an M1 Mac in Parallels is supported, and were told it’s an unsupported scenario,” reports The Register. “Running the OS directly on the hardware isn’t supported, either.”

What next for Windows on Apple Silicon?

This is disappointing news for those who aren’t tied to macOS exclusively. It certainly doesn’t eliminate the possibility of running Windows 11 inside a virtual machine on an M1 Mac, but it means Microsoft won’t support it.

Fortunately, Parallels has fixed the issue that recently caused Windows 11 preview builds to malfunction on M1 devices. And for now, it’s the best way to use Microsoft’s newest operating system on a newer Apple computer.

But there’s no telling when a similar issue might crop up that can’t be easily eliminated without Microsoft’s help.