You can now run Windows 10 on ARM on Apple Silicon Macs
Apple is currently in the process of moving on from Intel x86 processors to their own, ARM-based silicon on their computers and laptops. And the transition so far has been shockingly painless. However, one feature of Macs that has not been able to make it to the ARM side is Boot Camp, the utility that allows users to install and use Windows on a Mac. And it’s not that the new ARM-based Macs can’t run Windows: Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, has previously confirmed that the only thing standing between ARM Macs and Windows support is Microsoft’s licensing policy for Windows 10 on ARM. So while you can’t use Boot Camp (yet), if you have an M1 MacBook or Mac Mini and want to enjoy Windows 10, Parallels has your back.
The newest 16.5 update for Parallels Desktop has added support for M1 Macs and allows you to run not just Linux environments, but also the Insider Preview of Windows 10 on ARM. So while this isn’t quite exactly the same as installing Windows through Boot Camp (this is a VM, after all), this is probably the next best thing. Parallels promises that M1 Mac users will be able to run Windows 10 at native speeds, and you also get the other neat features that come with Parallels Desktop 16, such as Coherence Mode for running Windows programs on your Mac as if they were native Mac apps.
Parallels’ official announcement also seems optimistic on the performance of x86 Windows programs through their software, including even games like Rocket League and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. So users should be able to squeeze out decent performance from their Apple silicon hardware on Windows 10. As Apple keeps rolling out its ARM computers, Windows fans who want to keep enjoying Apple’s hardware will have to settle for this for now, at least until Boot Camp makes it to these computers, if that ever happens.