Windows 11: ARM version is now officially supported on Apple's M1 and M2 Macs
The ARM version of Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system is now officially supported on Apple M1 and M2 Mac devices.
Microsoft describes the two official options to run Windows 11 on Apple Mac computers with M1 and M2 chips: either through the Windows 365 service using a Cloud PC, or by using virtualizations using Parallels Desktop.
Parallels Desktop 18 "is an authorized solution for running Arm® versions of Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Enterprise in a virtual environment on its platform on Apple M1 and M2 computers" according to Microsoft's support document.
Microsoft notes that limitations exist. First, limitations that apply to all Windows 11 ARM-based PCs, and then specific virtualization limitations.
Windows 11 on ARM limitations
Microsoft lists the following limitations for running Windows 11 on ARM-based devices in a support document:
- Hardware, game and application drivers work only if they are designed for Windows 11 ARM-based PCs.
- Games and apps that rely on certain technology, such as OpenGL greater than 3.3 or games with anti-cheat drivers that do not support ARM, can't be run.
- Certain Windows 11 customization apps may not work properly or may have issues. Microsoft lists input method editors, assistive technologies and cloud storage apps as examples.
- Certain third-party antivirus solutions can't be installed.
- Windows Fax and Scan is not available.
Besides these general limitations for ARM-based Windows 11 PCs, running Windows 11 on Mac M1 and M2 devices using Parallels lack support for "experiences that depend on an additional layer of virtualization". In other words, the Windows Subsystems for Android and Linux, Windows Sandbox, and Virtualization-based Security are not supported.
Parallels Desktop 16.5 was the first version of the application that supported running Windows on Apple M1 chips. Parallels Desktop 18 is recognized by Microsoft as an official solution for running ARM version of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise in virtual machines on Macs with Apple silicon.
Parallels Desktop is fully security compliant with virtual TPM chips and Secure Boot technologies to ensure that the installation of Windows 11 on Apple devices is not stopped abruptly because of system requirements.
Parallels promises 1-click installs of Windows 11 on Apple Mac devices and an optimized experience that supports Apple's ProMotion technology. Gamers may also start using their Xbox and DualShock Bluetooth controllers.
Parallels Desktop 18 includes several new Pro and Business edition features. These include the Network Conditioner tool for Apple M-series Mac computers to "configure various network conditions for the virtual machine", remote profiling using Visual Studio, and single-sign-on/SAML authentication support.
The application is available in the three editions Standard, Pro and Business. Standard is available for $99.99, the other two editions for a yearly subscription fee of US$119.99 and US$149.99 respectively.
Existing users may download the upgrade to Parallels Desktop 18 for free.Advertisement