Apple’s Mac M1s don’t officially support Windows, but one developer still managed to get Microsoft’s operating system to work on an ARM MacBook – quickly.
Apple’s Mac M1 seize the day
We are already convinced by the performance data of the first Macs equipped with M1. The 8-core chips and 8GB / 16GB of memory inside offer impressive performance in terms of CPU and graphics performance, and the company is expected to introduce high-end Macs based on its silicon architecture in 2021 and beyond. -of the.
However, for some business users, the fact that newer Macs don’t support Boot Camp and the lack of Windows for VMs on Macs is a sticking point for adoption. However, it looks like the ball is firmly in Microsoft’s court, as there doesn’t seem to be a real reason why Apple’s latest Macs can’t run the OS.
Developer Alexander Graf Now has proven that with a version of Windows 10 for ARM running on its Apple Silicon MacBook Pro, which, without being completely stable, performs well. Graf ran Windows ARM64 Insider Preview through the Hypervisor framework supported by a custom patch to run guest code on the Mac processor using QEMU.
He’s posted his work on the project, which means others are starting to get Windows to work on their new Macs. It also means that we have Geekbench scores to show how Windows performs on these new Macs, and it looks impressive.
[Also read: M1 Mac mini shows a bright future for Apple Silicon]
What are the scores?
Here are the results of the Geekbench 5 test for the Mac running macOS:
Single core: 1,737.
Here are the results of the Geekbench 5 test for the Mac running Windows 10 on ARM in a virtual machine:
Single core: 1,288.
Finally, here are the claimed scores for Surface Pro X on the same test:
Single core: 799.
What makes these scores all the more impressive is that the developer had to figure out how to get the Windows system to work on the Mac in the first place.
In itself, this suggests that if Microsoft and Apple support Windows on ARM for Apple Silicon Macs, the performance data could be even higher. This proof of concept bodes well for the virtualization business Parallels is doing to enable virtual machine support on new Apple chips. The latter company recently drew attention to a note from Microsoft regarding Windows 10 running on ARM processors.
What apple said
Apple vice president for software engineering Craig Federighi recently told Ars Technica that it is entirely possible to run Windows on newer Macs:
“It really depends on Microsoft… We have the basic technologies to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn supports x86 user mode applications. But it’s a decision Microsoft must make, to license this technology for users to run on these Macs. But Macs are certainly very capable of it. “
Federighi also indirectly referred to recent speculation. Microsoft may have a plan to allow Apple Silicon Macs to run Windows virtual machines in the cloud. He noted that CodeWeaver’s CrossOver can run both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows binaries under emulation. The CrossOver team recently managed to run their software on macOS Big Sur.
When it comes to Windows on the new Macs, Microsoft hasn’t said anything. We know he’s developing a virtualized Windows experience called Cloud PC. It is also working on native Apple Silicon versions of its Office applications and has already released changes that allow them to work well in Rosetta 2 emulation mode on Apple Silicon Macs. (FYI: I’m writing this on perfectly stable Office running on a Mac mini M1).
We still don’t know if Microsoft intends to officially support Windows on Apple’s new Macs, but the evidence suggests it’s perfectly possible to do so.
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