IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Apple's ARM-based Macs won't support Windows virtualisation

Documents confirm that the switch from Intel to Apple Silicon will prevent Mac users from running Windows

A close up shot of a MacBook keyboard

Users will no longer be able to run Windows virtualisation software once they switch to Apple's upcoming ARM-based Macs, it has emerged.

In new developer support documents published by Apple, the company confirmed that the switch from Intel to ARM-based processors will prevent users from running Windows on the Mac.

In the document, Apple confirmed that Rosetta 2 – an emulation layer that will enable users to run old apps on new Mac devices – won't be able to translate x86_64 virtualization apps, which could prevent the virtualisation of Windows environments using apps such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion.

"Rosetta can translate most Intel-based apps, including apps that contain just-in-time (JIT) compilers," the document reads. "However, Rosetta doesn’t translate the following executables: kernel extensions, Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms."

In addition to these restrictions, Boot Camp, a popular tool that allows MacBook users to switch between Windows and macOS, will no longer be available for use on devices powered by Apple Silicon.

Although the tool will remain in macOS Big Sur, it will be an Intel-only feature. Non-Intel Macs will not be able to access the tool and the company has not yet announced a replacement.

In a statement, Microsoft confirmed that there’s no official way to install the operating system, telling The Verge that it "only licences Windows on ARM to OEMs". When asked whether it plans to change this policy to allow Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs, and the company said “we have nothing further to share at this time".

Related Resource

IT operations overload hinders digital transformation

Clearing the path towards a modernised system of agreement

Download now

It remains unclear whether virtualisation companies are working on a solution for ARM-based Macs, though VMWare on Tuesday announced that Big Sur-compatible "tech preview" of Fusion will arrive in July.

What's more, Apple showed off a Mac with an ARM-based A12Z Bionic SoC running a Linux distribution in Parallels during its WWDC keynote this week, suggesting that the company is working to support virtualisation software.

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

Apple "completely redesigns" IT certifications, introduces two new exams
Careers & training

Apple "completely redesigns" IT certifications, introduces two new exams

19 May 2022
Apple executive rejoins Google over remote work policy
flexible working

Apple executive rejoins Google over remote work policy

18 May 2022
The Total Economic Impact™ of Apple Mac in Enterprise: M1 update
Whitepaper

The Total Economic Impact™ of Apple Mac in Enterprise: M1 update

12 May 2022
Three lessons the iPod can teach us about disruption
Technology

Three lessons the iPod can teach us about disruption

11 May 2022

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon
automation

Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon

23 May 2022
Linux-based Cheerscrypt ransomware found targeting VMware ESXi servers
ransomware

Linux-based Cheerscrypt ransomware found targeting VMware ESXi servers

26 May 2022