The November launch of Macs with Apple’s Mac M1 chip had a negative consequence for many users: Bootcamp disappeared, and with it the option to use these computers with the Windows 10 operating system. Apple nevertheless indicated that Microsoft depended on itself. to make Windows 10 work on these Macs, probably referring to Windows 10 ARM.
The truth is that this edition already works on the Mac M1. It does this through virtualization, and it is demonstrated by the movements that Parallels has made, which speaks openly about this support, and VMware, which does not say so loudly. Why? Well, for the simple reason that Windows 10 ARM cannot be officially licensed or installed. Microsoft has not yet opened that option.
If you use Windows 10 in Parallels you could be violating the EULA
Precisely those responsible for VMware published an entry on their official blog talking about the progress they are making when adapting VMware Fusion to Macs with an M1 chip. In this announcement they revealed that “Microsoft does not currently sell Windows 10 ARM licenses for virtual machines.”
That is indeed the big problem with Windows 10 ARM virtualization: Microsoft does not grant those licenses, making installing Windows 10 ARM on a Mac M1 with virtualization software from VMware or Parallels technically illegal. In VMware they indicate that Windows 10 ARM could only be installed on systems with a licensed version of Windows 10, something that is not possible on Apple hardware systems.
The funny thing is that while in VMware they are cautious with this support – they seem to have it ready, or almost, but do not say it out loud – in Parallels they have taken the opposite route and directly boast of the support of Windows 10 ARM in their software virtualization.
In VMware they explain that they have contacted Microsoft to clarify the situation, adding that if Microsoft offers Windows licenses in ARM more broadly, ” we will be prepared to support it .” For them, doing something like what Paralles does could violate the EULA (user license) of Windows 10 ARM, “and we are not going to do that simply because we can say it in a press release,” they say.
What seems obvious is that running Windows 10 on the Mac M1 is entirely feasible through at least virtualization. Doing it natively seems a bit more complicated, but of course the one that has to move the tab in this sense is Microsoft, and it does not seem interested in licensing its operating system to enable that virtualization or in developing that system to run natively.