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Apr 12, 2001
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Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit).

windows-10.jpg


Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see.

Using the open-source QEMU virtualizer, Graf was able to virtualize the Arm version of Windows on Apple's M1 chip, with no emulation. Since the M1 chip is a custom Arm SoC, it is no longer possible to install the x86 version of Windows or x86 Windows apps using Boot Camp, as was the case with previous Intel-based Macs. However, he said in a Tweet that when virtualized on an M1 Mac, "Windows ARM64 can run x86 applications really well. It's not as fast as Rosetta 2, but close."



Graf was able to run the Windows ARM64 Insider Preview by virtualizing it through the Hypervisor.framework. Apple says this allows users to interact with virtualization technologies without having to write kernel extensions (KEXTs).

Graf applied a custom patch to the QEMU virtualizer, which is said to be known for "achieving near-native performance" by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. This means that the Arm version of Windows can be virtualized on M1 Macs with excellent performance.

Although Graf's experiment is still at an early stage, he believes others could reproduce his results. "It's early days for this. It's definitely possible to reproduce my results - all patches are on the mailing list - but don't expect a stable, fully functional system yet," he said. Above all, Graf has demonstrated that Windows is able to run on M1 Macs.

Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi recently said that Windows coming to M1 Macs is "up to Microsoft." The M1 chip contains the core technologies needed to run Windows, but Microsoft has to decide whether to license its Arm version of Windows to Mac users.

See Graf's full process for virtualizing the Arm version of Windows for more information.

Article Link: Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac
 

Marbles1

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
278
1,216
Impressive.

And running x86 applications too.

Certainly seems technically possible that we'll see windows on M1 Macs at some point in the future. Once it has feature / stability parity with Windows on intel Mac I'll consider moving across... Probably a wee while for this to include support for DirectX, Windows games running on steam and so on.
 

apparatchik

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2008
544
1,678
Its a matter of time for Microsoft to make the move, they have taken notice of the M1 of course, I assume within a year an officially supported/licensed version of windows will be runnable on AS, including its 32 bit emulator, is it gonna be great? of course it wont its windows, but, maybe the near-native performance and just the fact ARM as a viable platform will get a boost! I really hope Apple keep improving its GPU's, who knows, maybe in ten years it will be the go-to platform for gaming...
 

Eddy Munn

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2008
353
630
What would be quicker? Virtualising Windows 10 ARM and translating x86 apps using Windows, or Translating Windows 10 x86?
 
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apparatchik

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2008
544
1,678
In the end, it will come down to Microsoft licensing. My guess there are some deals already being worked out. I doubt Parallels would spend the engineering resources to bring it to the M1 chip to only virtualize Linux. As I think that is a very, very small use case compared to Windows.

Exactly, macOS is in the end more or less a Unix distribution, with near native cross-compatibility with Linux, besides, Linux fans -until now at least- don't usually go Apple, Windows is coming to AS Macs sooner or later IMHO.
 

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2016
480
855
Merica!
Impressive.

And running x86 applications too.

Certainly seems technically possible that we'll see windows on M1 Macs at some point in the future. Once it has feature / stability parity with Windows on intel Mac I'll consider moving across... Probably a wee while for this to include support for DirectX, Windows games running on steam and so on.
Considering hardly any applications on Windows for ARM have been ported, not even all of MS apps, anything you did with this would be emulation on top of emulation for most Windows apps running in Windows on a M1. A big fat no thanks.
 

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2016
480
855
Merica!
I am finally at a point (have been for a bit) that I have ZERO desire or need to run Windows on a Mac. It is a nice feeling.

I do run Microsoft apps, since my company uses Microsoft 365. Even then I only use what I need to and often from the Web Apps.

I recently migrated my OneNote notes back to Notes because Microsoft can't make up its mind about which version of OneNote to use. The iOS versions of OneNote has just gotten slower and slower and Notes has added all the features I need to make the change.
 

derekamoss

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,354
972
Houston, TX
All right, I probably shouldn’t blame Windows just because the games I play on Windows are all so inefficient with memory. 😄
I've seen it running on 2gb ram on really cheap tablets before. The OS itself is really good on it. It's quick and only utilizes 1.5gb ram. Now opening more than one app is a different story but speed wise I was really surprised.
 
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