Microsoft has officially sanctioned a method for running Windows 11 on ARM-based Macs, albeit not in the manner that you might expect. The business has “approved” the use of Parallels Desktop 18 to run the ARM versions of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise on M1- and M2-based Macs in a new support document. Theoretically, if you need Windows for work, you can utilise the virtual computer without upsetting your IT manager.

As you may expect, there are constraints. Microsoft is deprecating 32-bit software for all ARM Windows builds, which prevents the use of 32-bit ARM applications. Devices will not function without Windows 11 ARM drivers. Android applications, the Linux sybsystem, and the Windows Sandbox cannot be used since they rely on another layer of virtualization. Do not expect to play certain games, as anything that requires at least DirectX 12 or OpenGL 3.3 will not function.

From 2021, Windows 11 could be run in Parallels on ARM Macs, and it performed reasonably well. At the time, you were required to utilise an Insider preview of the operating system, and Microsoft stated that it had no plans to support new Macs. The sanctioned technique eliminates licence issues, and Parallels Desktop 18 now makes downloading and installing Windows 11 effortless.

Microsoft formerly licenced ARM versions of Windows directly to PC manufacturers, as The Verge reports. It is unclear how Microsoft has altered the licencing structure. We’ve requested a response from the company. Parallels states that you can purchase a Windows 11 Pro licence individually or through your employer’s standard purchasing procedure.

This will not satisfy consumers who desire native Windows support similar to what was available on Intel-based Macs running Apple’s Boot Camp. You will not receive the same level of performance or compatibility on a Computer built for Windows on ARM. That may be the closest you come to a partnership between Apple and Microsoft, and it may suffice if you need to run a Windows office application.

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