Apple has confirmed that it won’t be offering the ability to install Windows as an alternative to macOS via Boot Camp when macOS switches to ARM-based chips later this year. And even if it was, Microsoft might throw a spanner in the works anyway.
In an episode of John Gruber’s, The Talk Show podcast, Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, said that Apple is “not direct booting an alternate operating system,” meaning Bootcamp is out of the window.
But as The Verge points out, even if Boot Camp lived on, Microsoft doesn’t offer licenses for personal installations on ARM-based machines.
Microsoft only licenses Windows 10 on ARM to PC makers to preinstall on new hardware, and the company hasn’t made copies of the operating system available for anyone to license or freely install.
Microsoft confirmed to The Verge, that that is indeed the case, but it stopped short of saying whether that will or will not change in the future.
Right now it seems clear that anyone wanting to run Windows on a Mac running Apple silicon will need to rely on a hypervisor like VMware or Parallels. Even that will require the developers of those hypervisors to rewrite their apps to work on Apple silicon – such apps aren’t supported by Apple’s Rosetta x86 emulation.
Apple silicon is a brave new world for the Mac. But if you rely on Windows, you might want to see what VMware and co. have cooking before buying a new machine.
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