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Microsoft now officially supports running Windows 11 on devices with Arm architecture-based processors. With this, running Windows 11 on Arm in a VM on Apple Macs is officially supported. Apple has been using Arm chips in its PCs for several years.

Windows on Arm has been around for several years now, but has been used only sparsely. Few PC manufacturers use Arm chip in their PCs, Intel and AMD are still preferred. Apple did switch completely to Arm and it is not without success. Microsoft has now decided to officially support running this version of Windows in a virtual machine on Apple Macs. Virtualization specialist Parrallels had been providing a solution for this for some time, but now it is officially supported.

Until now, these specific vm’s were not officially allowed by Microsoft. The lack of support prevented end users from licensing Windows 11 on Arm. Microsoft now indicates that Parallels Desktop v18 has been designated as an authorized solution for running Arm versions of Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Enterprise. Even if this is in a vm on Apple M1 and M2 computers. Parallels has since welcomed the decision.

Microsoft’s lukewarm attitude to Windows 11 on Arm

Microsoft does explicitly state that it is not really enthusiastic about running Windows 11 on a device with an Arm processor. Windows 11 would run best on a desktop or laptop designed for the operating system.

Windows 11 on an Arm device would present problems with DirectX, OpenGL3.3 and above, as well as using Linux and/or Android as subsystems for Windows, among others. Should users still want to run Windows on an Arm computer, the best way to do so is to stream a Windows 365 Cloud PC to a Mac computer.

VMware also supports Windows on Arm

VMware has also indicated it, with some help from Microsoft, wants to add support for Windows 11 on Mac devices running on Apple Arm processors as soon as possible. VMware previously made running Windows on Arm possible in its Fusion desktop hypervisor for Macs. This technology is now in a native solution for Apple’s own processors.