Windows 11 in Macs, even without Boot Camp, is now possible. Parallels Desktop 17 will enable Mac users to experience Microsoft’s next iteration of Windows on their Mac desktops. Parallels support both the proprietary M1 Macs and Intel-based machines.
For those using Arm-based machines, there’s a catch.
If Parallels users want to test the new OS, they can access the Windows 11 preview right now. The catch for M1 users is the same as when Parallels first added support for the latest Apple machines; you can only emulate Arm-based operating systems, limiting usage to Windows on Arm.
While it seems possible to install Windows 11 previews on Arm machines, you will need to proceed with caution. Windows on Arm x86 emulation has been problematic and the x64 app emulation is still a work in progress.
If you are looking to run a virtualized version of Windows on your M1, you will still run into the same caveats that come with running Windows on any Arm-based machine.
As M1 users deal with Windows on Arm, they get performance improvements if they are transitioning from Parallels 16. Parallels says that the new version allows M1 Macs to get up to 28% better DirectX 11 performance and up to 33% faster start time for Windows 10 on Arm Insider Preview virtual machines.
A look under the hood
Parallels 17 is now a universal app, which should make IT departments have an easier time with it. It also supports macOS Monterey (the virtualization software will run on macOS 12 computers and create virtual ones).
The regular version of Parallels Desktop 17 has a subscription of $79.99 for a year or a perpetual license for $99.99.
If you had a previous perpetual license for a previous Parallels version, you can upgrade to 17 for $49.99. The Pro and Business editions cost $99.99 a year. Find out more here.