The Mac with the Apple M1 processor launched Windows 10 for ARM. And it even runs x86 applications

Developer Alexander Graf has successfully launched the ARM version of Windows 10 on Macs with an M1 chip. Thus, he proved that Apple’s new chipset is capable of running Microsoft’s operating system. Currently, M1-based devices do not officially support Windows and lack Boot Camp functionality.

Using an open source QEMU virtual machine, Graf was able to virtualize an ARM version of Windows 10 on an M1-powered machine without emulation. As a reminder, you cannot install an x86-compatible version of Windows on new Macs. Nevertheless, the developer focused on the fact that x86 applications work in Windows 10 for ARM installed on a Mac, it is quite tolerable. Not as fast as on macOS via Rosseta 2 emulator, but close. In addition, Microsoft previously announced that it will add support for x86-64 applications to insider assemblies of the ARM version of the operating system by the end of this year, so that its functionality will soon expand.

Graf was able to run Windows ARM64 Insider Preview on his computer by virtualizing it using Hypervisor.framework. Apple says this way allows users to interact with virtualization technologies without having to write kernel extensions (KEXTs). The developer has applied a special patch for QEMU, which allows the guest code to be executed directly on the CPU, thus achieving excellent performance.

Although Graf’s experiment is still in its infancy, he claims that anyone can run Windows on a Mac with an M1 chip. We will remind that earlier the director of software development Apple Craig Federighi (Craig Federighi) said that the release of Windows for computers based on M1 – “the case for Microsoft.” The chip contains the tools needed to run Windows, but Microsoft must license Windows 10 ARM for Apple computers.

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