Right from the start, one of the big questions about Apple Silicon and the M1 specifically was how long it would take to get its own version of BootCamp, Apple’s Dual boot solution which allowed MacOS to run alongside Windows. We waited and Parallels brought their Virtual Machine tech to the Apple Silicon M1, allowing for those with access to the Windows Insider program and Windows on ARM installers to try it out, albeit not in an officially licensed way.
Apple themselves came out and said there’s no technical reason that M1 couldn’t run Microsoft Windows, but that it would come down to Microsoft to allow it in terms of official support on their side.
Well, Microsoft have spoken and they’ve said that running ARM versions of Windows 11 on Apple Silicon is not “a supported scenario”, and this doesn’t just mean a new generation of Boot Camp is not coming, but that MS doesn’t want Windows running on Virtual Machines or on bare hardware.
While this may seem a little strange for a company who historically made their money from selling an operating system to install on whatever pile of hardware you haphazardly threw together, Its possible that Microsoft is holding the ARM version back for OEMs going forward just as they do right now.
Its important to remember too that this is one of the areas where Microsoft is producing their own hardware and ARM based hardware at that. And that when Windows on ARM has been virtualised in the past on Apple Silicon, even running on top of Apple’s MacOS, its completely obliterated the performance of the best first party Microsoft Surface hardware. And that was probably pretty embarrassing for them.
So what does the future hold for Windows on the Mac? In my opinion, I don’t think it holds anything. I think Apple is done with Windows, and I think that’s okay. If you want windows, its not like there aren’t options out there, but the Mac is the Mac and should be the Mac. Apple Silicon has basically put an end to the Mackintosh (or at least will when Intel support is dropped) and I think the days of cross pollination between these may be finally over, and that’s OKAY.