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Running Windows on a M1 Mac

by Elliot V. King

Apples M1 Chip is an Amazing All-Rounder. However, if you buy a new Mac with an M1 chip, you might wonder how long it’ll be before your favorite apps are updated to work with the new processor. The good news is that some developers are already hard at work on bringing their apps to the new chip.

Running Windows on a M1 Mac

The M1 chip uses a different architecture from Intel chips, which are the chips that Windows is designed for.

However, that doesn’t mean that M1 Mac owners won’t be able to run Windows. Thanks to the work of a number of developers, there are ways to install Windows on an M1 Mac, and even to run Windows in a virtual machine on your M1 Mac.

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Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

I mentioned earlier that the M1 chip is built on the ARM architecture. This means that the operating system has to be translated into a format that the M1 chip can understand. It also means that the OS has to be built for the ARM architecture. The good news is that some Windows developers are already hard at work on ways to bring their products to the M1 chip. One such company, Acronis, is already working on a tool for Mac users. According to Acronis, you’ll be able to run Windows 10 on an M1 Mac before the end of the year.

Bootcamp on M1 Macs

Boot Camp, Apple’s tool for running Windows on an Mac, does not work with the new M1 Macs. This is because the M1 chip, like all other ARM chips, uses a different architecture from the x86 chips used in Windows laptops and desktops.

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

There are still some ways to get Windows on an M1 Mac, but they’re pretty technical and best left to the M1 Mac experts. One of those ways is to install Windows in a virtual machine.

Will Apple discontinue Bootcamp?

I’d say that Apple will at least keep Boot Camp alive until Acronis or another Windows re-builder firm releases a tool for the M1. And that’s probably a safe bet. I doubt Apple will take away Boot Camp from its customers, especially since they’ll still be able to use the tool until the M1 is huge. The latter would be really cool to see, but the former seems more likely to happen. Either way, we’re likely to see some sort of new product from Apple soon. So, what’s Apple’s reason for not getting rid of Boot Camp? It’s not like anyone is using it to run Windows 95. Also, Apple makes a hefty sum of money off of the tool. Think about it. Apple makes a lot of money selling Macs to Windows users. If they can’t run Windows on their Macs, they’re not going to buy Macs. So, to prevent that, Apple keeps Boot Camp alive. It’s a smart move on their part.

But maybe, just maybe, Boot Camp will become obsolete one day. Microsoft is working to improve the performance of Windows 10 on ARM-based computers. They even announced an ARM version of Windows 10 that will run on tablets and phones. So, down the line, if Microsoft is able to optimize Windows 10 on ARM to the point where it runs as fluidly as x86 Windows, then you’d be able to use the OS on your Mac. And if that’s the case, then maybe, Boot Camp would be obsolete. For now, though, it’s likely to stick around for a while.

Bootcamp will most likely be replaced with a virtualization software that will run on the M1 chip. VirtualBox, VMWare, and Parallels already have versions running on the m1 chipset.

Well, there you go. More information will come as we get closer to that release date. As you can see, the M1 chip gives developers new opportunities to bring their apps to the Mac platform.

Are you looking to upgrade to a M1 Mac or have one already? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!

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