Microsoft announced that Apple Mac users can already use it virtual machine software Parallels as an “authorized solution” to run Windows 11 on hardware equipped with a proprietary chip (M1 and M2 chips).
Ever since Apple ditched Intel chips, it has been difficult for users to run Windows 11 on a Mac device. While there were some dodgy workarounds, companies looking for an official solution were left without one, leaving employees with Windows-only devices or an add-on device.
Available now, Parallels 18 can now run the ARM versions of Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Enterprise on the Mac M1 and M2, including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac and Mac Studio.
Windows 11 on Mac M1/M2
“Licensing the Windows 11 operating system running on a Mac device is simple,” and Parallels blog post (opens in a new tab) recorded. “The same volume licensing system that applies to enterprise licenses, such as Key Management Services (KMS), can be used to provide Pro or Enterprise licenses to the Windows 11 guest operating system.”
While the version of Windows 11 you choose will run in a virtual environment, the software does not support nested or dual virtualization, so things like Windows Subsystem for Android and Windows Subsystem for Linux are out of the question.
“The preferred customer experience is to run 64-bit Arm applications, but customers can also run applications in x64 or x86 emulation on Mac M1 and M2,” added Microsoft in a Windows statement. blog post (opens in a new tab).
This means you won’t be able to run 32-bit applications, however there shouldn’t be many of them as they are deprecated on Arm versions of Windows anyway.
Only personal versions of Parallels can be purchased in one transaction, which means that business plans require an annual subscription. Add to that the cost of a Windows 11 license and you have a pretty expensive solution. Still, it can be cheaper than purchasing an additional device for employees who need access to Windows-only software.