Windows 11 support for Apple M2 and M1 Macs arrives

Microsoft announces official support of Windows 11 on Mac computers.

Windows 11 Apple Mac support
Windows 11 Apple Mac support
  • Microsoft brings official Windows 11 support for Mac users.
  • The support includes virtualization using Parallel or Windows 365 subscription.
  • This is for Apple computers using ARM-based M2 or M1 processors.

Microsoft quietly announces that the M2 and M1 models of Macs are getting support for Windows 11. However, this isn’t a solution that supports a dual-boot system experience like it was possible with Apple’s Boot Camp. Instead, the software giant is offering a virtualization and cloud solution.

In the virtualization solution, Microsoft is partnering with Parallel to allow you to create a virtual machine to run Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise alongside macOS on ARM-based processors (M1 and M2) using the Desktop version 18.

Parallel has been the default virtualization to run Windows on macOS for a long time, but now the support is official.

However, the company explains that the ARM version of Windows 11 has its limitations in gaming and apps, especially for those applications that rely on DirectX 12 or OpenGL3.3. Furthermore, using this solution, you won’t be able to access other virtualization features, such as the Windows Subsystem for Android, Subsystem for Linux, Sandbox, and virtualization-based security (VBS).

Even further, those 32-bit apps available from the Microsoft Store are not supported on the installation of Windows on Macs using M1 and M2 processors. However, the company says that the 32-bit versions of apps are also on the path of being deprecated on Windows.

You can always download and install 64-bit ARM versions of apps, and since Windows 11 offers emulation, you can also install x64 and x86 apps.

Parallel costs $100, and you can buy the yearly subscription that unlocks other benefits for $120 or $150. Of course, you will also have to purchase a Windows 11 Pro license which usually costs $199. (You may also activate an installation with a Windows 10 product key.)

Microsoft’s second solution is to subscribe to its Windows 365 Cloud PC service that offers virtual Windows 11 machines on-demand using the company’s Azure cloud infrastructure that you will be able to access through a remote connection.

In the experience, you will have to access the operating system features, but you will have to pay a subscription feed. Microsoft is aiming this solution at business customers.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].