Because of a previously unreported agreement between the two firms, Arm-based Windows is only accessible on Qualcomm SoC-based devices.
Microsoft has refused to provide a version of Windows 11 for Apple’s M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Macs, which are based on the Arm architecture, and we may now know why: a hidden exclusive pact with Qualcomm.
Two people familiar with the deal told XDA that the deal is “set to expire soon” but there is no specific word on when it will end. When the agreement between Microsoft and Qualcomm does conclude, it will allow other chip vendors to create machines using Arm Windows, and it may perhaps free up Microsoft to make Arm Windows available on Apple silicon Macs.
Apple silicon Macs do not offer Boot Camp and there is no official Windows support at the current time, leaving M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max owners with few options for accessing Windows on their devices. In September, Microsoft said that an Arm version of Windows 11 for Apple silicon Macs through virtualization or otherwise is not “a supported scenario,” so there’s a chance that it still won’t happen.
Apple silicon Mac owners who need Windows access can use Parallels 16.5 or later to run Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 and 11 that have been created for Arm hardware, but there are often issues to deal with. Parallels continues to be the only solution because Microsoft has made no licensed retail version of Arm Windows available for Apple silicon Macs.
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- Because Microsoft has a secret exclusive agreement with Qualcomm, there is currently no Windows for Arm Macs
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