It might seem odd to anyone familiar with the virtues of macOS, but sometimes Mac owners want to run Windows, or third-party software designed to run on Windows. (Often, but not always, this relates to the larger library of games available for PCs.) This has been manageable enough on Macs in the past, but there are doubts over whether it will be possible with new Macs based on the M1 chip - which don't, for example, support Boot Camp.
However, it now turns out that it is possible to run Windows software on the M1 Macs, following a demonstration of CrossOver 20 by the product's maker CodeWeavers, reported by 9to5Mac.
CrossOver is based on the open-source project WINE and emulates Intel Windows binaries via Rosetta 2 on the ARM Mac. A complete Windows installation is neither necessary nor possible with CrossOver.
The developers are satisfied with their first results, having managed to run programs on a throttled chip with a deactivated GPU core on the entry-level computer MacBook Air. CrossOver 20 requires the beta of macOS 11.1 Big Sur, as this comes with numerous bug fixes for Rosetta 2.
This solution would only be workable for a transitional period. With Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple parted ways with Rosetta because there was no longer any new software that had to be fooled into a PPC environment on an Intel Mac. In the long run, Windows on the Mac would only help if Microsoft got its Windows 10 for ARM (once called Windows RT) off the sidelines. Manufacturers such as Parallels and VMware are preparing solutions for this case, discussed in our article Will Windows run on Apple Silicon?
Developers have managed to virtualize Windows on an M1 Mac - and the benchmarks are impressive. Read more here: Apple M1 runs Windows on ARM faster than Surface Pro X.
If you're interested in buying the new Macs, read our guide to where to buy M1 Macs for the best prices.
Crossover is one of a number of apps ready for Apple's M1 chip - read more about the apps that work on M1 Macs.
This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by David Price.