VMwareFusion is a popular virtualization software that allows the installation and use of Windows and other systems on the Mac. VMware has now also released a version of Fusion that can run on M1 Macs.

Fusion is one to the main competitors to Parallels, which has already been updated to make it possible to run Windows on an M1 Mac.

In contrast to Parallels, which initially released Parallels Desktop 16.5 with support for ARM Windows on the M1 in April 2021 and has since released Parallels Desktop 17 in August 2021, the VMware update is not a final version, but the use of the software is free for the time being.

With the VMware Fusion update you can now also use ARM versions of Linux and Windows on an M1 Mac. However, unlike Parallels, VMware does not officially support the ARM version of Windows, but it is possible to run ARM versions of Windows as virtual systems on the M1 using this update. Note that x86 (Intel) versions of Windows are not supported. This means users can't use the same Windows virtual machines that were used on Intel Macs with Fusion.

Until the release of the final version, the Fusion preview can be used free of charge. The final version is to be released in the spring, according to the company.

To download the update log in here. The software can then be downloaded and installed, a serial number is already entered and activated in this version.

For more information about running Windows on a Mac read: Best virtual machine software for Mac 2021 and How to install Windows on Mac.

Licensing problems with Microsoft

As we mentioned above, VMware does not officially support the ARM version of Windows. The installation is obviously possible (after logging in to Microsoft you can download and install so-called Insider versions of the ARM editions of Windows 10 and Windows 11). However, for licensing reasons, this is not supported by VMware, as the developer Michael Roy explained in a blog entry in April 2021.

He stated: "Microsoft currently does not sell licenses of Windows 10 ARM for virtual machines. Insider builds of Windows 10 ARM may only be installed on systems with a licensed version of Windows 10, which is currently not available on Apple hardware."

He explained that customers cannot currently purchase a valid license of Windows 10 for ARM, the installation of the Insider versions of Windows 10 or 11 is officially only allowed on a system with a Windows 10 license - and this license is not available for Macs.

"We're confident that if Microsoft offers Windows on ARM licenses more broadly, we'll be ready to officially support it," he writes. There is no official statement from Microsoft on this topic so far though.

This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by Karen Haslam.