Microsoft officially endorses Windows 11 on Parallels.

Colstan

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Microsoft is now officially blessing the use of Windows 11 on Apple Silicon Macs through Parallels virtualization, starting with Parallels 18. The official support document on Microsoft's website lists what features are and are not supported. For example, DirectX 12 does not currently work through Parallels.

Previously, those who wanted to run Windows through virtualization had to attain it from the Insider Program, and theoretically deal with licensing issues. Now, Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise are officially supported by Microsoft. For more, see this Ars Technica article:


Apple's VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federihi, has stated that Apple will never support Boot Camp on M-series, and that virtualization is the solution for Apple Silicon moving forward. Therefore, this should be a welcome step for those who need to use Windows on the Mac.
 

Herdfan

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Wow! Used VM Ware for years until I just bought a Surface.

Didn't know they could get Windows to run on a non-Intel chip. That's kind of cool.
 

Cmaier

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Just to be clear: It’s the ARM version of Windows. Different kind of cool than running the regular version.
But doesn’t it include Microsoft’s win-on-arm thing so that you can run x86 windows binaries within the VM?
 

Colstan

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While not as good as Rosetta 2, Microsoft has implemented a translation layer for running x86 programs inside of the Arm version of Windows 11, which can then be run inside of Parallels. It's even performant enough to run some intensive Windows-only games.

 

Cmaier

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A couple decades ago, while w98 was still the common platform for most users, there were several ports of both OS/2 Warp and Windows NT. There were even versions of both that could run on PowerPC.

When I was working at Exponential, we really enjoyed the NT port. Although we were partially funded by Apple and had help from Apple porting MacOS (pre-NeXT of course), NT ran much faster and really showcased what our 500MHz chip could do (at the time it was about twice as fast as what IBM had). The old MacOS had a lot of inefficiencies, and nobody at Apple really understood how it interacted with bare metal very well - apparently the folks who had done the bios interface chips had left.

So we would benchmark NT on our box vs. NT on Intel’s best, and we kicked their ass.

Of course, they kicked our ass in the end, by actually having customers*. :)


* we had customers. We just couldn’t sell them anything because we needed the macOS boot sequence to be modified a bit for our chip, and when Steve Jobs returned he wanted to kill the clones (our customers) and refused permission to modify the OS.
 

KingOfPain

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While not as good as Rosetta 2, Microsoft has implemented a translation layer for running x86 programs inside of the Arm version of Windows 11, which can then be run inside of Parallels. It's even performant enough to run some intensive Windows-only games.

As an addendum: I believe in a recent video Andrew Tsai mentioned that CrossOver had a higher compatibility than Parallels. I‘m not totally sure if he meant on Intel Macs or even on Apple Silicon. If he meant the latter, then I have a different experience.

First of all, I got some old games running on Parallels with Windows on ARM that I never got to work on CrossOver for some reason.
I haven‘t tried any recent titles. The most demanding one probably was Lord of the Rings Online.
LOTRO ran passable on CrossOver on my old Mac Pro (with Nehalem CPU, so quite old by now), but I had to run it on medium settings, I believe.
On my MacBook Air M1, LOTRO is almost unplayable under CrossOver even on the lowest graphics settings.
I tried it on Windows on ARM just out of curiosity. When it ran smoothly with the recommended graphics settings, I turned everything up to ultra. Even then it ran absolutely smoothly. The only reason I turned the settings back down again was because the passively cooled M1 became quite hot.

While Rosetta 2 is most likely better than the x86 translation in Windows on ARM, especially since the latter cannot use some of the hardware tricks like TSO or special instructions that implicitly calculate condition flags that ARM doesn‘t normally have.
But with CrossOver, Rosetta 2 cannot use its biggest advantage, namely the static translation. Sure, CrossOver itself it statically translated, which also means that it‘s slower than if it were native, but all Windows applications running on CrossOver have to be translated just-in-time as would be done under Windows on ARM (with the caveat that Windows doesn‘t have access to certain tricks, as mentioned above).

From my perspective there are the following differences between Windows on ARM and CrossOver on Apple Silicon:
* WoA runs fully natively, while CrossOver runs through Rosetta 2
* WoA has the real Windows API, while CrossOver has a reverse-engineered Windows API
* CrossOver has access to some Rosetta 2 tricks that WoA has not, but from my (somewhat limited test) it doesn‘t really seem to provide a speed advantage.

For the time being, I still run both. But with Windows on ARM now officially on Parallels, it is quite possible that CrossOver might become superfluous for my needs.
 

KingOfPain

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A couple decades ago, while w98 was still the common platform for most users, there were several ports of both OS/2 Warp and Windows NT. There were even versions of both that could run on PowerPC.

I don‘t think I knew that OS/2 ran on PowerPC as well, or I simply forgot.
But Windows NT had at least beta versions for PowerPC and MIPS, in addition to the more well-known x86 and Alpha releases.
There is a reason why the binary format PE stands for Portable Executable, because similar to ELF or the later Mach-O it could be used for lots of different architectures.
 

Yoused

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I don‘t think I knew that OS/2 ran on PowerPC as well, or I simply forgot.

OS/2 was kind of the redheaded stepchild of OSes, and it may well have been superior to Windows, but aggressive counter-marketing and tricks by MS essentially buried it, so we barely remember that it was a thing. Given that Warp was developed by big blue, it can hardly be surprising that they had a build that worked on their own processor.
 

KingOfPain

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I only saw OS/2 running once and almost immediately managed to get it to freeze. Probably a driver issue, since it had a reputation of being quite stable.
You are right, with OS/2 and PowerPC coming from IBM, it makes sense that there was a PPC version of it as well.
What platform did it actually run on, PReP?
 

Cmaier

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I only saw OS/2 running once and almost immediately managed to get it to freeze. Probably a driver issue, since it had a reputation of being quite stable.
You are right, with OS/2 and PowerPC coming from IBM, it makes sense that there was a PPC version of it as well.
What platform did it actually run on, PReP?
By the way, OS/2 still exists. It’s called ArcaOS now. I believe it’s only 32 bit x86 now. So I assume it’s mostly for legacy systems where someone has old apps they need to keep running.
 

Colstan

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As an addendum: I believe in a recent video Andrew Tsai mentioned that CrossOver had a higher compatibility than Parallels. I‘m not totally sure if he meant on Intel Macs or even on Apple Silicon. If he meant the latter, then I have a different experience.
From watching Andrew's videos over the years, I believe his stance is that CrossOver will provide better performance, even on Apple Silicon, but with more limited compatibility. Win11 on Parallels is compatible with more games, has less bugs, but isn't as performant as CrossOver. Naturally, that's not always going to be true, you've had a different experience. I would simply keep in mind that he's tested more games than I probably own. Andrew Tsai and MrMacRight are the two resources that we Mac gamers depend upon for quality benchmarking.

That's my understanding, anyroad. I don't personally use either, because I already have too many native Mac games to play. (The benefit of 90% of the games I play being turn-based isometric RPGs.)

I only saw OS/2 running once and almost immediately managed to get it to freeze. Probably a driver issue, since it had a reputation of being quite stable.
I got OS/2 Warp running on my PC, back in the day. I think it was stable for about ten minutes before it froze and hosed itself. I gave up after four installs. It was a shame, because I wanted to try it.
 

ArgoDuck

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My team ran IEW (information engineering workbench) on OS/2, which i did indeed find very stable. It was my impression IBM knew how to write an OS, whereas Microsoft - not so much. This was early 1990s, pre Windows 95 etc

Windows NT seemed a lot better, albeit i only got to try it briefly
 

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When I was a young warthog we got a copy of OS/2 Warp 3 for free. A store ran a promotion where twins could get a copy for free. This applied to both twins as in siblings as well as people with Gemini as their zodiac sign, and we managed to bring an individual matching the latter with us to the store.

OS/2 was lightyears ahead of DOS+Windows 3.1, I liked it. Unfortunately it never really caught on and I eventually had to move on to Windows 95 before getting a copy of Windows NT 4,0 Workstation through a friend’s father. Kind of like Windows 95 but actually stable.
 

Roller

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When I was working at Exponential, we really enjoyed the NT port. Although we were partially funded by Apple and had help from Apple porting MacOS (pre-NeXT of course), NT ran much faster and really showcased what our 500MHz chip could do (at the time it was about twice as fast as what IBM had). The old MacOS had a lot of inefficiencies, and nobody at Apple really understood how it interacted with bare metal very well - apparently the folks who had done the bios interface chips had left.

So we would benchmark NT on our box vs. NT on Intel’s best, and we kicked their ass.

Of course, they kicked our ass in the end, by actually having customers*. :)


* we had customers. We just couldn’t sell them anything because we needed the macOS boot sequence to be modified a bit for our chip, and when Steve Jobs returned he wanted to kill the clones (our customers) and refused permission to modify the OS.
Was that the company that was producing faster chips for Macs when Apple was seen to be lagging? Cool. I knew someone named Rick Shriner (or something like that) who was associated with Exponential, but I don't recall his role.
 

Cmaier

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Was that the company that was producing faster chips for Macs when Apple was seen to be lagging? Cool. I knew someone named Rick Shriner (or something like that) who was associated with Exponential, but I don't recall his role.

Yes, Rick was our CEO.
 

Colstan

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VMware has released a tech preview for VMware Fusion on Apple Silicon Macs that includes support for 3D hardware acceleration, with DX11 compatibility, including both 32-bit and 64-bit games.

This upgrade brings a new level of graphics performance to Fusion, empowering users to run full DirectX 11 3D games and apps with stunning fidelity and speed," says VMware. "The UI is much more responsive, and when combined with autofit, resolution changes are nearly instant."

vmware.jpg


As stated earlier in this thread, Microsoft officially supports running Windows 11 Arm on Apple Silicon virtual machines. Unlike Parallels, which requires a hefty subscription fee, VMware has typically made Fusion available for free to individual users, which appears to still be the case. This brings much needed competition to the virtualization space for Apple Silicon.

More from Apple Insider:


And on VMware's tech preview website, where you can signup for testing.
 

mr_roboto

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I don‘t think I knew that OS/2 ran on PowerPC as well, or I simply forgot.
Didn't see this thread till now... late reply but there's some history here.

It doesn't surprise me you didn't know or forgot about OS/2 for PowerPC. IBM released only one version, in a somewhat unfinished state, before cancelling the project.

Instead of being a straightforward port of x86 OS/2, PPC OS/2 was actually the only released version of IBM's grand unified operating system project, Workplace OS. This was a system design in which the core OS was a Mach-derived microkernel. Compatibility with user apps would be provided in the form of "personality" modules running on top of the microkernel - one for OS/2, another for Windows, etc. In theory, you'd be able to run multiple personalities side by side.

The only part of Workplace OS which ever shipped was that one PPC OS/2 version. It was extremely late to market, after a development effort which consumed billions of 1990s dollars. IBM couldn't even market it as Workplace OS because the OS/2 personality was the only viable one.

Soon after, IBM cancelled Workplace OS, leaving PowerPC OS/2 with no future. They could've spent a few more years doing a straightforward port of normal OS/2 to PPC, but I have to imagine that by that point, IBM management knew normal OS/2 didn't have much of a future either. So they just swept Workplace OS under the rug, cancelled their desktop PPC hardware, and stopped trying to get control of the personal computing market back from Microsoft and Intel.
 
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