Microsoft Acknowledges Parallels Desktop As Windows 11 Solution For ARM-Based Macs

Microsoft Parallels Desktop Windows 11 Mac ARM M1 M2

Microsoft has officially acknowledged third-party MacOS application Parallels Desktop as an authorised solution that lets the ARM versions of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise run on Apple’s M-series of Macs. Doing so will further provide its users access to Windows-based programs which do not have a Mac version or equivalent/

For the uninitiated, Parallels Desktop is essentially a virtual machine emulator that functions similarly to Apple’s own Boot Camp tool. And like the first-party utility, the app also enables users to run Windows systems on Intel-based Macs, though it is currently the only solution that allows the Microsoft operating systems to run optimally on both M1 and M2-powered machines. In fact, Mac users have actually relied on Parallels Desktop since 2021 prior to its official authorisation from the software giant.

However, being a virtual machine, not all Windows-based features and compatible software are expected to work properly. These include 32-bit ARM applications, the operating system’s onboard Phone Link feature, and games that require at least DirectX 12 or OpenGL 3.3.

It’s not entirely perfect, but it’s still the best offline solution if you wish to run certain Windows applications on your Mac device. On that note, the other alternative to run Windows 11 on a Mac device is via Microsoft’s Windows 365 cloud-based service which, as you can already tell, requires your machine to be connected online.

Also keep in mind that Parallels Desktop is a premium software so you’ll have to spend in order to enjoy its offerings, though a 14-day free trial version is available if you wish to take it out for a spin first. And if you like it enough, you may choose to purchase the app – which is available in Standard, Pro and Business tiers – for a starting price of US$ 100 (~RM 443). It’s also probably worth mentioning that Windows 11 is only supported on Parallels Desktop version 18 and above.

(Source: Microsoft [support page])

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