back to article Microsoft releases new Windows 11 builds, confirms running on an Apple M1 'is not a supported scenario'

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 on Apple's M1 is not "a supported scenario" for the OS that stands to bring so much joy to OEMs. The confirmation was given to The Register by a Microsoft spokesperson as the super-corp unleashed an ad campaign for the Windows 11 operating system, due in less than a month, and continued …

  1. DS999 Silver badge

    What exactly did the Register ask Microsoft?

    Obviously running directly on Apple's M1 hardware will not be a supported scenario, because Apple does not provide Windows drivers for their hardware and Microsoft is not going to write them.

    The correct question to ask them is whether running on Apple M1 hardware in a VM like Parallels or VMware is / will be a "supported scenario"?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Windows 11 on...

      It appears Microsoft considers anything outside the specified x86 + Qualcomm chipsets is unsupported, so yes, even W11 within a Parallels or VMware hypervisor on an M1 Mac would be unsupported.

      Edit: We specifically asked about Windows 11 on Parallels on an M1 and were told this is an "unsupported scenario."

      What happened was this: Parallels 17 on M1 ran W11 Insider build. Then W11 stopped working as it declared the hypervisor unsupported hardware. Then Parallels 17.0.1 came out and W11 started running on it again. We asked Microsoft if this setup is supported or not, and MS said W11 on Parallels on an M1 is an "unsupported scenario". Parallels didn't say what it changed to make the OS work.

      So in fact, we asked the question you wanted. Job done.


      1. Chris 3

        Re: Windows 11 on...

        But hang on - Parallels runs the ARM build of Windows 11, not the x86 build - so what's all this about the "specified x86 + Qualcomm chipset"?

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Windows 11 Arm is Windows 11 on Qualcomm

          Windows 11 runs, officially, on the specified Intel and AMD x86 processors and Qualcomm's Arm-compatible system-on-chips.

          If you try to run Windows 11 on anything other than the specified Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm chips, it's unsupported.

          The Apple M1 is thus unsupported, with or without a hypervisor like Parallels.


          1. martyn.hare

            Microsoft might want to dial back on those unsupported claims

            Why would anyone pay an arm and a leg for barely usable hardware when they can use decent x86 devices for a fraction of the cost? The M1 CPU makes for a usable computer but nothing else seems to come close when compared to recent AMD/Intel CPUs. I’m just not convinced that Microsoft wants people to use the ARM build of Windows as much as they want people to know it exists for satisfying-the-shareholders purposes.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Microsoft might want to dial back on those unsupported claims

              Makes for a usable computer? Yes it does, it blows any x86/x86_64 out of the water until you get to the higher and higher core counts. Even in terms of cost it is so much cheaper for the performance. Yes Apple is cheaper for better performance!

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Windows 11 on...

        That's bizarre that they won't support any platform but Qualcomm's. Maybe they did a deal and Qualcomm paid them for ARM exclusivity? The poor quality of Qualcomm's platforms, at least so far, may doom Microsoft's latest attempt at non-x86 Windows just like those that came before.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Windows 11 on...

          They have partnered with Qualcomm and they have produced a version of Windows that runs on specific Qualcomm SoCs. All OEMs that have produced ARM based kit use these SOCs. Therefore there is no reason to "waste time and resources" supporting anything else, because, from Microsoft's viewpoint, there is nothing else out there that can run Windows on Snapdragon - Windows for ARM (Snapdragon) is only available to OEMs for sale pre-installed on hardware with the supported Snapdragon SoCs, you can't actually buy a license retail, so you can't legally run a production machine running another ARM chipset (you can run the Dev Channel builds without a license, but no business will use it for production purposes).

          The M1 Macs, and the Raspberry Pi 4/400 are not Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, they are using something completely different. Therefore, if you manage to get it running on your set-up, bully for you, but don't expect it to stay stable or get any support if something goes wrong.

      3. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Windows 11 on...

        I'm not sure why I would expect W11 running in a 3rd-party VM environment to be a "supported scenario".

        Which W10 scenarios are supported?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: What exactly did the Register ask Microsoft?

      It doesn't seem to me that this is a Windows question. The question should be directed at the third party vendors, in this case Parallels and VMWare. If you have a problem with, say, Parallels, you go to them for support, not Microsoft.

      Win11 specifications leave a bunch of hardware stuck on Win10 (which is a whole other discussion). If the M1 hardware cannot be supported by third parties, they will join the list of hardware that can't upgrade.

    3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: What exactly did the Register ask Microsoft?

      Actually, as I understand it. Apple haven’t said they won’t supply drivers, they’ve merely pointed out that there isn’t currently a way for users to buy (or other legal way of obtaining) a licence for Windows’s. Even when they supported windows on a Mac, Apple required the user to obtain their own copy.

    4. mozo

      Re: What exactly did the Register ask Microsoft?

      There are no Linux driveres either but Linux already runs on M1 ;) Windows is a crap!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Milk that sugar daddy

    'the OS that stands to bring so much joy to OEMs' .. what price love? with an ever shrinking legacy hardware support list you fans had better speak super nice to Mr or Mrs Bank Manager

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Milk that sugar daddy

      I upgraded my Windows 10 based Ryzen 1700 system last week. It is now happily running openSUSE.

      My work laptop will have to stay on Windows, obviously, but it should also be Windows 11 compatible, if we ever go that way, before it is replaced.

    2. Michael Habel

      Re: Milk that sugar daddy

      Good luck finding a new (i.e. decent), GPU for that new system.

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I suspect Parallels has just patched something in their software that Windows 11 checks for to see if its running on supported hardware to make it believe it is supported?

    Just like those who run Hackintoshes to run MacOS on none Apple hardware do to make that work. No doubt MS will change the way they detect supported machines when they figure out what Parallels has done and the dance will begin over again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure there is a battle, more that Microsoft just won’t take Parallels into consideration when making changes, which is fair enough. No need to attribute malice, they just won’t see the point in engaging for such a low potential user base.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple fluffed it

    I keep seeing irate Apple sheeps with their shiny new M1 based stuff, complaining everywhere that "this monitor does not work with my M1 based Apple at an optimum resolution for ME!" etc etc. but complaining about "this version of Windows did not take into account MY purchasing of incompatible hardware!" is special.

    Decisions have consequences - you bought an Apple M1 based something, that is deliberatley non-standard. You made an expensive mistake - own it and move on.

    1. Marty McFly Silver badge

      Re: Apple fluffed it

      >you bought an Apple M1 based something, that is deliberatley non-standard.

      Did I miss something here? I thought Apple announced they planned to move from x86 over to M1/successors over the course of about two years. That would not make the M1 "non-standard", that would make M1 the "new standard".

  5. Tim99 Silver badge

    What new monitors can't support the newer standard resolutions? Unless it was an old piece of kit, and the punter needs to support broadcast 1080i - It looks more like an expensive mistake when buying the monitor - I'd hope that anyone who needed 1080i instead of 4K, and 6K/or DisplayPort output over USB‑C Thunderbolt 2, DVI and VGA, would know enough to check before they bought new equipment...

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      I don't know about other screens, but I know that at least one type won't work, namely those large displays which identify themselves as two smaller displays so the resolutions are standard. The M1 supports only one external display, so that kind won't work.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        You can have more than one monitor on an M1 Mac Mini.

        "Simultaneously supports up to two displays:

        One display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0"

  6. Ace2 Silver badge

    Real x86 virtualization?

    I have an M1 and it’s better than I was expecting. It runs Civ 5 better than my 2018 mini + egpu. Does anyone know when or if someone might enable x86 virtualization in a VM? I would like to be able to move my XP VM over to it.

    Edit to add: I guess you’d call it emulation instead of virtualization, but it’s sort of a blurry line in the M1 case.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    RIP BootCamp?

    Have there been any hints as to whether BC will remain in the Apple-Arm world?

    1. DavidYorkshire Silver badge

      Re: RIP BootCamp?

      Pretty sure that Apple stated that it would not be part of the ARM versions of their OS.

  8. Plest Silver badge

    Too much effort...

    Just when you think everything is finally settling down and getting along we get Apple only running ARM now, MS only runs Windows if you have mobo made in the last 2 years!

    When Apple announced M1 kit I was on the brink of buying a Mac. I liked the iMac I had about 10 years ago, it was a nice tidy piece of kit, you couldn't expand it obviously but it did the job. Then I wanted more horsepower and self-built tower was my only viable option.

    I'm sure Win11 is a lovely, shiny, secure but I really can't be arsed to spend a week finding the right compatible components to run it. It took me 2 weeks to source the components for my current tower box, I haven't got the time to waste keeping MS happy. I'll just keep using Win10 until MS issue my set up with a "kill switch" and force me to shut down and finally switch to Linux once and for all.

    Buy a cheap crapp laptop off eBay, install Linux and force myself to be happy with that! So sick of how fragmented the home computing market has got, it's like we're heading back to the early 1980s where no one wants to get along and they all have their own standards now!

  9. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    What of Windows 10 21H2?


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