Apple’s Upcoming ARM-Based Macs Won’t Support Boot Camp or Windows Virtualization

A photo of a MacBook running macOS Big Sur.Apple

Apple is transitioning its Macs from Intel processors to custom in-house chips. Overall, the decision will improve Mac performance and decrease manufacturing costs. But it also means that new ARM-based Macs are losing Boot Camp and can’t run Windows 10 through virtualization.

For the uninitiated, Boot Camp is a tool that lets you install Windows on a Mac. It even includes drivers, so you can jump between macOS and Windows without a hitch. But Apple doesn’t plan to add Boot Camp to its new ARM Macs because it’s just not worth the effort.

Boot Camp isn’t a popular tool, and it goes against some of Apple’s commitment to simplicity and exclusivity. Plus, running Windows or Linux natively on an ARM Mac requires a new set of drivers and tweaks that may take months or years to develop.

Plus, Windows 10 for ARM isn’t a publicly available OS. You can’t download Windows 10 for ARM from the Microsoft Store, and the OS is still playing on the shallow end in terms of stability and app support. Apple can’t hand out copies of Windows 10 for ARM without Microsoft’s permission, and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Apple started pivoting away from Boot Camp years ago in favor of OS virtualization. The idea is that, instead of partitioning your hard drive and running an OS natively, you can allocate resources to run Windows or Linux inside of macOS. But virtualization software like VMWare or Parallels needs to be fully rebuilt for ARM Macs, and even then, Windows 10 for ARM isn’t floating around for legal, free consumption.

Thankfully, Intel-based Macs will continue to support Boot Camp technology. And since Apple plans to release a series of Intel Macs along with its brand new ARM computers, it’s not like you’re getting left in the dark. Virtualization tech may catch up with ARM-based Macs by the time the company discontinues its Intel computers, but for now, the future of Boot Camp looks pretty bleak.

Source: Apple via The Verge

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