Back in September, the famous Windows virtualizer Parallels had problems bringing Windows 11 to Apple Silicon Macs. In a statement at the time, Microsoft confirmed that such integration was not a “supported scenario”.
Microsoft has confirmed that running Windows 11 on devices such as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 and MacBook Air with M1 is not an officially “supported scenario,” after virtualization company Parallels encountered some software issues.
Now, we may know exactly why Windows 11 has not yet come to Apple Silicon. According to a new report from XDA, Qualcomm currently has a contract with Microsoft to be the exclusive supplier of Windows to ARM. The deal, however, could expire “soon”.
Aside from the fact that Microsoft has publicly said that anyone who wants can make Windows on an ARM chip, this really should come as no surprise. Qualcomm hasn’t just started making PC chips in hopes that Microsoft will compile Windows to support it. No, these two companies worked together to make that happen. This is why Qualcomm can enjoy a little exclusivity.
One thing I couldn’t learn is when the contract will expire, just that it’s what prevents other chip sellers from competing in space. It is possible that Samsung may want to throw its hat into the ring with its Exynos processors, especially given its recent partnership with AMD for graphics power. This is also the reason why Apple Silicon Macs are not officially supported to run Windows 11, so hopefully that will change as well.
If the contract exists and expires, it would open up the possibility of Windows 11 coming on more ARM chips than just those from Qualcomm. This, of course, includes Apple Silicon.
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It is unclear how much Microsoft has prepared for this, so we could wait a little longer until official support happens. No matter when, it sounds like it could happen until the contract between Microsoft and Qualcomm is renewed.
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