Windows could come to M1 Macs with Qualcomm exclusivity coming to an end ‘soon’

Apple would probably be open to that idea.
Photo: Apple / Cult of Mac

A version of Windows made to work on Arm processors could eventually come on M1 Mac models, with Qualcomm’s current exclusive contract with Microsoft “expiring soon,” according to a new report.

The deal, which was not known to the public until this week, could explain why only a limited number of Windows devices powered by Arm chips are on the market today – all produced by Qualcomm. But that will change.

Qualcomm exclusivity blocks Windows on M1 Macs

According to XDA developers, quoting people familiar with the deal, Qualcomm’s agreement with Microsoft prevents Windows for Arm from being available to third-party chipset makers.

While this has not been publicly confirmed by either side, it would explain why Windows on Arm currently has such limited availability – and why you can only get it on certain devices from select manufacturers.

However, the same sources say that the agreement “expired soon”. No date has been given, but it is believed that Qualcomm’s rival MediaTek is already making a brand new chipset especially for Windows on Arm in preparation for it.

This could have big implications on M1 Mac models as well. If Qualcomm no longer has the exclusive right to Windows on Arm, there’s nothing stopping Microsoft from making a version of its operating system available on Apple Silicon.

But don’t get too excited

Apple would probably be open to the idea of ​​reviving Boot Camp – its feature that allows users to run on a Windows partition on Intel-powered Macs – for its latest machines. After all, it just makes them even more attractive.

But it’s not clear whether Microsoft would have any interest in officially supporting Apple’s operating system – or at least in making Windows for Arm run smoothly on Apple hardware.

Those who need to run Windows applications but prefer to use a Mac will hope so. As things stand, the only way to solve this problem is to run Windows on a virtual machine using software like Parallels Desktop. However, Microsoft has previously stated that this “is not a supported scenario”.

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Naveen Kumar

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