At WWDC this week, Apple detailed its roadmap for the transition from the Mac line of Intel processors to Apple Silicon chips. One of the most important questions about this transition has been what it means for the future of Boot Camp, and a new statement from Microsoft provides little clarity about what the future holds for Windows virtualization on Mac.
In a statement to The edgeA Microsoft spokesperson explained that the company currently only licenses Windows 10 for ARM to manufacturers to pre-install on their hardware. Windows 10 for ARM is not available for anyone to license and install elsewhere, unlike Windows for other technologies. There are possible solutions to this problem, but the future is not clear.
“Microsoft only licenses Windows 10 in ARM to OEMs,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. We asked Microsoft if it plans to change this policy to allow Boot Camp on ARM-based Mac computers, and the company says “we have nothing else to share at this time.”
Of course, Microsoft’s statement is vague enough to assume that could has more to share in the future. It’s important to remember that Apple doesn’t plan to ship the first Apple Silicon Mac to consumers until later this year. Occasionally, developers will work on adapting their applications for the new Apple Silicon chips, including Microsoft, whom Apple cited for his work to ensure that Office is compatible with ARM-based Macs.
Boot Camp is also not the only solution to run Windows on Mac, and the other solution is virtualization software like VMWare or Parallels. How The edge points out, however, that virtual machine applications virtualizing x86 platforms cannot be translated using Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology.
Given that we’re only a few days after Apple’s official announcement about the Apple Silicon transition, it’s hard to read too much in Microsoft’s statement. While Boot Camp is certainly not as popular as it was before, there are still plenty of professionals who trust it. Whether or not he survives the transition to Apple Silicon remains to be seen, but Microsoft’s statement does not necessarily instill hope.
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