Foreign media MacRumors reported that the developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Windows 10 ARM system on the Apple M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip can run Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.
Currently, Macs with M1 chips do not support Windows, nor do they have Boot Camp features like Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users want to see.
Using the open source QEMU virtual machine, Alexander Graf can virtualize Windows 10 ARM on the Apple M1 chip, and there is no emulation. Since the M1 chip is a customized Arm SoC, it is no longer possible to use Boot Camp to install x86 Windows or x86 Windows applications like previous Intel-based Macs. However, he said on Twitter that when virtualized on the M1 Mac, “Windows ARM64 can run x86 applications very well. Although not as fast as Rosetta 2, it is almost the same.”
Graf can be virtualized through Hypervisor.framework to run Windows ARM64 Insider Preview. Apple says this allows users to interact with virtualization technology without writing kernel extensions (KEXTs).
Graf installed a custom patch on the QEMU virtualizer, which is said to be known for “achieving close to native performance” by executing guest code directly on the host CPU. This means that Windows 10 ARM can be virtualized on M1 Mac with excellent performance.
Although Graf’s experiment is still in its early stages, he believes that others can reproduce its results. “It’s still in the early stages. The results can definitely be reproduced – all patches are on the mailing list – but don’t expect to have a stable, fully functional system for now,” he said. Most importantly, Graf has proven that Windows systems can run on M1 Mac. The screenshot shows that the virtual Windows 10 ARM CPU frequency is 1GHz.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software engineering, recently stated that whether Windows can come to the M1 Mac is “decided by Microsoft”. The M1 chip contains the core technology required to run Windows, but Microsoft must decide whether to authorize Windows 10 ARM to Mac users.