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VMware reveals private beta version of Fusion for M1 Macs with no Windows support

 

By Megan Marshall

VMware released a private tech preview of Fusion-a popular hypervisor software available for macOS-for M1 Macs, which users can request access to via an online form. The official release may come by the end of the year, given that a public beta is expected in about two weeks.

The first informal announcement of Apple's commitment to providing VMware virtual machines on Apple Silicon devices came in November 2020. Back in April, Michael Roy, the manager of VMware Fusion and Workstation, discussed the development of the project, highlighting Windows as being second priority to Linux. It was stated that Windows would not be officially supported under Apple hardware, as Microsoft does not sell Windows 10 ARM licenses for VMs, so Fusion for M1 will be without this at launch.

On September 8th, Roy took to Twitter to answer questions about Fusion for M1's features and confirm its limitation in scope. Despite the company not providing first-party drivers and tools, it is believed that Windows 10 should run when selecting the "other" operating system type and connections to virtual machines on other VMware hypervisors will be possible. Additionally, and with no clarity as to whether they will later be added on account of API incompatibilities which break ESXi compatibility, macOS 12 VMs are still in development.

And VMware has said nothing so far about Windows 11 support on M1 systems.

For users that want to run Windows or macOS Monterey, Parallels Desktop 17-which debuted approximately one month ago, with support for ARM previews of both Windows 10 and 11-currently remains as the only option. While their fine print informs customers of their responsibility to comply with an operating system's licensing agreement, Parallels has showcased that they feel comfortable with the integration into their virtualization solution. Full support for Windows 11 will be provided by the software when it launches in October.

As of yet, no timeframe, pricing, or upgrade options have been provided for the public release of VMware Fusion. Microsoft also does not presently offer a retail version of ARM-based Windows, although Windows Insider program members are provided a preview version.

UPDATE:

Along with the release of their new Windows OS builds, a spokesperson from Microsoft has confirmed to The Register that Windows 11 will not be a supported scenario for Apple M1 devices. The company has also reported that it is adjusting the preview code for Windows Insiders via the Dev and Beta Channels, and bug-checking some Surface Pro X users for non-functional Start Menus and disappearing taskbars. They will continue to work on the Windows 11 OS global launch, set for less than a month from now.

Published Monday, September 13, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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