Right now, Apple’s M1 Mac computers do not support the running of virtualization software like Parallels or Boot Camp, which means that those looking to run Windows alongside macOS are out of luck, at least for now, and as far as official support is concerned. However, developer Alexander Graf managed to get the ARM version of Windows up and running.
His solution inspired others to make similar attempts, like YouTuber Martin Nobel who did the same and posted a video showing how an ARM Windows would look like on an M1 Mac mini. Nobel also benchmarked the process and to our surprise, it showed the virtualized version of ARM Windows on the M1 outperforming that of Microsoft’s very own Surface Pro X, which runs the same version of Windows.
In terms of single-core performance, the M1 managed to almost double the scores of the Surface Pro X, and it also scored 2,000 points higher when it came to multi-core performance. You might argue that the Mac mini is a desktop whereas the Surface Pro X is a laptop/tablet hybrid, but we imagine that the performance should be almost similar on the MacBook Air given that the M1 chipsets across the Mac lineup are near-identical.
As it stands, Microsoft’s licensing system would not allow Apple to use the ARM version of Windows on its Mac computers as it is not preinstalled. Apple did previously state that the ball is in Microsoft’s court as to whether or not they will change their minds, but these benchmarks and demonstrations prove that it is possible, and that it will be a great experience at that.