The other big question is how M1 chips in host devices will affect guest VMs on Fusion running Windows and any other x86 operating system. Our colleagues over on the Fusion team have said “While we’re not quite ready to announce our timeline, we’re happy to say that we are committed to delivering VMware virtual machines on Apple Silicon!”. VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion desktop hypervisors are the industry leaders in local virtualization. Learn how VMware’s local virtualization solutions provide an easier way to build, test and deliver any app for any device or cloud. Hopefully Parallels Desktop or VMware will soon provide a means to get Windows on M1 Macs. It could be a few more quarters before Windows runs on the new Macs, though.
Michael Roy, Product Line Manager at VMWare, provides a status report on VMWare Fusion running on Macs with Apple silicon:
Of course, users are expecting to run Windows in a virtual machine, much like we’ve been used to for many years now. With Windows on ARM however, this presents a unique situation, particularly as it relates to Licensing.
The Insider Preview program says: “To install Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds, you must be running a licensed version of Windows 10 on your device.” And as far as we are aware, there is no way to buy a Windows 10 ARM license for a Mac with Apple silicon. There have been plenty of discussions on the topic from users and themedia… [Microsoft license terms don’t] say anything about Apple silicon. We have reached out to Microsoft for comment and clarification on the matter.
For the time being, our work has been focused on Linux guest operating systems, and we’re confident that if Microsoft offers Windows on Arm licenses more broadly, we’ll be ready to officially support it.
Vmware Fusion M1 Support
Vmware Fusion 12 M1
In short, VMWare has Fusion working with ARM Linux and expects to support it this year; reading between the lines, it seems like virtualizing Windows on ARM (which we know is technically possible) could follow quickly, so long as Microsoft is willing to provide a legal way for Mac users to buy a license. (For the record, Parallels Desktop already claims support for Linux and Windows on ARM.)
As for emulating Intel processors on Apple silicon? According to Roy, it’s not going to happen.