Technically speaking, it sounds like Windows can run natively on a Mac equipped with the M1 processor. But Apple’s leaving implementation up to Microsoft.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s software engineering chief, spoke with Ars Technica about the M1 chip (as did Apple’s marketing VP Greg Joswiak and hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji). The majority of the interview focuses on topics we’ve heard Apple executives discuss in the past. The real interesting part comes in when Windows, Microsoft’s competing desktop operating system, gets brought up.
Right now, M1 Macs don’t support the Boot Camp feature that Intel-based computers do. And M1 Macs don’t support Windows in its current form. But, it certainly sounds like it’s at least possible, according to Federighi, who says Windows on an M1 Mac is “really up to Microsoft”.
Per the interview:
As for Windows running natively on the machine, “that’s really up to Microsoft,” he said. “We have the core technologies for them to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn of course supports x86 user mode applications. But that’s a decision Microsoft has to make, to bring to license that technology for users to run on these Macs. But the Macs are certainly very capable of it.
Federighi also notes that running Windows from the cloud is a possibility, too. So there are options, at least.
The full interview is certainly worth a read if you haven’t been keeping tabs on the others so far.