Parallels Desktop 16.5 released with native Apple Silicon support

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited April 14
Parallels has released version 16.5 of its virtualization software with full native support for Apple's M1 chip.

Credit: Parallels
Credit: Parallels


The company says that Parallels Desktop 16.5 will run much faster and more efficiently on Apple Silicon machines. Parallels says the platform uses up to 250% less energy, sports up to 30% better virtual machine performance for Windows and up to 60% better DirectX 11 performance.





The company says that many of its best features have been reengineered for the M1, including Coherence Mode, Shared Profiles, Touch Bar controls, and Mac keyboard layouts.

There is a caveat -- users can only run a virtual machine with an ARM-based operating system. While there are plenty of ARM-based Linux distributions, there currently isn't a retail ARM version of Windows. Instead, users will need to get the Windows 10 ARM Insider preview.

The release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on Wednesday comes after a testing period in which the company released a pair of Technical Preview versions of the update. Parallels says that 100,000 Mac users tested the previews.

"Apple's M1 chip is a significant breakthrough for Mac users. The transition has been smooth for most Mac applications, thanks to Rosetta technology. However, virtual machines are an exception and thus Parallels engineers implemented native virtualization support for the Mac with M1 chip. This enables our users to enjoy the best Windows-on-Mac experience available," said Parallels SVP Nick Dobrovolskiy.

Parallels Desktop 16.5 is available in a subscription and perpetual license version. A new subscription costs $79.99 per year while a license runs $99.99.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,651member
    Is Windows 10 ARM even useful in any way?  
    dysamoriabyronl
  • Reply 2 of 53
    It doesn’t support Windows XP or Windows 2000. It only supports 4 or 5 OSs instead of the 20+ that the intel version does. Is that going to change?
    right_said_freddysamoriawatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 3 of 53
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 608member
    Can it virtualize MacOS Big Sur on a M1? That’s one of the big reasons I run VMs is to isolate parts of my software between work and personal for example. 
    edited April 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 53
    NYC362NYC362 Posts: 13member
    So let's say I have an M1 Mac with Parallels 16.5 and Windows 10 ARM.  Will Windows programs that use the regular Windows 10 for Intel (like Quicken for Windows) work...or do those programs need to be written for Windows for ARM. 
    kiehtanwatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 5 of 53
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,534member
    This is why I bought a 2020 iMac.   I still use many variations of Windows for work.  Intel will be with me for a while.

     I used an M1 MBA for a day here at the office and the performance just floored me.  It made my new 10-Core i9 feel sluggish in some areas.  

    I’m curious what VMWare is up to with ASI.  They’ve been rather quiet.  It’s what I use.  
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 6 of 53
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 608member
    NYC362 said:
    So let's say I have an M1 Mac with Parallels 16.5 and Windows 10 ARM.  Will Windows programs that use the regular Windows 10 for Intel (like Quicken for Windows) work...or do those programs need to be written for Windows for ARM. 
    They should work via Microsoft’s emulation/translation to x86-64 or x86. The last I heard you need to use a fast track version of Windows on ARM to get the x86-64 emulation. 
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 53
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 715member
    To most of the above questions: no.

    Parallels provides hooks from the applications and virtualized OS to the Mac OS. It doesn't translate the instruction set.

    Windows and Linux distributions will work if they have been compiled for ARM. In the case of the Windows for ARM preview it has a Rosetta 2-like translation for X86 instructions.

    That means, you won't be able to use the VM for older Mac OSes, other versions of Windows, etc.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 53
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,498member
    JosephAU said:
    It doesn’t support Windows XP or Windows 2000. It only supports 4 or 5 OSs instead of the 20+ that the intel version does. Is that going to change?
    Depends on whether those 15+ OSes can only run on X86 platforms. If so, I don’t see them working. 

    The beta version of Parallels might still be available or Parallels might offer a trial version for you to test the other OSes. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 53
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,498member
    jdb8167 said:
    Can it virtualize MacOS Big Sur on a M1? That’s one of the big reasons I run VMs is to isolate parts of my software between work and personal for example. 
    I’ll give it a try. I might also try previous macOS versions and see if they work but I don’t think they will fit the same reason Windows 10 x86 won’t work. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 53
    I’m pretty sure I’m totally mixing everything, but since the PowerPC was also a RISC processor. Does it mean we could now virtualize old Mac OS 9 on ARM based Parallel?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,105member
    Philtky said:
    I’m pretty sure I’m totally mixing everything, but since the PowerPC was also a RISC processor. Does it mean we could now virtualize old Mac OS 9 on ARM based Parallel?
    No, PPC is not the same instruction set as ARM, but the architectures are more similar than x86 is to ARM or ASi
    Philtky
  • Reply 12 of 53
    hodarhodar Posts: 335member
    So, basically Parallels remains a waste of money for anyone who bought an M1 Mac.

    Rehash MY user case; which is probably a significant number of user cases.  Why did I buy Parallels?  Why pay $$ for this program?

    So, I can have the CAPABILITY to boot, and run WindowsXP, Windows 7 and Windows10 disk images, and either run programs on my Mac that are not available outside of the Windows environment, so I can play old games I purchased before I switched to the Apple ecosystem, and so I can play more games (emulation mode, which is surprisingly good) on my Mac, and play online with my friends who use PC games.  Open Parallels, run any version of Windows I chose, launch Steam and play online games with my friends (games that are not available on the Mac.

    For work, Excel on Windows has the capability to allow me to write scripts in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA); for reasons I don not understand, these advanced libraries are simply not available for the Mac community.  So, while my Excel workbooks have ~60,000 lines of VBA to allow it to link into the corporate database and dateline quality assessment info, I cannot do the same thing with my MSFT Office license for Mac.  So, I have 2 different licenses.

    Now, I have no choice but have multiple computers at home.  Because programs that USED TO work flawlessly, no longer function at all.
    applguyJosephAUdysamoriaelijahgwatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 13 of 53
    stuartfstuartf Posts: 43member
    jdb8167 said:
    Can it virtualize MacOS Big Sur on a M1? That’s one of the big reasons I run VMs is to isolate parts of my software between work and personal for example. 
    Sadly not yet. They say later this year


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 53
    rivertriprivertrip Posts: 123member
    hodar said:
    So, basically Parallels remains a waste of money for anyone who bought an M1 Mac.

    Rehash MY user case; which is probably a significant number of user cases.  Why did I buy Parallels?  Why pay $$ for this program?

    So, I can have the CAPABILITY to boot, and run WindowsXP, Windows 7 and Windows10 disk images, and either run programs on my Mac that are not available outside of the Windows environment, so I can play old games I purchased before I switched to the Apple ecosystem, and so I can play more games (emulation mode, which is surprisingly good) on my Mac, and play online with my friends who use PC games.  Open Parallels, run any version of Windows I chose, launch Steam and play online games with my friends (games that are not available on the Mac.

    For work, Excel on Windows has the capability to allow me to write scripts in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA); for reasons I don not understand, these advanced libraries are simply not available for the Mac community.  So, while my Excel workbooks have ~60,000 lines of VBA to allow it to link into the corporate database and dateline quality assessment info, I cannot do the same thing with my MSFT Office license for Mac.  So, I have 2 different licenses.

    Now, I have no choice but have multiple computers at home.  Because programs that USED TO work flawlessly, no longer function at all.
    Buying an M1 Mac isn't a choice?
    roundaboutnowmcdaverob53FileMakerFellerRayz2016michelb76watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 53
    I am running Windows ARM on an Apple Silicon Mac Mini. It's ... interesting. Even Microsoft's own software development tool Visual Studio says it is not compatible with Windows ARM. However the OS does run but is noticeably slow doing some fairly basic tasks. It is so early in development that when there is an update, a lot of the time you have to re-install the entire OS to get it to work otherwise you get a cryptic error code. A VM is the only way to use the OS currently as reinstalling it is fairly painless that way.

    To be fair, this mess is not Parallels fault. They have done what they can. Now it is up to Microsoft to fully support ARM including the special instructions Apple built into Apple Silicon that speed performance of x86 emulation which are used in Rosetta. Microsoft is not moving fast enough to develop Windows ARM. There have been only a few updates in the past six months and none of them made any noticeable difference in the performance. Hopefully Microsoft wakes up soon and realizes that they will lose the game if they don't fully support ARM.
    dewmedysamoriafreeassociateFileMakerFellerbyronl
  • Reply 16 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,173member
    hodar said:
    So, basically Parallels remains a waste of money for anyone who bought an M1 Mac.

    Rehash MY user case; which is probably a significant number of user cases.  Why did I buy Parallels?  Why pay $$ for this program?

    So, I can have the CAPABILITY to boot, and run WindowsXP, Windows 7 and Windows10 disk images, and either run programs on my Mac that are not available outside of the Windows environment, so I can play old games I purchased before I switched to the Apple ecosystem, and so I can play more games (emulation mode, which is surprisingly good) on my Mac, and play online with my friends who use PC games.  Open Parallels, run any version of Windows I chose, launch Steam and play online games with my friends (games that are not available on the Mac.

    For work, Excel on Windows has the capability to allow me to write scripts in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA); for reasons I don not understand, these advanced libraries are simply not available for the Mac community.  So, while my Excel workbooks have ~60,000 lines of VBA to allow it to link into the corporate database and dateline quality assessment info, I cannot do the same thing with my MSFT Office license for Mac.  So, I have 2 different licenses.

    Now, I have no choice but have multiple computers at home.  Because programs that USED TO work flawlessly, no longer function at all.
    Such is life, man. The entire architecture changed, and that means some things aren’t gonna work. A virtualization program designed for Intel architecture is different enough from the new architecture to be one of those things. Sure we’d all like it if everything worked everywhere, but that isn’t our reality. What do you do now?
    dewmeRayz2016watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 17 of 53
    dr. xdr. x Posts: 268member
    I wonder what VMWare is up to and if they will provide support for M1?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 53
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 608member
    dr. x said:
    I wonder what VMWare is up to and if they will provide support for M1?
    I don’t know if they weren’t invited to early M1 development like Parallels or if they declined but at the release of the M1 they said on Twitter that they were considering doing an M1 port. If they decided to do it, they are still very far behind Parallels at this point.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 53
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 608member

    hodar said:
    So, basically Parallels remains a waste of money for anyone who bought an M1 Mac.

    Rehash MY user case; which is probably a significant number of user cases.  Why did I buy Parallels?  Why pay $$ for this program?

    So, I can have the CAPABILITY to boot, and run WindowsXP, Windows 7 and Windows10 disk images, and either run programs on my Mac that are not available outside of the Windows environment, so I can play old games I purchased before I switched to the Apple ecosystem, and so I can play more games (emulation mode, which is surprisingly good) on my Mac, and play online with my friends who use PC games.  Open Parallels, run any version of Windows I chose, launch Steam and play online games with my friends (games that are not available on the Mac.

    For work, Excel on Windows has the capability to allow me to write scripts in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA); for reasons I don not understand, these advanced libraries are simply not available for the Mac community.  So, while my Excel workbooks have ~60,000 lines of VBA to allow it to link into the corporate database and dateline quality assessment info, I cannot do the same thing with my MSFT Office license for Mac.  So, I have 2 different licenses.

    Now, I have no choice but have multiple computers at home.  Because programs that USED TO work flawlessly, no longer function at all.
    Most of your x86 and x86-64 software should work on Window on Arm through Microsoft’s compatibility software. It works like Rosetta 2 does on the M1. The biggest problems are that you can only get WoA through Microsoft’s early access program right now. No one knows if that will change and Microsoft isn’t saying much of anything. Also, x86-64 compatibility is currently only through the fast-track updates.

    Until Microsoft allows sales of WoA, I wouldn’t buy an M1 to run Windows software in Parallels. It’s nice that Parallels for the M1 exists though.
    edited April 14 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 53
    hodar said:
    So, basically Parallels remains a waste of money for anyone who bought an M1 Mac.

    Rehash MY user case; which is probably a significant number of user cases.  Why did I buy Parallels?  Why pay $$ for this program?

    So, I can have the CAPABILITY to boot, and run WindowsXP, Windows 7 and Windows10 disk images, and either run programs on my Mac that are not available outside of the Windows environment, so I can play old games I purchased before I switched to the Apple ecosystem, and so I can play more games (emulation mode, which is surprisingly good) on my Mac, and play online with my friends who use PC games.  Open Parallels, run any version of Windows I chose, launch Steam and play online games with my friends (games that are not available on the Mac.

    For work, Excel on Windows has the capability to allow me to write scripts in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA); for reasons I don not understand, these advanced libraries are simply not available for the Mac community.  So, while my Excel workbooks have ~60,000 lines of VBA to allow it to link into the corporate database and dateline quality assessment info, I cannot do the same thing with my MSFT Office license for Mac.  So, I have 2 different licenses.

    Now, I have no choice but have multiple computers at home.  Because programs that USED TO work flawlessly, no longer function at all.
    You can still buy Intel Macs.  And for me, Parallels is not a waste of money on an M1 Mac.  I use a Debian 10 ARM VM under Parallels for work purposes and it's not had a single impact on my work or processes.  All the Microsoft apps I need for work are either Universal Binaries already, or awaiting to be (so are being run via Rosetta 2).  Apart from some performance issues relating to Rosetta 2 and anti-virus apps (one of which has now been fixed), there has been very frew issues running an M1 Mac in an existing business environment.
    freeassociateFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
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