Latest VMWare Fusion tech preview brings Windows 11 to Apple Silicon Macs

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in macOS
VMWare has announced that its upcoming update to VMWare Fusion will bring Windows 11 support to both Intel-based and Apple Silicon machines.

Credit: VMWare
Credit: VMWare


Although ARM versions of Windows itself aren't available on Macs with M1 or M2 chips, users will be able to download and use Windows 11 on Apple Silicon Macs using the VMWare Fusion virtualization software.

The latest update to VMWare Fusion is now available to test out as a free technology preview on the company's website.

VMWare says that it's looking for user feedback as it "irons out kinks" and prepares for more formal support later in 2022.

"It's here," the company wrote. "While it is a little early, and things on Apple silicon don't always behave like we're used to on Intel, we're thrilled to be able to share the work we've been doing to prepare support for Windows 11 virtual machines on Fusion, for both Intel and Apple silicon Macs."

Along with Windows 11 support on Apple Silicon machines, the new tech preview also includes VMtools installation for Windows 11 on M1, improved Linux support on M1, 3D Graphics HW Acceleration and OpenGL 4.3 in Linux VMs, and more.

The company does note, however, that VMWare Fusion is still a work in progress on Apple Silicon Macs, and there are some limitations to the support. Fusion won't support VMs running across different architectures, for example. Also, users can't currently create macOS-based virtual machines, though VMWare is looking into that for the future.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,807moderator
    VMWare has announced that its upcoming update to VMWare Fusion will bring Windows 11 support to both Intel-based and Apple Silicon machines.

    VMWare says that it's looking for user feedback as it "irons out kinks" and prepares for more formal support later in 2022.

    "It's here," the company wrote. "While it is a little early, and things on Apple silicon don't always behave like we're used to on Intel, we're thrilled to be able to share the work we've been doing to prepare support for Windows 11 virtual machines on Fusion, for both Intel and Apple silicon Macs."
    The Qualcomm exclusivity deal reportedly expiring soon after November 2021 is probably the reason for this support from VMWare now:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/11/22/qualcomm-microsoft-deal-could-explain-lack-of-windows-on-apple-silicon

    VMWare said they wouldn't support Windows until Microsoft officially supported it:

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/vmware-offers-progress-update-fusion-for-m1

    Bootcamp is still unlikely but it should at least be officially supported now. Even if the internal partitioning wasn't supported, being able to boot a USB/Thunderbolt drive would be a good option to have.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,395member
    Re: "Also, users can't currently create macOS-based virtual machines, though VMWare is looking into that for the future."

    I assume this only refers to the technology preview edition of Fusion. All current and prior versions of Fusion 12.x absolutely support creating and running macOS/OS X virtual machines. I use Fusion 12.x on my Intel iMac to run the last version of macOS that supported 32-bit apps. i.e., Mojave (10.14) as well as Windows 10 Pro and the latest version of Linux Mint. The free (for non-commercial use) version of VMWare Fusion Player is an amazingly useful and reliable tool.
    appleinsideruserAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,990member
    I wish AI and others would write clarify Windows 11 compatibility in a clearer way.

    They are referring to Windows 11 ARM right?  VMware Fusion will NOT bring Windows 11x64 to ASi Macs right?
    tokyojimuappleinsideruserAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 27
    sflocal said:
    I wish AI and others would write clarify Windows 11 compatibility in a clearer way.

    They are referring to Windows 11 ARM right?  VMware Fusion will NOT bring Windows 11x64 to ASi Macs right?
    You are right, sadly.
    However, I am currently running ARM based windows 10, on Parallels on my new M2 Air. On this windows 10 I have installed my accounting package (was Peachtree now its SAGE) which is Intel x86. Windows 10 emulator is taking care of it. Result - Sage accounting is running very well. Seemingly no slower than it ran on a native Intel Windows PC.
    appleinsideruserAlex1Nwatto_cobraroundaboutnowjony0
  • Reply 5 of 27
    JP234JP234 Posts: 211member
    This Windows emulator becomes more and more irrelevant with every passing upgrade.
    rob53geekmeewatto_cobradanox
  • Reply 6 of 27
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 407member
    JP234 said:
    This Windows emulator becomes more and more irrelevant with every passing upgrade.
    That is true. It is also a likely that VMware itself will become more and more irrelevant with the advent of Cloud computing (AWS, Azure, etc). With the VMware Windows M1 thing, I did price an AWS alternative (pas-for-what-you-consume aka hire) but a Fusion Pro license was cheaper.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 27
    jayweissjayweiss Posts: 17member
    Parallels already supports Windows 11 (Arm) and runs macOS VMs (Arm) with no issues. VMWare Fusion has always been second fiddle to Parallels on Macs. 
    djames4242rob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    jayweiss said:
    Parallels already supports Windows 11 (Arm) and runs macOS VMs (Arm) with no issues. VMWare Fusion has always been second fiddle to Parallels on Macs. 
    Not sure about “second fiddle”…. VMWare has always been for pro users and Parallels has been for consumers. VMWare just took their time to work out the licensing. 
    dewmemichelb76williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 414member
    JP234 said:
    This Windows emulator becomes more and more irrelevant with every passing upgrade.
    If you don't use it at all, probably. Luckily it does way more than just that.
    dewmewilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,395member
    JP234 said:
    This Windows emulator becomes more and more irrelevant with every passing upgrade.
    VMWare Fusion (and Workstation) are not emulators, they are hypervisors. When I was doing Windows development it was nearly 100% done on VMWare. Same deal with Linux development.
    edited July 30 Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    jayweissjayweiss Posts: 17member
    At the Professional level of Hypervisors VMWare is the king. On my PC at work I use VMWare Workstation and on servers it is almost entirely VMWare ESXi. 

    However, on Macintosh computers Parallels has always worked better for me. VMWare Fusion Pro does allow me to run copied of VM from our server environment for development or testing, but for ease of use and completeness of features Parallels is better. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,010member
    jayweiss said:
    Parallels already supports Windows 11 (Arm) and runs macOS VMs (Arm) with no issues. VMWare Fusion has always been second fiddle to Parallels on Macs. 
    Not sure about “second fiddle”…. VMWare has always been for pro users and Parallels has been for consumers. VMWare just took their time to work out the licensing. 
    The only reason VMWare is "king" is because it's meant for servers, primarily cloud servers. It's like running Microsoft client services. Neither of these are really for consumers. I've run Fusion for a couple decades but changed to Parallels once Apple Silicon came out and I retired. I didn't have to worry about installing Windows on Macs just so we didn't have to also have a PC to run stupid business department server applications (because Microsoft refused to create decent client apps for the Mac--this was the case 10-20 years ago). As for using that term "pro" it simply means client/server type applications, not user apps. I use Windows 11 ARM on Parallels on my M1 MBA simply to try out marine software that is still Windows-only along with supporting a family member who has issues with their PC. Parallels/Fusion biggest feature (although I don't use it) is the ability to seamlessly open Windows-only apps without having to have a Windows window open, it simply opens the app. 
    appleinsideruserAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 587member
    “The company does note, however, that VMWare Fusion is still a work in progress on Apple Silicon Macs, and there are some limitations to the support. “

    Sounds like beta to me.
    edited July 30 watto_cobraMac4mac
  • Reply 14 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,990member
    jayweiss said:
    ...VMWare Fusion has always been second fiddle to Parallels on Macs. 
    You're joking right?  VMWare is a professional-level hypervisor while Parallels is more an afterthought.

    I've been using VMware Fusion since the v4 days and it has been fantastic.  I use it on my Mac for enterprise-level solutions whereas Parallels (and its support) would leave me wanting.  One time I could not get a hardware device functioning in Windows via Fusion, and VMWare invited me to their engineering offices in Silicon Valley to sit next to one of their engineers while we both figured out the problem.  They released an update incorporating our changes shortly thereafter.  That's support.  Parallels would have been "so sorry, not supported." - Fact.

    So long as VMware continues Fusion, I will continue to support them by buying their new releases every year as I've always done.

    Parallels would be a last-resort Mac Hypervisor for me.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 15 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,395member
    I don't think this should turn into a "which is better - Fusion or Parallels?" They are both great products that serve similar needs and provide comparable value. Fusion is only one small slice of what VMWare does as a whole company, probably one of their smallest slices in fact and a slice that only became commercially viable when Apple switched over to Intel processors. Parallels' whole gig is their virtualization/hypervisor product and they give it a lot of attention and are devoted to it exclusively.

    Both of these products provide enormous value if you need to run multiple operating systems, multiple versions of the same operating system, multiple configurations of the same operating system (e.g., different drivers, different apps, different memory and/or CPU configurations), or any combination of all of these things. One of the vital features that virtualization provides for me is the ability to keep my host machine configuration as "clean" as possible in a corporate computing environment where IT is pushing changes to all corporate machines without your consent.

    One of the absolutely worst things you can ever do as a software developer is to lose control over your system configuration especially if you are evaluating the software you are developing on your build/test machine. You can incinerate hours and days chasing your tail because something got pushed to your machine that changed your environment. Being able to isolate your development environment from unintended changes is critical. Being able to create a clean reference VM that you can get back to simply by copying the whole VM is a huge time saver. Even if the VM is only running at 85-90% of the on-metal machine performance or your local builds are taking a bit longer, having the ability to control your configuration and evaluate individual changes to your reference configuration is a huge time saver and productivity enhancer.

    These examples are applicable to any client/workstation hypervisor whether it's VMWare, Parallels, or VirtualBox. The benefits on the server side are even greater, especially if you are developing distributed client-server applications. My only advice when it comes to using VMs of any sort is to max out the memory on your host system and keep all of your VMs that you are currently using on solid state storage. I use an external SSD for all of the VMs I use regularly and have copies of my "reference" VMs and "configured" VMs backed up on hard disks (and on an additional backup SSD). One interesting thing with VMWare is that I can run the same Windows and Linux VMs on Intel Macs and Intel PC hosts. I can't run Mac VMs on Windows VMWare Workstation only because Apple prohibits such use.

    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 889member
    dewme said:
    Re: "Also, users can't currently create macOS-based virtual machines, though VMWare is looking into that for the future."

    I assume this only refers to the technology preview edition of Fusion. All current and prior versions of Fusion 12.x absolutely support creating and running macOS/OS X virtual machines. I use Fusion 12.x on my Intel iMac to run the last version of macOS that supported 32-bit apps. i.e., Mojave (10.14) as well as Windows 10 Pro and the latest version of Linux Mint. The free (for non-commercial use) version of VMWare Fusion Player is an amazingly useful and reliable tool.

    They're talking about the M-crap processors, not the far better Intel Macs.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 889member
    dewme said:

     I can't run Mac VMs on Windows VMWare Workstation only because Apple prohibits such use.


    Let me introduce you to the joys of Unlocker:  https://github.com/paolo-projects/unlocker

  • Reply 18 of 27
    xiao-zhixiao-zhi Posts: 100member
    Parallels is a much better choice particularly running “coherence” mode that use native commands from Mac in Windows to integrate it seamlessly. Furthermore, Parallels comes with a genuinely useful “toolbox” of utilities and manages shared storage between Mac and Windows better. The only reason to run Fusion is if you work in a corporate environment that standardizes on VMWare for Linux server Windows virtualization and the IT admins don’t give you a choice. Apple employees that have to run Windows apps for sone technical purposes run Parallels. For personal use, Parallels is definitely the better choice. I hate to sound biased and harsh about Fusion, but it is a clunker that exists to keep lazy IT admins with no Mac skills happy, and corporate users with a large number users probably can negotiate a lower per seat cost.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    darkvader said:

    They're talking about the M-crap processors, not the far better Intel Macs.
    I beg to differ. My M1 MBP does not heat up like an oven nor do the fans go ballistic when editing a video. 
    IMHO that is progress, forward progress.

  • Reply 20 of 27
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,841member
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    Re: "Also, users can't currently create macOS-based virtual machines, though VMWare is looking into that for the future."

    I assume this only refers to the technology preview edition of Fusion. All current and prior versions of Fusion 12.x absolutely support creating and running macOS/OS X virtual machines. I use Fusion 12.x on my Intel iMac to run the last version of macOS that supported 32-bit apps. i.e., Mojave (10.14) as well as Windows 10 Pro and the latest version of Linux Mint. The free (for non-commercial use) version of VMWare Fusion Player is an amazingly useful and reliable tool.

    They're talking about the M-crap processors, not the far better Intel Macs.
    I think we’ve found proof of parallel universes
    roundaboutnowmarcotor949
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