Apple’s upcoming ARM-based Macs won’t support Windows via Boot Camp, but that may change

For those who need (or want!) to use Windows, but prefer Apple hardware, Boot Camp has made it possible to use Microsoft’s desktop operating system on Apple’s computers for years. But that is coming to an end soon.

Earlier this year, Apple announced its official transition to ARM-based silicon for its Mac computers. We’ll see the first result of that later this year, but for folks who were hoping Boot Camp would work, and, therefore, they’d still be able to use Windows on their new ARM-based Mac, there’s some bad news. As reported today by The Verge, Boot Camp will not run Windows when these devices launch, but it’s possible that could change in the future.

It’s just up to Microsoft to make it a possibility.

According to Microsoft, the company has decided to only license Windows 10 on ARM to PC makers to preinstall on new hardware. The company has not made the desktop operating system available for just anyone to freely install or even license. Per a spokesperson for Microsoft:

Microsoft only licenses Windows 10 on ARM to OEMs,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. We asked Microsoft if it plans to change this policy to allow Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs, and the company says “we have nothing further to share at this time.

The lack of Boot Camp support was not mentioned at this year’s WWDC, even as Apple did celebrate the fact it is working closely with Microsoft to get that company’s Office suite of apps ready for ARM-based Macs. So while Microsoft’s first-party apps will be ready to go at launch, Boot Camp will apparently not be getting the same attention.

Looking at other options, specifically virtualization options through apps like Parallels and VMWare, these aren’t a possibility either on future ARM-based Macs. Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation technology won’t support these apps. The original report notes that virtual machine apps will need to be rebuilt from the ground up, and there is some question whether or not that will actually take place.

This is all just a known state for now, of course. A lot can change between now and whenever the first ARM-based Mac arrives sometime later this year. It’s possible that this all gets sorted out well in advance, and, by the time the first machine launches, Boot Camp and/or other virtualization tools ready to launch Windows on ARM could be ready to go.

You upset by the fact that Boot Camp won’t work on ARM-based Macs at launch?