CrossOver software can already run Windows games and apps on the new Apple Silicon Macs

While key virtualization software companies like Parallels, WMware and Docker are developing solutions that will permit users to run Windows software on Apple Silicon Macs, developer CodeWeavers has said that its CrossOver software is already capable of running Windows apps and games on the new M1-powered MacBook Air, Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

According to CodeWeavers developer Brendan Shanks, their CrossOver and Wine solution can now run 32-bit and 64-bit Windows apps and games on the new Apple Silicon Macs. That’s right, they were able to make Win32/64 on WINE run on top of Apple’s Rosetta technology. Unlike other virtualization solutions that require a full Windows install, CrossOver does not require an entire Windows install to run Windows apps and games.

Apple’s official logo for its Rosetta 2 technology in macOS Big Sur

CodeWeaver’s Jeremy White explained in a blog post that they were able to fire up CrossOver and install and run a wide range of Windows applications after installing the beta version of Big Sur 11.1. They’re currently putting together a list of Windows apps that work.

Here’s Among Us running on CrossOver.

“I can’t tell you how cool that is,” White write on the blog post. “There is so much emulation going on under the covers. Imagine — a 32-bit Windows Intel binary, running in a 32-to-64 bridge in Wine/CrossOver on top of macOS, on an ARM CPU that is emulating x86 — and it works!” Here’s a quick video of Team Fortress 2 running on Crossover on an M1 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and 256GB flash storage.

Although “it isn’t perfect” and FPS is all over the place, White notes, it does run. Incredibly, it’s stable considering this is basically Intel X86 code being run by Wine through Rosetta 2. “I think we’ve got some work to do on that front,” he said of the lag due to Rosetta overhead.

As mentioned, other virtualization companies are working on Windows solutions for M1 Macs.

Parallels said it’d made “tremendous progress” in bringing the ability to run Windows on M1-powered Macs alongside macOS to its Parallels Desktop software. VMWare also confirmed that it’s working on an M1-enhanced version of its virtual machine. Neither company would say when its respective solution for M1 Macs might be ready for prime time, however.