Windows 11 may soon run natively on Apple M1

Macbook Pro

What happens when two worlds collide? We may soon be able to find out, as a new project is in development that aims to make running Windows 11 natively on an Apple M1 chip a real possibility.

If you want to run Microsoft’s latest and greatest OS on Apple hardware, then you have two choices. First is running the operating system via a solution like Parallels, and the other is using a Windows 10 hack to run it natively and upgrading to the newest version.

But as far as Microsoft is concerned, the company has already clarified that it was unlikely to ever support Windows 11 on Mac or M1 powered machines.

This only left room for enthusiasts to jump in, and it appears we have our first contender.

Developer Arminder Singh is working on a project to run Windows 11 natively on a range of Apple silicon, including the powerful M1 chip. But these are very early days still, as he makes it clear that there are several challenges that need to be overcome.

His words:

“Contrary to how it may appear on the surface, Apple’s chips are architecturally very different from standard ARM64 chips from companies like Qualcomm or MediaTek and a lot of hardware enablement needs to be done as a result. Thankfully a lot of work has already been done in this area for Linux through the Asahi Linux project

This is not going to be a trivial project to finish, there’s a lot of Apple specific oddities I must account for and things I need to do to ensure the M1 is able to boot Windows in a stable way.”

The major issue has to do with the proprietary interrupt controller that the fruity company uses, conveniently dubbed Apple Interrupt Controller (AIC). The second problem has got to do with the Input-Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) of the M1 that supports 16K pages and not 8K.

With these roadblocks in place, there is no guarantee that this project will succeed. Hence no ETA, at the moment.

But as mentioned above, the Asahi Linux project is a similar one that aims to run Linux on Apple Silicon, and it is far ahead in this endeavor.

So, there is hope yet.