VMware, Apple M1 Tech Preview available

VMware, Apple M1 Tech Preview available


VMWare said this week that it will release the first technology preview of its hypervisor designed for systems based on Apple's M1 system-on-chip. The new VMware Fusion hypervisor allows users to run Microsoft Windows on the latest Macs, but has a number of limitations.

Credit: WMware Michael Roy, Product Line Manager for desktop hypervisor products such as VMware Fusion and Workstation, has informally announced via Twitter (as reported by The Register) that the company has launched a private tech preview of its VMware Fusion for Apple Silicon. Those interested in trying the new software should submit a request to this address.

According to Roy, VMware plans to make its Fusion hypervisor available for Apple's ARM-based SoCs later this year. The program will allow owners of the latest Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini to run Windows 10 and various Linux operating systems on their Macs. The software will naturally compete with Parallels Desktop, which is already available and can even run Microsoft's Windows 11 on Intel and ARM-based Macs.

Hey friends!

Are you interested in joining our Private Tech Preview for @VMwareFusion on @Apple silicon?

We're not taking _everyone_ just yet, but you can submit a request to join here: https://t.co/udQsATVuFA

Full Public TP drops in about 2 weeks!

- Michael Roy (@mikeroySoft) September 8, 2021

As for the limitations, Windows 10 will run as a Guest OS. However, the software developer will not provide drivers or VMware Tools, as Microsoft does not sell Windows for ARM separately. Additionally, VMWare Fusion will not run macOS 12 virtual machines (VMs), as the program must “use a completely different set of APIs and this breaks ESXi compatibility”. At the moment, GPU support does not work properly on virtual machines, and in Ubuntu it is only possible to accelerate 3D graphics using the CPU.

At the moment, VMware has not released any official communication regarding Windows 11 support. on M1 systems.

VMware Fusion for M1 Macs gets private beta, official Windows support not included

VMware this week released a private beta version of Fusion for M1 Macs, though users eager to run Windows VMs on their new MacBook Air might want to look elsewhere.

Announced in a tweet from VMware Fusion manager Michael Roy, the release is officially considered a private tech preview, meaning those interested must request access to the software. A public beta is expected in about two weeks.

Details of the latest iteration of VMware Fusion were outlined in an April blog post that notes a specific focus on Linux VMs. Windows is considered a 'second priority' as Microsoft does not currently license Windows 10 ARM and while Parallels feels comfortable integrating support for the operating system into its virtualization solution, VMware does not.

That said, the company is working to bring Fusion in line with Microsoft's end-user license agreement.

'VMware has had a pretty strategic partnership with MS for a long time. (see: vSphere.),' Roy said in a tweet. 'I'm not sure what else I'm allowed to say other than 'we're not operating in a vacuum on this'.'

As noted by MacRumors, Roy added that Windows VMs should run in Fusion as an 'other' operating system alternative, but the company will not be providing first-party drivers and tools. Also not included is support for x86 Intel-based distributions of Windows and Linux, and macOS VMs are still in development.

VMware Fusion's private tech preview arrives roughly a month after Parallels Desktop 17 debuted with M1 support for ARM previews of Windows 10 and 11. Parallels says its software will provide full support for Windows 11 when the operating system launches in October.