Michael Roy, giving an update on how development work on Fusion of Apple silicon is going:
You can see here that I have 7 ARM VMs booted at once… 2 are CLI only (Photon and BSD), the others are full desktops… each is configured with 4CPU and 8GB of RAM. 6 different Linux flavors and 1 FreeBSD… MacBook Air. On battery. No fans. Yep.
Of course, just booting a bunch of VMs that are mostly idle isn’t quite a ‘real world experience’, nor is it the same as doing some of the stress testing that we perform in the leadup to a release. Even with that said, and note that I’m using ‘debug’ builds which perform slower, in my 12 years at VMware I’ve never seen VMs boot and run like this. So we’re very encouraged by our early results, and seriously can’t wait to get it on every Apple silicon equipped Mac out there.
That’s the experience I had hoped for, but there’s some bad news too, at least for some users:
Of course, users are expecting to run Windows in a virtual machine, much like we’ve been used to for many years now. With Windows on ARM however, this presents a unique situation, particularly as it relates to Licensing.
The Insider Preview program says: “To install Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds, you must be running a licensed version of Windows 10 on your device.” And as far as we are aware, there is no way to buy a Windows 10 ARM license for a Mac with Apple silicon.
That’s not new news, and I hope Microsoft moves on this soon, but even if they do, Fusion users won’t be able to run non-Arm versions of Windows:
So, to be a bit blunt, running x86 operating systems on Apple silicon is not something we are planning to deliver with this project. Installing Windows or Linux from an x86 ISO, for example, will not work.