VMware Announces Tech Preview of Hypervisor for Apple's M1

(Image credit: VMware)

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

Michael Roy, Product Line Manager for desktop hypervisor products such as VMware Fusion and Workstation, informally announced via Twitter (via The Register) that the company had initiated a private tech preview of its VMware Fusion for Apple Silicon. Those interested in trying the new software have to submit a request

According to Roy, VMware expects to launch its Fusion hypervisor for Apple's Arm-based SoCs by the end of the year. The program will enable owners of the latest Macs to run Windows 10 and various Linux operating systems on their Macs. The software will naturally compete against Parallels Desktop, which is already available and which can even run Microsoft's Windows 11 on Intel and Arm-based Macs.

As for the limitations, Windows 10 will run using the Guest OS type. But the software developer will not ship drivers or VMware Tools, and everything will be unsupported because Microsoft does not sell Windows for Arm separately. Also, VMware's Fusion will not run macOS 12 virtual machines (VMs), since VMware has to "use a whole different set of APIs, and that breaks ESXi compatibility." At present, discrete GPU support does not work on virtual machines properly (not a problem for M1) and Ubuntu VMs can only accelerate 3D graphics using the CPU.

VMware has said nothing so far about Windows 11 support on M1 systems.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.