wa8pyr
Contributor
Contributor

Is there any hope?

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I use a Mac every day, but I do have to use Windows for certain tasks every day. I've been a loyal VMWare customer for years, but that's evidently about to change.

Is there any hope that VMWare will ever support Windows on Mac M1 processors? Right now, all the PR I'm seeing from VMWare says, in essence, screw Windows.

According to the stats I've seen, Windows has nearly 77% of the desktop market worldwide, with Mac over 17% of said market. The remaining flavors (including Linux) are a distant third with a whopping 6.31%. In the US Windows is at 61%, macOS at 35%, and all other flavors (including Linux) in the remaining 4%.

That being the case, why would VMWare make what appears to be the seriously flawed business decision to give up on Windows altogether for the M1 processor, even though x86 support works just fine with Rosetta 2? Instead, VMWare is going to put all their efforts into supporting Linux. . . an OS which holds less than a 2% share of the desktop OS market.

And the argument about the engineering being too difficult doesn't hold water; Parallels did it, so obviously it can be done.

Talk about alienating a pretty significant part of your customer base. If I knew there was hope of VMWare rejoining the rational world and putting out a product which would allow their loyal customers like me to continue running Windows (x86 or ARM) on newer Macs, I'd stick around and wait. As it looks right now, I'll be moving to a new virtualization solution and bidding VMWare an unhappy farewell.

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scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I believe it depends on whether Microsoft choose to make it legal for anyone else other than an OEM to own a license.

 

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Mikero
Community Manager
Community Manager

Scott's mostly right, it's entirely because you legally can't run a copy of Windows for Arm on anything but an OEM device. This includes Insider Previews, where the EULA clearly states you can only install it on a machines that already comes with WoA.

 


[...] Right now, all the PR I'm seeing from VMWare says, in essence, screw Windows.

Microsoft is a major partner of ours, and we're not taking the position of advocating to break their licenses. 
We have approached them on the topic of opening up their licensing, so the ball is entirely in their court.

 

even though x86 support works just fine with Rosetta 2?

Rosetta doesn't do virtualization, full stop. We would have to emulate the entire stack, and the experience would be ABSOLUTELY AWFUL.
We'd spend 2 years building it, and when it ships it'd be a) late to market, and b) awful to use. No one wants that.

 

Instead, VMWare is going to put all their efforts into supporting Linux. . . an OS which holds less than a 2% share of the desktop OS market.

It's not about desktops (tho running Linux desktops is great and I do it every day), it's about development and cloud (quick copy-pasta'd from https://hostingtribunal.com/blog/linux-statistics/)

  • In 2021, 100% of the world’s top 500 supercomputers run on Linux.
  • Out of the top 25 websites in the world, only 2 aren’t using Linux.
  • 96.3% of the world’s top 1 million servers run on Linux.
  • 90% of all cloud infrastructure operates on Linux and practically all the best cloud hosts use it.

Microsoft even added Linux GUI support to WSL this year. 

We build platforms for clouds to run on. Linux is what runs those clouds. Clouds of tomorrow will include Arm workloads and platforms.

 


And the argument about the engineering being too difficult doesn't hold water; Parallels did it, so obviously it can be done.

Parallels also did NOT build x86 emulation.
They are breaking the license agreement by even building drivers.
We think that's dishonest, and not how you should run a business. 
I am not prepared to open us up to C&Ds from a partner like Microsoft.

We could run Windows on Arm today if we wanted to, I've verified that it boots up just fine, but logging into the Desktop is an acceptance of the EULA, which is immediately broken by opening up the desktop on an unsanctioned device. We will not break the license agreements of our partners to support a use case that isn't marketable (i.e. you simply can not buy or legally run WoA on a device that it wasn't already installed on).

In any case, it's not terribly different to make a Windows OS boot vs. a Linux or BSD OS. If MS opens their licensing up, we'll be ready almost immediately.

Talk about alienating a pretty significant part of your customer base. If I knew there was hope of VMWare rejoining the rational world and putting out a product which would allow their loyal customers like me to continue running Windows (x86 or ARM) on newer Macs, I'd stick around and wait. 


Those concerns are on Apple for switching to ARM. It's not like that was our decision, we're just working within the legal and technical boundaries we have. I'm not sure what you were expecting to get by throwing stones by saying we a) don't care about our users, b) are acting irrationally. 


As it looks right now, I'll be moving to a new virtualization solution and bidding VMWare an unhappy farewell.

Which virtualization product exists that lets you legally run Windows on Arm on an Apple silicon device?
Which virtualization product emulates x86 Windows?

Folks can try to throw us under the bus like we don't care about our users all day and while it hurts me a bit personally, in the end these are Apple and Microsoft's decisions that we're working with here. We can't wave a magic wand and make the M1 chip behave like an x86 chip, because if we could we would.

 

-
Michael Roy - PM/PMM: Fusion & Workstation

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5 Replies
scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I believe it depends on whether Microsoft choose to make it legal for anyone else other than an OEM to own a license.

 

View solution in original post

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mlippold1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

While the ARM version of Windows 10 *may* work for some it may not work for others.   I think what they were referring to was the ability to emulate x86 on the M1 using Rosetta 2 or some other method.    I'd settle for VMWare just fixing Fusion 12 for my Intel iMac so I can upgrade to Big Sur and actually function on my Windows 10 machines that need VBS.   I've paid a premium for the professional VMWare product because I need TPM support but VMWare just doesn't work correctly with Big Sur when you have it enabled - The VMs are about 1/100th of the speed as they run while on Catalina. 

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Mikero
Community Manager
Community Manager

Scott's mostly right, it's entirely because you legally can't run a copy of Windows for Arm on anything but an OEM device. This includes Insider Previews, where the EULA clearly states you can only install it on a machines that already comes with WoA.

 


[...] Right now, all the PR I'm seeing from VMWare says, in essence, screw Windows.

Microsoft is a major partner of ours, and we're not taking the position of advocating to break their licenses. 
We have approached them on the topic of opening up their licensing, so the ball is entirely in their court.

 

even though x86 support works just fine with Rosetta 2?

Rosetta doesn't do virtualization, full stop. We would have to emulate the entire stack, and the experience would be ABSOLUTELY AWFUL.
We'd spend 2 years building it, and when it ships it'd be a) late to market, and b) awful to use. No one wants that.

 

Instead, VMWare is going to put all their efforts into supporting Linux. . . an OS which holds less than a 2% share of the desktop OS market.

It's not about desktops (tho running Linux desktops is great and I do it every day), it's about development and cloud (quick copy-pasta'd from https://hostingtribunal.com/blog/linux-statistics/)

  • In 2021, 100% of the world’s top 500 supercomputers run on Linux.
  • Out of the top 25 websites in the world, only 2 aren’t using Linux.
  • 96.3% of the world’s top 1 million servers run on Linux.
  • 90% of all cloud infrastructure operates on Linux and practically all the best cloud hosts use it.

Microsoft even added Linux GUI support to WSL this year. 

We build platforms for clouds to run on. Linux is what runs those clouds. Clouds of tomorrow will include Arm workloads and platforms.

 


And the argument about the engineering being too difficult doesn't hold water; Parallels did it, so obviously it can be done.

Parallels also did NOT build x86 emulation.
They are breaking the license agreement by even building drivers.
We think that's dishonest, and not how you should run a business. 
I am not prepared to open us up to C&Ds from a partner like Microsoft.

We could run Windows on Arm today if we wanted to, I've verified that it boots up just fine, but logging into the Desktop is an acceptance of the EULA, which is immediately broken by opening up the desktop on an unsanctioned device. We will not break the license agreements of our partners to support a use case that isn't marketable (i.e. you simply can not buy or legally run WoA on a device that it wasn't already installed on).

In any case, it's not terribly different to make a Windows OS boot vs. a Linux or BSD OS. If MS opens their licensing up, we'll be ready almost immediately.

Talk about alienating a pretty significant part of your customer base. If I knew there was hope of VMWare rejoining the rational world and putting out a product which would allow their loyal customers like me to continue running Windows (x86 or ARM) on newer Macs, I'd stick around and wait. 


Those concerns are on Apple for switching to ARM. It's not like that was our decision, we're just working within the legal and technical boundaries we have. I'm not sure what you were expecting to get by throwing stones by saying we a) don't care about our users, b) are acting irrationally. 


As it looks right now, I'll be moving to a new virtualization solution and bidding VMWare an unhappy farewell.

Which virtualization product exists that lets you legally run Windows on Arm on an Apple silicon device?
Which virtualization product emulates x86 Windows?

Folks can try to throw us under the bus like we don't care about our users all day and while it hurts me a bit personally, in the end these are Apple and Microsoft's decisions that we're working with here. We can't wave a magic wand and make the M1 chip behave like an x86 chip, because if we could we would.

 

-
Michael Roy - PM/PMM: Fusion & Workstation

View solution in original post

dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Well put Mike!

Microsoft either needs to open up the EULA, or enforce it with Parallels.

I was hoping that a WWDC announcement would be them on stage opening up Windows ARM for mac users...but now the best thing I suppose we can all do is to send feedback to Microsoft asking them to open up the EULA.

 

Or maybe Apple needs to become an OEM and sell it to us...hmmmm....

 

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SvenGus
Expert
Expert

It would be cool to have a Windows 11 (ARM version) that also permits virtualization and maybe even Boot Camp - why not? - on M1 Macs: it would be a quite logical decision, indeed. Let’s hope that reason and collaboration between Apple and Microsoft will prevail…

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