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    Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac

    JoelMussman Novice

      What will be the VMware response to the Bloomberg report that Apple is seriously looking at a move to ARM for the Mac product line? Where will that leave VMware Fusion? Will Fusion be revamped to pretend to be an Intel chip so intel-compiled software can run? Or will Fusion just go away and we will be back to the Mac of the 1980's?

       

      I realize that some folks may think this question a bit premature, but I would like to know the direction that VMware would plan on going if/when it happens.

        • 1. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
          UserOfVirtualMachines Novice

          I need to know the answer to this question as well.

           

          I am aware that VMware is virtualization, not emulation.

           

          However, I adopted Mac the day it became possible to run the other OSes and software I need, and I will have to un-adopt Mac the day it is no longer possible to do so.

           

          I don't trust Apple to provide some Rosetta emulation layer because they have a history of only supporting things for a short time and then cancelling it.

           

          So, VMware, what will it be?

          • 2. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
            JWPyle3 Lurker

            Just watched the Keynote.  Apple will be including Rosetta 2 for compatibility for x86 compatibility.  They also mentioned that the new MacOS 11.0 Big Sur supports virtualization for running other OS, Linux was mentioned.  In the demo of this they were using Parallels running on an A12 or A12X.  I'm really hoping Fusion works with it.

             

            Jim

            • 3. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
              dlhotka Virtuoso

              So there's a reason they showed linux and not windows - because linux runs on ARM processors.    There's a big difference from emulating a CPU for an application, and emulating it for a virtualization platform .  The latter could use Rosetta, but it's unclear how complete Rosetta is.

               

              To be fair,  Rosetta 2 performance was impressive, but note they said it was running the game at 1080p (with no mention of fps)...which isn't bad, but isn't great.

               

              Apple declares hardware vintage 5 years after they were last sold - that's for hardware maintenance, but it's a decent benchmark for the long end.    The original Rosetta lasted from 2006-2011, so that fits with the 5 year timeframe too, though they only did biannual releases back then.  They said a 2 year transition period, so figure that the last intel macs will be sold in late 2022.  Even though they don't use Rosetta, that's still all intel support, so figure 2027 is the drop-dead date barring magic from Fusion.

               

              Those include high-end applications that have a large windows, and small mac user base which are unlikely to port to ARM, so those will be lost.  I think it's the death-knell of mac gaming (which was on life support anyway) - we'll get iPad games, but that's hardly the same as what we can do now.  There's a lot of niche application I use that are only on windows - everything from processing lithophanes to tagging media, and most surprising, TurboTax for Business, which is windows only.  Cloud's not an option for those kinds of things.

               

              We'll just have to wait for the Fusion team to post their thoughts (if they can).  I'm sure this wasn't a surprise, so they probably have some skeleton of a strategy, and I have hope that they'll yet again pull a rabbit out of their hat.

              • 4. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                UserOfVirtualMachines Novice

                Like I said before, I don't trust Apple and their Rosetta 2 because based on their history it will only exist for a limited time. I require several software packages from early 2000s which are irreplaceable. That is because my company provides support for infrastructure equipment that needs to continue functioning for decades. Longevity is crucial. I cannot rely on Apple to provide "Rosetta 2" for 5 years and then cancel it because it's not important to them anymore. This is why I am a VMware customer. Of course, if VMware doesn't care, then I will need to find another solution.

                • 5. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                  MrIon Lurker

                  Forget using VMWare for Windows - what about those of us who need to virtualize older versions of OS X as Apple dropped support for 32-bit applications?

                   

                  This sucked when we went from PPC to Intel, it will probably suck this time too...  Hope the VMWare guys have something good to say soon!

                  • 6. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                    john.ahrends Lurker

                    Has anyone tried Fusion on Mac OS 11.0????

                     

                    None of my VMs start... it claims there is not enough Physical RAM.  No matter how much RAM I try...

                    • 8. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                      daphnissov Guru
                      vExpertCommunity Warriors

                      For others rushing to this thread, please don't expect support from a literally brand new OS until the next release of Fusion. If you're surprised and disappointed the existing version doesn't work, don't be.

                      • 9. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                        Leica Novice

                        Why don't you try the new Fusion Preview? I assume that will be Version 12 of Fusion when released.

                        • 10. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                          jahrends Lurker

                          hahaha.... That is hilarious.

                           

                          Considering Parallels supports it.

                           

                          It has been the same old song and dance since 1998...

                           

                          It's not a hard question.  It is VMware that is saying that it does not have enough physical ram... but when you look at the logs it sees there is sufficient ram.  Just looking for a fix... I miss the VMware workstation days with linux... The community would have had a fix already.

                           

                          VMware is bigger than Parallels and should have been on the ball ahead of them.

                          • 11. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                            RDPetruska Guru
                            User ModeratorsvExpert

                            Like I said before, I don't trust Apple and their Rosetta 2 because based on their history it will only exist for a limited time. I require several software packages from early 2000s which are irreplaceable. That is because my company provides support for infrastructure equipment that needs to continue functioning for decades. Longevity is crucial. I cannot rely on Apple to provide "Rosetta 2" for 5 years and then cancel it because it's not important to them anymore.

                            I see this as proof yet again of Apple's disdain for their customers and for actually gaining market share.  Since their inception, they have been against clones and third party hardware/software.  They have always charged far more than what their product is worth.  And they change strategies constantly.  When they moved from Motorola to Intel chips several years back, it opened up the market to users, albeit with the Hackintosh community - but it widened their user base.  And in theory, made production cheaper for Apple.  Of course, they didn't pass those savings along to their customers - still charge a premium price for an average product.  But nevertheless, again just proof of their arrogance and their lack of care for any long term customers.  THIS is why a majority of folks out there HATE Apple!

                             

                            This is why I am a VMware customer. Of course, if VMware doesn't care, then I will need to find another solution.

                            I don't think it will be a matter of "VMware doesn't care".  If Apple changes their CPU chips again, there's not much anyone can do - VMware has always been about *virtualization*, NOT *emulation*.

                            • 12. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                              wila Guru
                              Community WarriorsvExpertUser Moderators

                              Hey Rob,

                               

                              Let's keep it technical OK?

                               

                              The good news on "Apple on Arm" is that VMware actually has a Proof of concept (vSphere on Arm) running.

                              Of course that's not on macOS, but they have already proven that they _can_ do it.

                               

                              --

                              Wil

                              | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                              | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                              | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                              | Twitter @wilva
                              | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
                              • 13. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                                UserOfVirtualMachines Novice

                                Because of all the reasons discussed so far, it is very important that VMware make a statement as to what their plans are moving forward.

                                 

                                I recognize that VMware has historically been virtualization, not emulation. However, there is a shifting landscape in terms of computer architectures, yet those of us who rely on legacy x86 software, each of us for our own reasons, need to know that there is a long term plan to continue supporting us.

                                 

                                So, VMware, what will it be?

                                 

                                Will it be: VMware will provide a rock-solid, long-term, viable solution to continue running our x86 operating systems moving forward?

                                 

                                Or will it be: So long and nice knowing you?

                                • 14. Re: Bloomberg: Apple looking at moving to ARM chips for Mac
                                  dlhotka Virtuoso

                                  Yup, I have zero doubt that Fusion will run on ARM.  The question will be, can it run Windows (intel version) on ARM leveraging Rosetta or some other emulation technology.

                                   

                                  To some of the other comments above:  We likely have 5 years (at least) before this becomes a critical problem.  None of the machines or software we have today have magically stopped working, nor will they stop working for the foreseeable future.  There's time to figure this out.

                                   

                                  And a reminder - VMWare is a publicly traded company, so they have restrictions on what they are able to share.  We will know in due course, and certainly by when Big Sur is released.  That still gives us years before it becomes a serious issue.

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