#Fail: VMware Fusion For M1 Macs Beta Announced With No Windows Support

I’m a big fan of VMware Fusion as that’s my go to for running virtual machines on my Mac. As you can see, my review of it was very positive. But as I prepare to migrate from my Intel based MacBook Pro to a presumably M1X based MacBook Pro when those appear later this year, it appears that I will likely not be running VMware Fusion. VMware announced yesterday that VMWare Fusion will be coming to M1 Macs with the first beta release compatible with Apple Silicon. But it’s a closed beta that you need to apply for via an online form. A public beta release will be available in about two weeks, which could mean that the official release might come by the end of this year. This news was announced by Michael Roy who manages the VMware Fusion and Workstation product lines via Twitter:

But there is one significant catch. VMware Fusion will not provide support for running Windows virtual machines on Apple Silicon Macs. This is because Microsoft does not sell official licenses to allow you to run Windows 10 ARM on Mac. And to make matters worse, VMware isn’t making drivers and VMware tools software available to allow users to “roll their own” Windows VMs. This was confirmed via another Tweet:

Here’s the problem with this. Parallels has M1 support and allows you to run Windows, and Parallels uses the beta ARM version of Windows to do this. While going this route may bring some legal issues, it is supported. And clearly Parallels isn’t afraid of Microsoft smacking them silly the way that VMware appears to be:

If VMware decides not to bring support for Windows to Fusion and work out something with Microsoft, you can expect a massive defection to Parallels who either have worked out a deal with Microsoft, or simply don’t care. And I will be among them as I need the ability to run Windows 10 and occasionally Windows 7 virtual machines to troubleshoot customer issues and test things like malware in ways that are risk free.

Now maybe VMware has some grand plan to bring Windows support to a future beta. They haven’t said that. But I hope so. Because even though VMware is the gold standard for virtual machines, they don’t currently have a solution for myself and others. And it will end up costing VMware.

Your move VMware.

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