Microsoft has officially authorized Parallels Desktop versions 18 and 19 for running the ARM version of Windows 11, as well as Windows 11 Enterprise, on Macs equipped with Apple's M1, M2, and the latest M3 processors. The announcement positions Parallels Desktop as a key solution for users intending to run the Windows operating system within a virtual environment on their Macs.
Virtualization with Limitations
While Parallels Desktop enables a robust feature set, allowing access to multimedia technologies, hardware acceleration, and DirectX 12 support, the absence of nested virtualization results in particular capabilities being inaccessible. Among these are the Windows Subsystem for Android and Windows Subsystem for Linux, Windows Sandbox, and Virtualization-based Security (VBS). Users requiring these features may have to consider Windows 365 or opt for a dedicated device that runs Windows 11 natively.
Software Availability and Pricing
Parallels Desktop 19, the latest version, is available for Mac users at an annual price of $99.99 for the standard edition, with a Pro edition provided at $119.99. A current promotional offer on Amazon presents the Pro edition at a 25% discount. As an authorized software for running Windows 11 ARM on Apple computers, Parallels Desktop opens the door for diverse users to embrace the flexibility of virtualization, despite the recent cessation of support for 32-bit Windows apps specific to ARM by Microsoft. Apple, having already abandoned 32-bit app support in previous iterations of macOS, is unaffected by this change.