Microsoft and Qualcomm’s exclusive deal could be why there’s no official support for Windows 11 on ARM-based Macs

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Microsoft and Qualcomm’s exclusive deal could be why there’s no official support for Windows 11 on ARM-based Macs
Apple's ARM-based Macs don't have official support for Windows, and an exclusive deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm could be the reason why.Unsplash
  • Microsoft and Qualcomm reportedly have an exclusive deal for Windows on ARM PCs.
  • This deal is believed to be the reason why Apple’s ARM-based Macs don’t support Windows.
  • But this deal is reportedly set to expire soon which could mean Windows on ARM-based Macs.
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Apple’s Intel-based Macs have been able to run Windows but Microsoft hasn’t made a version of Windows 11 for the ARM-based M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max Macs. The reason behind this could be due to an exclusive deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm, according to a report by XDA.

Microsoft and Qualcomm announced Windows on ARM back in 2016. The report added that because of this exclusive deal, Microsoft has been making Windows available on ARM PCs and laptops with Qualcomm SoC’s. But this deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm is reportedly going to expire soon which means that other chipmakers like MediaTek and even Apple would be able to develop Windows for ARM-based devices. This would also bring more competition for Qualcomm from other chip makers that will develop Windows for ARM PCs.

Apple Macs run on macOS but these devices can run Windows 10 too with Boot Camp Assistant. Users can then switch between macOS or Windows 10 on their Mac PCs and laptops. But this isn’t possible on the newer Macs with Apple silicon ARM-based chips.

There’s no date confirmed for when the deal will expire but it’s expected to happen soon. This doesn’t necessarily confirm the reason behind why there’s no official support for Windows on the new Macs but it’s believed to be so. There is one way for Apple’s M1 Macs to run Windows and this is through Parallels Desktop 16.5. This lets you run Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 and 11 for ARM devices.

There are reports of other chip makers like MediaTek planning to build a chipset for Windows on ARM. Samsung is also reportedly working on a new laptop with its in-house Exynos processors based on ARM architecture. So we could soon start seeing Windows on more ARM PCs with chipsets other than Qualcomm.

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