Will Parallels die when ARM takes over?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Tres Finocchiaro, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    I love Parallels. I favor it to any competing software for Desktop productivity (more than VirtualBox, VMware, KVM).

    But this wired article (which was similarly rumored back in 2014) which explains Apple's plans to switch Desktops to ARM A8 chips by 2020 has some merit:

    https://www.wired.com/story/apple-quitting-intel-processors/amp

    I hate to speculate but will ARM offer x86 emulation by then? This article about a joint venture between Microsoft and Qualcomm makes it seem like it's a possibility, if they can clear the legal implications:

    https://www.extremetech.com/computi...m-devices-will-run-x86-code-near-native-speed

    I'm a software developer and I use a Mac combined with Parallels virtualization for everything. I have dozens of VMs for various versions of Windows and Linux and they all work great. This news terrifies me.

    I wasn't a Mac user back in the PPC->Intel transition but I remember "universal" binaries still being a thing long after the transition. Worse, the very option of virtualization is going to die with the architecture switch unless we all decided to install Windows ARM and Linux ARM which seems less like a solution and more ike an exercise in denial. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  2. Michael@Parallels

    Michael@Parallels Parallels Support

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    Hi Tres,
    We develop our product in close connection to Apple, but we didn't receive such information. Anyway, if Apple decides to do some significant changes we should be aware of it in order to do the changes from our side to coincide. So, we assume there's no need to worry about it.
     
  3. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    We also develop cross platform and having Windows available via a VM increases our productivity. I'm surprised you say that you haven't received such information when this has been in the public domain for a while. Ok its speculation at the moment but entirely likely given the lates WWDC 2019 conference and bringing more power to the iPad with iPadOS. Having the same silicon across all Apple devices makes sense. It would be great to hear from Parallels about the potential impact of such a decision by Apple.
     
  4. TonyC2

    TonyC2 Bit Poster

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    Going off of Apple's previous transitions, there will be some sort of built-in macOS support for x64-based applications. (Remember Rosetta?) However, the chances of it supporting something as intense as hardware virtualization I feel is pretty slim.

    I feel your pain, though I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm terrified. First, remember your Mac will continue to work you just might not be able to upgrade to the latest versions of macOS or get the newest hardware. But it'll give you time to transition. Also, depending on your development environment you'll continue to have options even after the (possible) transition - VS Code, Visual Studio for Mac, Eclipse, NetBeans, Docker/SQL Server...

    Not sure why I would expect any other response from Parallels, the same group who always seems surprised when a new version of macOS arrives every year.
     
  5. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    A reputable analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, is stating the following:

    ... and a blogger @stroughtonsmith reacts with the following insight:


    Source: https://9to5mac.com/2020/02/24/appl...tel-processor-in-next-18-months-predicts-kuo/

    Some speculations place ARM at the lower-end of the power spectrum -- such as the MacBook Air -- meaning that many existing machines (such as the pro line) will take longer to adopt the new architecture. Source: https://www.macrumors.com/guide/arm-macs/

    In regards to compatibility, prior to 10.7, Apple had offered a PowerPC emulator to help transition...

    According to some Stack Overflow articles, the server license supported this past 10.7.

    Source: https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/a/876

    Meanwhile, Microsoft has released the Microsoft Surface X, and ARM powered tablet PC capable of running Intel x86 instructions through emulation (but NOT yet 64-bit)

    Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/porting/apps-on-arm-x86-emulation

    @TonyC2 perhaps "terrified" is the wrong word to use, but architectural hardware surprises can be tough to support. If Apple provides either a cross-compiler or an x86 emulator for ARM binaries (similar to how Microsoft has done with the Surface Pro X) then it won't be as painful to swallow, but I predict quite a bit of time before the ISVs to catch up. Perhaps running Windows 10 ARM will be the norm in a few years? :D
     
  6. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    Update! During today's Keynote, Apple showed Parallels still working on ARM using Rosetta 2 x86_64 emulation, so it'll work for a while. They say there's a two year transition period. Next, when can we get our hands on an "Apple Silicon" version of Parallels. :D
     
  7. bergy

    bergy

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    My fears were calmed by the keynote but not put to rest. We weren't sure if the Linux running in the keynote was an ARM-based version or not. It stuck out to me that they didn't ever say or show Windows during the virtualization piece (despite showing things like Office for Mac and talking about working closely with MS for the chipset transition). I'd really like to hear from Parallels if we're going to need to try and virtualize ARM versions of Windows/Linux or if they'll be taking advantage of Rosetta/the other virtualization features that were mentioned (but not detailed) and our existing VMs will travel along to ARM with us.
     
  8. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    As Mac Sur supports virtualisation and Windows now runs on Arm, will parallels be needed going forwards.
     
  9. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    > Mac Sur supports virtualisation

    It depends how good it is. I've used a lot of products over the years and Parallels is second to none. It has had better Guest Addon support, device support, sharing and performance than anything I've tried.

    Even if Apple's virtualization is good, the prospect of it replacing Parallels overnight is low. The fact that Apple demonstrated it during the keynote states that even Apple understands it's value.
     
  10. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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  11. toonetown

    toonetown Bit Poster

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    They demo-ed Parallels itself during the Platform State of the Union running on Apple Silicon natively using the macOS hypervisor.
     
  12. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    > We weren't sure if the Linux running in the keynote was an ARM-based version or not.

    How could it have been ARM Linux when Parallels isn't offered for ARM "Apple Silicon" yet. It was part of the "Hey, look at Rosetta 2" segment. The native segment mentioned Microsoft and Adobe.
     
  13. Maria@Parallels

    Maria@Parallels Parallels Team

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    Hello,
    Parallels is proud to be working closely with Apple during this exciting transition, and we're looking forward to launching support for future Macs with Apple Silicon. Please feel free to check this blog post for more details:https://www.parallels.com/blogs/apple-silicon-wwdc/ We sincerely look forward to sharing more information about Parallels Desktop's support for Mac with Apple Silicon in the future.
     
    anic297 and Tres Finocchiaro like this.
  14. MarcosG2

    MarcosG2 Bit Poster

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    Does Parallels intend to offer a free upgrade to the ARM version as soon as it is ready? I don't think it's fair to pay for Parallels Desktop 15 taken into account it's about to die within a few months. It will not be supported by Rosetta 2 as Apple recently announced.
     
  15. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    > Parallels Desktop 15 taken into account it's about to die within a few months.

    This is not correct. As Apple has announced, the transition period is two years.

    > It will not be supported by Rosetta 2 as Apple recently announced.

    Where did you see this?

    > I don't think it's fair to pay for Parallels Desktop 15

    (Opinion) Then don't buy it. That's how product sales work. Parallells is the best end-user VM experience I've ever used. It's worth much, much more than they charge for some people/organizations however they've historically charged for upgrades and I don't see this as being much different.
     
    MichaelE likes this.
  16. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    Apple has always allowed you to virtualize Windows on Mac...the problem is how FAST it does it. Back when Apple used PowerPC chips, you could run Windows XP on an Mac... but it ran so freaking slowly that it was useless.... and that will be the main issue now with the ARM chips... if Parallels find a way to run X86 versions of Windows under the new ARM chips at enough speed to be really usable for day to day work, then whey will be on something big.... but that is a HUGE if.... we will have to wait and see... in the mean time, I think the best advice for everyone that relies on virtualized Windows on Mac for their daily job (like me) is: it's time to upgrade your hardware and buy the newest Mac you can, so you may have 5+ years more to see what happens with parallels and the ARM chips, and decide what to do next.

    I myself would NEVER go back to use windows as host OS... if I can't keep using macs, then I would have to move to some Linux distro and VMWare or VirtualBox.
     
    Tres Finocchiaro likes this.
  17. Tres Finocchiaro

    Tres Finocchiaro Bit Poster

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    > the problem is how FAST it does it.

    I've been using x86 (32-bit) emulation on Windows 10 ARM and it's fantastic (The Surface Pro X). Apps install and run at near-native speeds including some video games.

    Windows on ARM doesn't support x86_64 (64-bit) yet. I'm excited to test how it all works on MacOS.
     
  18. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    Those are good news... I hope you are right. But the fact that they didn't show a virtualized Windows X86 doesn't look good, specially because they know that a lot of people are virtualizing Windows on Mac, and THAT is the ONLY REASON they could justify to buy a Mac in the first place.

     
  19. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    Running apps is fine, but developing under Visual Studio on ARM will not work. To compile and generate x86 code will require x86 instruction sets which will not exist under ARM. I do not see cross platform developers benefitting from the move to ARM
     
  20. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    Unfortunately, it seems that cross platform developers are such a small group inside Apple's traditional target users, that they don't even bother. They seems to believe (or want to enforce?) that guys that create apps for iPhone/MacOS DON'T create apps for Android/Windows. Unless this new ARM chips are so powerful to even be able to virtualize a modern x86 Windows, cross platform developers will have to have two computers or rent a virtual computer just to build their apps.

    In the past, this normally wasn't a problem because any company producing software for Mac and Windows would normally have TWO teams: one for Windows and one for Apple (using Macs)... but in that is not necessarily true these days.
     
  21. anic297

    anic297 Bit Poster

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    As far as I remember, the main problem with emulating Windows on PPC hardware was the fact that PPC was big-endian and Intel was little-endian (thus, each CPU instruction had to be translated (inverted) by the emulator, so you couldn't get half of the host's CPU speed in the Windows VM (at least twice instructions needed for one request)).
    I'm not an expert in deep CPU understanding; I'm wondering how similar would ARM vs Intel be against PPC vs Intel (as far as I know, both Intel and ARM are little-endian, so it's not the same problem as PPC vs Intel).
     

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