Will Parallels die when ARM takes over?

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

  1. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    As far as I know, ARM processors are both big-endian and RISC based (X86 processors are CISC based). This means that, besides loosing time adjusting the endian for each instruction, the ARM processor could need to use multiple RISC instructions to handle one CISC instruction (as you, I am not expert on deep CPU design, so I hope I am not saying anything too stupid LOL). Result: SLOOOOOOW.
     
  2. anic297

    anic297 Bit Poster

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    Your answer is great for my understanding, thank you.
    Therefore, even if Parallels get a way to continue emulating Windows on Macs, it won't be amazing anyway. Simple maths would imply the emulated speed would be 1/4 of the host (1/2 for endianness conversion and another 1/2 for the instruction mapping).
    I really hope ARM will be 13 GHz speed-capable so we can have a Windows running at 3 GHz as a result. My dream...
     
  3. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    We will have to wait and see. Someone said earlier in this thread that he had experience emulating a x86 Windows on a Windows Surface running on an ARM processor, and that the experience was awesome... that's a ray of hope for me, at least.
     
  4. anic297

    anic297 Bit Poster

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    Yes, I think I read this post (quickly, as reading all the posts took some time...).
    I'm yet to be convinced it wasn't just simple things, like starting a fresh OS and shutting it down from the login window (not doubting to what the poster said, but do we have enough details to the complexity of the attempt?).
     
  5. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    No, that's why I say we would have to wait and see... and hope :)
     
  6. anic297

    anic297 Bit Poster

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    Praying is the last ressort...
     
  7. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    On the basis that Windows will natively run on ARM but Apple are dumping Boot Camp, we still need Parallels in order to run Windows. This then begs the question why bother. If the main application providers like Adobe and Microsoft port their products to ARM i.e. Office and Adobe CC why would you need Windows anyway. If you need to run special apps then buy an Intel laptop. The benefit for me was the ability to do cross platform development OSX, iOS, Android and Visual Studio for Windows applications. This capability looks to be dead in the water because of the requirement for x86 support for compiling apps. If the senior managers and bosses still want the look and feel of the MAC then they can continue to run the important applications straight on ARM as they have done in the past with Office on Intel. The only issue I see their Admin guys getting the MAC to work nicely on the domain networks without having Windows to fall back on.
     
  8. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    Apparently Mac's are a favourite amongst Microsoft employees, I guess that is likely to change.
     
  9. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    Is more complicated than that. If it were only because Office or Adobe, then you are right. But I work with OTHER MS-Only technologies, like Visual FoxPro or SQL Server, that won't be ported to Windows ARM any time soon or ever (like the case of VFP). More than half of my incomes today comes from maintaining of creating new features for VFP-based software. Back before Mac moved to Intel, my main computer was a Windows laptop and I had to spend 1-2 weeks EVERY YEAR in formatting and resintalling everything from zero just to get a decent performance again (because of Windows degradation ) and the eternal fight against viruses. And that usually came only after months of performance getting worst and worst.

    Then en 2007 I made the jump o Mac as main computer, using MacOS as host OS and a virtualized Windows... and all my virus and performance degradation were GONE. I won't go back to Windows host EVER. Even If I can't use MacOS anymore as a host OS, I prefer to move to Linux before going back to the Windows hell.
     
  10. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    I only mentioned Adobe and Office as an example of applications to run natively on ARM after the transition. I agree there is far more to it as I also run SQL Server, Visual Studio, MySQL etc. My feeling is that this is going to be a bigger issue than Apple think it is and the move to ARM particularly in the development field will have huge impact. People choose Apple for a specific reason, stability and performance. It appears Apple have ignored this market in the move to ARM.
     
  11. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    Totally!! But, as I said, we have never been in Apple's target user groups. We came to existence because the move to Intel and most likely will cease to exists because the same reason. If so, I can only say: it was good while it lasted. :)
     
    MrWrighty likes this.
  12. DionH1

    DionH1 Bit Poster

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    Thanks all for your comments. To me, I look at it as a similar question to Boot Camp vs. Parallels. Surely Boot Camp would always run Windows faster because the Mac isn't doing anything but running Windows. Parallels is virtualizing, but doing so in the same "language" (instruction set) so it can do so pretty quickly. For my use, it's good enough.

    Like others, I moved to Mac because of Intel processors, one of the best decisions the company made. And I do think they're going in the wrong direction with switching to ARM. At this point, I'm willing to be open-minded, but rock solid virtualization of at least x86 Windows apps is likely to be a line in the sand for me. Just don't know what the alternative would be.
     
  13. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    It looks like any chance of doing serious development work with Windows on ARM is dead. I'm not looking forwards to going back to a Windows device to have to continue my development work. Ok so we are a small market but a market nevertheless. I certainly don't want to be carrying 2 laptops around to be able to continue my development roles between work and home. I may consider running a machine in the office that I can remote to from home. I don't particularly want to invest in Azure VM as it's not cost effective for us. It saddens me that this flexibility from Apple will all but disappear for anything other than non critical use. Yeah run Office and Adobe and whatever else will be native to ARM but forget doing anything serious from a windows dev aspect.
     
  14. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    For me would be some distro of Linux and a virtualized Windows, either with VirtualBox or VMWare. I tried ElementaryOS in the past and found it very user friendly. People of System76 now offers their own Linux distro called PopOS and its supposed to be very friendly also (both of them are based on Ubuntu).
     
  15. MrWrighty

    MrWrighty Bit Poster

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    Dont disagree here, but it still means an additional devices over and above the MAC to be able to run Windows. If you are running Linux on Intel why not just run Windows directly.
     
  16. VictorE

    VictorE Bit Poster

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    Because there won't be any more Intel version of MacOS in the future. If I have or buy a 2010 or newer Mac, I probable would be able to update to the last Intel-base version of MacOS. After that, I may remain operative for 5, 6 or even 10 years using that same hardware and MacOS... for me, that could be a valid option because I don't see my self programming for more than 5 years more... but for younger folks, after that time they will have to move away not only from Apple hardware but from MacOS itself.

    If they don't create iOS apps, then my suggestion of a Linux based PC would be the best option. If you need to generate iOS or MacOS apps, then you will either have to buy a new ARM based Mac or rent one online just to build.
     
  17. DionH1

    DionH1 Bit Poster

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    I'm not a Linux hater - I maintain an Unbuntu VM and have a Digital Ocean droplet for some other things. In fact, I spend quite a bit of time on my Mac in bash (well I guess zsh now). Just for my regular computing, I like things to just work - consistently. And generally, that makes me a big fan of commercial software. I like using Microsoft Office instead of LibreOffice. I like Lightroom over GIMP.

    For the record, I think that's the single greatest thing that Apple did right. MacOS/OSX is BSD based. Rock-solid security, but more importantly THEY GOT PEOPLE TO WRITE SOFTWARE FOR IT. Don't get me wrong - we're occasionally treated like second class citizens (Mac Office still doesn't have feature parity with Windows), but it's not bad. Parellels is not something I go into every day. But when I do, it's because I need real live Windows compatibility.

    I had Windows Phones for years -- been there, done that. I know what "Windows for ARM" means. That's not likely going to work with my government travel software or a game I want to play from back in the day. If I go to Linux, then I'll have to go into a VM just to run my Bible software or a spreadsheet that uses VBA.

    Guess it's a reminder that the industry really needs a commercial competitor to Windows. Used to think that was OSX, but for years it's been part of Apple's personality - they really think they know better what you need than you do. All well...
     
  18. SamB11

    SamB11 Bit Poster

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    This has been on my mind a lot too. I'm very excited to see what Apple do with these new CPUs, and how their computers might change in terms of form factor and the OS in performance. I'm a game developer but I love to use MacOS. Proud owner of a 2017 5K iMac and I think it makes my work just so much more enjoyable. Generally I can use macOS for almost everything except to deploy to any of the 3 major consoles, you need Windows (in Boot Camp or on another machine if you want to use the Ethernet). I also tend to have Parallels around for any old Windows-only programs I used to use, for if I need to load up any of my much older software for updates and things.

    It's slowly become a less optimal solution for me anyway, but what I started doing was keeping a Windows laptop around for those few tasks and having the computers network together to share files. For a lot of Mac users who need Windows here and there for a few programs, it seems to me like this is where they'll have to go in the future (that or just switch to a Windows machine but that doesn't sound like the best solution either).

    The guys at Apple did say that they intend to release a few more Intel machines still, and in my experience a Mac tends to last me a good 4-5 years before it needs an upgrade, so I think there's time for a better solution to come along. These are the possibilities that come to mind for me:

    1. By the time the last Intel Macs are too old and slow to use, maybe there will be an ARM chip powerful enough to virtualise x86 relatively smoothly?
    2. Microsoft may release Windows 10 ARM to the public allowing it to run in Parallels and for Apple to potentially bring back Boot Camp. Windows 10 ARM does include x86 emulation but it's a work in progress, might be in good shape by the time the last Intel Macs are outdated.
    3. Parallels or some other company come up with a way to remotely control and interact with a physical Windows computer over the network, using hardware to create the Parallels experience. Not ideal for laptops but cool for iMacs.
    4. Maybe some sort of Remote Desktop support; access a Windows computer remotely over the internet.

    It's definitely going to be a transitional period, but I bet Parallels are working on some kind of plan.
     
  19. BertrandP

    BertrandP Bit Poster

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    There is no need to have the instruction sets on your computer to build for an architecture, this is called cross-compiling, and this is what XCode do on our Intel Macs to build apps for iOS devices and now Apple Silicon macs.
    And this is what Visual Studio do on devices running x86 Windows to build UWP applications for arm64, which you can then test (even debug remotely) on a Windows ARM device.

    I don't know if Visual Studio can already run natively on Windows ARM, but there is no reason Microsoft couldn't do it, and Visual Studio on ARM64 then will also be able to cross-compile to x86/x86_64, and to run the x86 build you can do it through the integrated x86 emulator for the 32 bits build, and on real x86_64 device for the 64 bits build (even debugging remotely), and directly when the x86_64 emulation is ready (in 2021).
     
  20. BertrandP

    BertrandP Bit Poster

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    There is no need to wait for Microsoft to release public versions of Windows 10 ARM for running it through Parallels. Microsoft already sell OEM licenses.

    A virtual machine editor can buy an OEM license, as it's a kind of (virtual) PC maker, and then sell bundles of its virtualization software with Windows 10 ARM, being considered as "unique hardware" for Windows 10 is just a matter of emulation (the virtual software can emulate a CPU is and motherboard id, unique for each customer).

    And considering the market potential of supporting Windows 10 ARM on Apple Silicon Macs for virtualisation solution makers, I'm betting that they will offer it as soon as possible (they may wait for x86_64 émulation support inside Windows 10 ARM though), even if it requires for them to get OEM licenses and bundle it.
     

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