Windows 10 - what is the impact of being restricted to ARM ?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Apple Silicon (M1) Mac' started by PhilipP8, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. PhilipP8

    PhilipP8 Bit Poster

    I recently bought Parallels Desktop and a Windows 10 license (2-3 months before M1 shipped, based on the promises from Parallels that their product was fully Big Sur and future "ready"), because I am a developer of Excel VBA applications and wanted to be able to test them cross-platform.

    Aside from the frustration of being put "out of work" for so long by Parallels because they ignored to communicate to their users that the software was M1 incompatible BEFORE the M1 shipped, I now have to learn that only the ARM version of Windows will run on Parallels Desktop, and that existing VM from my previous mac won't work.

    So not only will I have to rebuild the VM, I also have to start figuring out if ARM is in any shape or form going to reduce the compatibility ... (I'm not a Windows expert, so how can I find out if my MS Office 365 apps will work with FULL compatibility with the x86 version on the VM ?)

    As it seems that Parallels is leaving the guess work to their paying customers, I'm hoping that someone here can help me understand what's what before I move over to the M1 copy of Parallels ... or start looking for alternative virtualisation software from competitors.

    Any advice will be appreciated.


  2. superpenguin612

    superpenguin612 Bit Poster

    The M1 was an ARM-based processor, unlike the x86-based Intel processors in previous Macs. I wouldn't say that it's necessarily Parallels' fault for this misunderstanding. The MS Office 365 apps have been updated for Windows on ARM, and any 32-bit apps will run. 64-bit apps are currently being tested in the developer channel.
  3. PhilipP8

    PhilipP8 Bit Poster

    Thanks, superpenguin612. Not that I want to point fingers, but saying Parallels is not at fault in this misunderstanding would be like saying that a car manufacturer who decides to change their engine to only run on high octane fuel would forget informing their customers that low octane won't work anymore and then blame the fuel delivery company for low octane not working ... it's all a matter of WANTING to communicate clearly, comprehensively and transparently to your customers ... which has been / is still lacking on Parallels side ... not everyone is a processor architecture guru or an OS master ... some of us buy the product to run Windows on it and just need to know which version of Windows and which type of apps will run and which won't. I'll give it a try this weekend, but am not very optimistic based on what I saw in terms of communications from Parallels on their blogs and their mails the past 5 weeks ...
  4. HaraldSt

    HaraldSt Bit Poster

    I am using the Developer Channel and what I have tried seems to work pretty well. It does not feel much different and is very responsive on the M1.
  5. Garden City Nick

    Garden City Nick Bit Poster

    Hi Philip, I completely get your annoyance and frustrations, its a general ages old problem with IT where if you use tech you should automatically know everything about it.

    The thing with Windows 10 Arm version is its only available on Microsofts own tablets with an Arm chip and has never been or likely to be commercially available as a standalone version. You have to use an evaluation copy which is not even supported my Microsoft, which I have tried on the current Parallels tech preview 2 and is still very choppy and laggy compared to Parallels on an Intel Mac, even my late 2013 intel Mac flies on Windows 10 and makes the M1 feel like an old Win95 machine from 1997

    No one knows when and if Windows 10 Arm will be commercially available, Microsoft are keeping quiet and won't commit to anything, so right now us M1 owners will have to put up with tech previews unfortunately.
  6. ConnectixSoldOut

    ConnectixSoldOut Bit Poster

    This isn't a Parallels "problem". ARM Mac = ARM VMs. Blame Apple that you can't run x86 VMs. I'm sure Parallels is doing their best to try and allow x86 VMs to work, but it remains to be seen how feasible this is. They're stuck with whatever virtualization API Apple has exposed.. I suspect the performance penalty will be severe and probably rely on some sort of Rosetta help. Apple yanked Rosetta out of the Intel OSX after a couple of years, I suspect they'll do the same thing here... so, guess we'll all wait and see.
  7. ChrisW38

    ChrisW38 Bit Poster

    I have found after some early issues, the current build of Parallels and Windows provide excellent performance and reliability. Office 365 works fine and the windows apps are fine. I have used parallels on both my Intel MacBook Pro and now my M1 MacBook, and found the ARM version quicker and more reliable. I agree it would be better to get some concrete direction on the future of ARM windows but currently as an insider the preview versions are working well for me.
    Garden City Nick and BobW11 like this.
  8. stufried

    stufried Bit Poster

    I find the performance excellent. Third party printer drivers have been where I've run into compatibility issues. This includes printer drivers designed to make PDFs and other virtual printer drivers.
  9. ParallelsU569

    ParallelsU569 Bit Poster

    I agree, I have been running parallels for Apple M1 for several months now and it is much more responsive than Parallels on my intel Mac Pro. Every app I have seems to work quit well and very responsive. Even though the Windows Arm Insider review version is still being developed, I am using it as my windows daily driver with no issues to date.
  10. kundanno

    kundanno Kilo Poster

    Windows Build 21359 has some really good improvements: it recognizes Apple Silicon (could be because of Parallels tools in 16.5). It supports Microsoft Teams. And all x64 emulation appears to work well.
  11. darth_jiyo

    darth_jiyo Bit Poster

    Hi PhilipP8!
    Im an EXCEL VBA developer too. Did you ever get to try it out on your M1 MAC using Parallels???
    As Ive researched on the internet, the latest version of Parallels does support the M1 Mac already and it also supports VM Windows 10 ARM verison(WindowsInsidersPreview Only). Im planning to get the M1 Macs and i would appreciate the heads-up if EXCEL VBA (macros) development is just the same as the regular WINDOWS x86. Thanks!
  12. AlexanderA2

    AlexanderA2 Bit Poster

    I was excited for a bit until I ran into some issues with Excel VBA in Parallels on the Win 10 preview and latest Office. Strange stuff, like "ThisWorkbook" object being empty when it shouldn't be, so throws an error (works fine on my Intel MacBook Pro, same code). I haven't debugged / researched enough to figure out what's up and if there are workarounds, but saw a few folks comment that VBA is buggy on M1. Seems, unfortunately, M1 does not yet completely replace Intel in this regard. Hopefully, soon. If you run into any issues and find solutions, please post references here. I'll do the same.

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