Microsoft releases new Windows 11 builds, confirms running on an Apple M1 'is not a supported scenario'

Old proverb: If Windows crashes on a Surface Pro X, will anyone see the bugcheck?


Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 on Apple's M1 is not "a supported scenario" for the OS that stands to bring so much joy to OEMs.

The confirmation was given to The Register by a Microsoft spokesperson as the super-corp unleashed an ad campaign for the Windows 11 operating system, due in less than a month, and continued tweaking the preview code for Windows Insiders via the Dev and Beta Channels.

We noted last week that a Windows 11 Virtual Machine running on an M1 Mac with Parallels Desktop 17 had begun throwing a hardware compatibility error on a Dev Channel Windows Insider build. It is a shame, since we found the performance more than acceptable.

However, in what a punster might call an Arms race [groan – ed.], Parallels has since emitted version 17.0.1 of its software, which seems to resolve the issue (for now, at least), allowing Windows 11 to run on M1 silicon.

Screenshot of the Windows 11 desktop

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The Reg asked Parallels what it had done to persuade the Windows 11 preview that all was well. It has yet to explain the trick. We asked Microsoft whether running Windows 11 on an M1 Mac in Parallels is supported, and were told it's an unsupported scenario. Running the OS directly on the hardware isn't supported, either.

(Instructions on how to run Windows 11 for Arm on Apple M1 Macs with Parallels can be found here.)

Away from the world of unsupported scenarios, Microsoft has churned out a new 60-second spot featuring the wonders of Windows 11, although strangely this does not include a shot of a customer having to drop a substantial amount of cash on new hardware having found Windows turning its nose up at their existing kit.

The company has also sought to make amends for last week's Insider release, which left some users with severely borked taskbars and Start Menus (stemming from what Microsoft delicately termed a "server-side deployment") with new builds.

Build 22000.184, aimed at Beta Channel and commercial PCs in the Release Preview Channel, was relatively light on changes, as one would hope with the release date for Windows 11 now less than a month away (although we still hold out hope that some of the more egregious user interface changes might yet be softened.)

However, a number of worrying known issues still remain, including bugchecks for some Surface Pro X (Microsoft's own Arm-based flagship) users and ongoing problems with disappearing taskbars and non-functional Start Menus.

Dev Channel users, with build 22454 available, also shared in the Pro X woes, but got many more changes, including the arrival of a modern context menu on the recycle bin and a variety of taskbar and settings fixes.

With general availability imminent, it is a bit of a worry to see bugchecks still cropping up as known issues. Then again, with Microsoft not supporting the scenario of Windows on Arm in a VM atop the Apple M1, if only Pro X users are impacted, will anyone really notice? ®

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