In the absence of Boot Camp, how do you find a Windows app on your shiny new Mac ARM? With CrossOver 20, CodeWeaver may have the solution.
On new Macs with the M1 chip, it is possible to run applications designed for both ARM and Intel. With Rosetta 2, Apple offers to automatically translate x86 software instructions to its M1 chip. However, this is of course not true for Windows applications.
Shortly after the conference WWDC, held by Apple in June, application editors received a development kit in the form of a Mac Mini. Equipped with the A12Z chip of the iPad Pro, the machine was running under an experimental version of macOS Big Sur. A system scan revealed one major missing: the Boot Camp utility.
No Boot Camp on Macs with M1 chip
Boot Camp allows you to create a partition and install Windows in it. When Microsoft’s system is configured, the user can choose which OS to boot the machine to and determine which one to boot by default. Apple and Microsoft have confirmed that it is not possible to install Windows on these new Macs.
In the absence of Boot Camp, it is therefore necessary to turn to a virtualization solution. And the first is already available.
CrossOver 20 enters the dance
The CodeWeaver editor ad indeed a new version of CrossOver. Based on the open source Wine project, CrossOver allows running Windows apps on macOS, Linux and even ChromeOS. CrossOver 20 is now compatible with the M1 chip.
However, unlike VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop, CrossOver allows the user to run Windows applications without having to install the entire Microsoft operating system.
It’s thanks to the platform Rosetta 2 that the developers were able to emulate the x86 files. More precisely, as reported 9to5Mac, it would be necessary to install the beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.1, which fixes some bugs within the emulation platform.
A rather successful first attempt
If we believe the first returns, running Mac x86 applications on ARM Macs would be particularly well implemented and would not present major issues. It remains to be seen what will happen to Windows executable files.
Above a game play by Team Fortress 2 for Windows emulated via CrossOver on a new MacBook Air. There are certainly a few hang-ups on this resource-intensive game, but less than six months after the first information on the M1 chip, the results are already very promising.