In preparation for an ARM Mac - Excel/Parallels

Since this is going to happen anyway, eventually, I figured I would bit the bullet and give it a try.

I use Excel for Windows, running with Parallels. I currently have a couple of months left on my subscription to Parallels. Given the fact that Windows will probably be a no-go on the new Macs, I installed the Mac version, and figured I would give it a try, and see if I am OK.

I am hoping that I don’t miss PowerQuerry and some of the other features that badly.

Anyone else making similar preperations?


I may go one step further, and use this transition to look again at the Mac offerings, and see if I can put up with Numbers instead.

I didn’t think Power Query was missing from Mac anymore. Also, I can’t see any scenario where Office 365 isn’t at full parity if Windows emulation goes away (which I also don’t think will happen.) Experimentation is always good though.

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Microsoft has not released an ARM-compatible build of Windows that consumers can purchase (only on one or two Surface devices which haven’t done terribly well on the market), and there is presently no way to run Windows x86 apps on Windows ARM builds.

Maybe .NET Core apps will run on both x86 and ARM versions of Windows. I don’t know. But there aren’t many of those yet.

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Throw in checking out LibreOffice or OpenOffice Either one is much more compatible with Excel than Numbers is and both are free. I can do more in LibreOffice than I could in Excel even to still reading old formats current Office does not support.

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CraigW, I’m holding out for Parallels being able to still run windows x86. They did show Parallels during the keynote running on an Apple Silicon Mac. What I have been reading is that bootcamp will be a thing of the past. And Apple talked about virtualization. I’ve started to look at alternatives for my windows based software.

Looks like slowly but surely the power query tools are making its way to the Mac for Office365 customers

Don’t. Parallels hasn’t said they intend to create x86 emulation on Apple Silicon. Aside from technical difficulties there are licensing complexities (Microsoft refuses to sell Windows/x86 for consumer use to non-OEMs using non-X86 processors) as well.

It’s vitally important for Microsoft’s nascent WindowsOnARM machines to have x86 software to run, but despite its being a major priority and Microsoft throwing huge amounts of talent at it, their emulation is dog-slow and the resulting machines are underwhelming.

Could Parallels beat the years of work Microsoft has put in? Look at it this way: it’s highly doubtful Microsoft would tolerate even the possibility that faster Windows will result from licensing x86 Windows to another ARM-based OS when they’re trying to build their own ARM-based hardware and OS-licensing to OEMs.

Anyway, if Microsoft ever wanted the licensing fees for Windows on Apple Silicon, they could make more $$ per-seat compared to OEM licensing by building a version of WOA that runs directly on Hyperkit on the Mac without going through the additional layer VMWare or Parallels or whatever would need to impose. And in doing so they’d eviscerate any efforts VMware/Parallels might have made there.

Parallels was shown running an ARM distro of Debian Linux, not x86. No promises or even hints of running anything other than ARM_OS virtualization.

Bowline, thanks for the details. I figured the demo was an ARM based distro but I wasn’t sure. I have a 2012 iMac on Mohave (for 32 bit apps) that I may move my Parallels VMs to. I don’t do a lot on Windows but I would like to be able to launch it when I need to.

Also, it’s been a little disappointing that we haven’t heard anything out of the Vmware or Parallels about anything. I know companies don’t like to pre-announce anything.

I’ve been a Mac user since the Mac Plus and the previous chip migrations have worked well for me. I hoping this one will be as well. It’s just a matter determining how to do what I do today with the new hardware.

I think that at this point the vast majority of people will be served by using emulated Intel/macOS apps, including Windows productivity apps, under Rosetta2.

It would be a good time to determine what things you need Windows for, to see what the alternatives are.

On a different thread you wrote that most of what you needed could be done on an iPad, so given that Apple Silicon Macs will run iPad apps transparently (and automatically available, unless the dev restricts them in the App Store) you may find that you’’ have what you need with ARM-based hardware.

Bowline, I’m a digital hoarder and a little lazy. :slight_smile: I most of what I had windows for, is the option if I need software that is only available on the Windows platform that I have it available. I probably don’t “really” need windows for anything. When I put Catalina on my MBP I had to move the Harmony remote software to windows as I couldn’t find a 64-bit version. My iMac 2012 now has an internal SSD so it is usable. It’s on Mojave so I can load the software there now.

Bowline, on a separate but related issue. Do you think Crossover for Mac by Codeweavers will work at some point? I’m expecting that they are going to have a lot of work to do as well.

After Apple’s announcement but before receiving the Mac mini dev kit, Anna Lasky from Codeweavers wrote, “Bottom line is, we believe CrossOver should work with the new hardware. We obviously have not gotten a chance to test it yet, so we do not know anything about the potential performance impact etc. Here’s to hoping it is not too interesting”

Buy it with Windows Pro instead of Windows Home; then you can run it headless and connect to it with Microsoft’s Mac RDP client. With spaces on the Mac it makes for a nice solution and I find it nicer than VNC or a Teamviewer type solution. My iMac sits in my office upstairs and I have a running PC tucked away in the basement.


I hadn’t thought about Codeweavers in years. As I understand it, Microsoft wrote WOA specifically for the Snapdragon SoC. This will be “interesting” to follow.

From this Microsoft page:

Originally Windows 10 (as distinguished from Windows 10 Mobile) could run only on PCs that were powered by x86 and x64 processors. Now, Windows 10 desktop can run on machines that are powered by ARM64 processors with the Fall Creators Update or newer.

No mention that it’s limited to Surface computers (but I haven’t read the whole page).

“Microsoft only licenses Windows 10 on ARM to OEMs,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge on June 24th.

Another option, I’m thinking about is a NAS - Synology specifically I know some of the models will run VMs so may go that route. The NAS would be for file storage and backing up the family’s computers. Running a VM would just be a bonus.