Would an Arm Chip in Macs spell the end of Bootcamp/Windows on Mac?

Hi all,

Listening to the latest ep. (517) and having an Arm CPU on Macs came up (again).

I’ve often wondered: IF Apple goes that route, would we lose the ability to run Windows on our Macs via Bootcamp?

I imagine we could always run it in emulators; but I like the idea of OS switching, if needed.


P.S. Also running various Linux distros on Mac hardware relies on having Intel chips too, right?

There already exists windows and Linux versions which support ARM chipsets. Whether Apple could potentially use it as a reason to sunset boot camp is a different story.

EDIT: Windows for ARM, Linux Ubuntu for ARM

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Thanks Dustin!

I’ve wondered about this for awhile.

I suppose, if Apple sunsets bootcamp, there will be other ways to multi-boot (I know there are some current ways; but heavens knows if the next hardware will allow those ways to work!).

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As long as Apple continues two tracks of Mac hardware I strongly doubt they will spend a single moment on migrating boot camp to ARM.

In my opinion an ARM Mac would almost certainly only run Mac App Store apps, and the tradeoff in reduced flexibility would be countered by (a) continued availability (for years) of Intel Macs, and (b) better security and device management for the ARM Macs.

I’ve thought a lot about this, and I think things like non-App Store apps having to be Notarized gives me hope Apple won’t slam the door on non-App Store titles.

Plus, if they do limit the new machines this way, they’d be far less useful to most of us. Microsoft had this problem with things like the Surface RT, and that didn’t end well.

I don’t think notarization is the issue - I believe it’s going to be natural transition for ARM-translated Mac apps to be MAS-only, and for the sake of security and device management (and profit) Apple is going to follow the well-worn path of iOS and make ARM-based Macs App Store-only.

Because that’s going to be a tough sell for some, that’s one reason I believe we’re going to end up seeing a line of dual-boot ARM-based Mac laptops introduced right off the bat that run iOS alongside macOS, probably with small OS tweaks/nods to the touchscreen on the Mac side for scrolling and selecting, and greater trackpad support in iOS.

Will also be the end of virtualization (Parallels, VirtualBox). It’s possible to make a virtualized x86 environment, but that’s a whole different league than running a virtual VM on Intel.

With Linux, most of the stuff can be compiled for ARM.

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