M1-powered Macs can run Windows apps, with some help from CrossOver

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As Jeremy White from the CrossOver team writes, “I can’t tell you how cool that is; there is so much emulation going on under the covers. Imagine – a 32-bit Windows Intel binary, running in a 32-to-64 bridge in Wine / CrossOver on top of macOS, on an ARM CPU that is emulating x86 — and it works!”

We’ve reached emulation inception, but the M1’s sheer power means that the CrossOver team was able to run games including Among Us and Team Fortress 2. While this video shows that frame rates were “all over the place,” the fact that it runs at all is pretty remarkable. This was all tested on the cheapest Apple Silicon laptop you can buy, the $999 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM.

Of course, there’s plenty of optimization to do here, but the CrossOver team seems confident that with some work, things will run even better. An M1 Mac isn’t your best bet for running Windows software, but CrossOver shows that it’s not a lost cause. Indeed, Parallels, who has been building Windows virtualization software for the Mac for years, has also confirmed that it’s building a version of its software for M1 Macs — but for the time being, it looks like CrossOver is the only option.

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