Certain Macintosh models facilitate native installation of Windows, while some necessitate third-party programs for such an undertaking. Nonetheless, irrespective of the model, an inquiry may arise regarding the specific version of Windows that may be installed and if said version is compatible with native installation. The present discourse aims to explore the state of affairs concerning these queries.
Windows 10 natively on Mac with Intel
In the year 2015, Microsoft introduced Windows 10, which has become the preferred operating system for many. Interestingly, the BootCamp feature of Intel processor-based Macs permits running Windows 10 natively. BootCamp facilitates a virtually partitioned hard disk on the Mac, which can be utilized to install Windows 10 and manage and store files seamlessly.
It is noteworthy that only computers with an Intel processor can support the native installation and booting of Windows 10. In contrast, the installation process for Windows 11 varies as it necessitates the use of Parallels Desktop. The said software, which is authorized by Microsoft, acts as a virtual machine running Windows while macOS continues running, eliminating the need for restarting the computer.
Apple Silicons work differently
The functionality of Boot Camp, which is available on Mac computers equipped with Apple processors, is currently nonoperational. This poses a significant limitation in terms of the Windows versions and their compatibility. On the other hand, for computers equipped with Intel and Apple Silicon processors, there is a shared vulnerability concerning the use of earlier versions of Windows. There might be a need to operate some software or hardware that require older versions of Windows. In such a scenario, virtual machines are the only option available, for instance, Windows 7 must be installed via a virtual machine in both instances. As a result, Parallels Desktop offers a solution that can operate both Windows 10 and Windows 11 on Macs equipped with Apple processors.
Older versions of Windows on Mac
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and even the classic Windows 98 or Windows 95. It is true that these versions, more than old, are practically obsolete. Microsoft has bet everything on Windows 10 and 11, and if we take into account the current technological ecosystem, we can do little with such old versions.
Thanks to the availability of programs such as Virtual Box, which is among the most time-honored virtual machines, we are capable of establishing a virtual hard drive partition for installing and operating these versions concurrently with macOS without the need to reboot the computer, and only by launching the application. It is important to bear in mind, however, that installing outdated versions like Xp, 98, or 95 may lead to compatibility issues with specific components. Nevertheless, Virtual Box is designed to accommodate these versions and can operate with both Intel and Apple Silicon processors.