ARM-Powered Macs Can Already Run Windows Apps Using CrossOver-news

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(Photo: Jeremy White/CodeWeavers)

Apple offers a way for x86 Mac apps to run on the M1 MacBooks and Mac Mini by using the Rosetta 2 translation layer. But what about Windows apps now that Boot Camp isn’t an option? It turns out you can still run Windows apps on these new Macs using CodeWeavers’ CrossOver software, and it comes as a surprise (even to CodeWeavers) how well it works.

As Engadget reports, CodeWeavers founder Jeremy White published a blog post about how “officially cool” Apple Silicon-based Macs are after he tested CrossOver 20 on the new M1 MacBook Air. It’s important to understand what is actually being tested here, though.

CrossOver works as a translation layer for Windows apps, allowing them to run on macOS. However, CrossOver hasn’t been updated for Apple’s M1 chips yet, meaning it’s having to run through the Rosetta 2 translation layer to work. So we have a Mac app running through a translation layer allowing a Windows app to run using a second translation layer. As White explains, “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! This is just so cool.”

CodeWeavers has already confirmed that Quicken and Among Us works, but as the video above demonstrates, Team Fortress 2 runs very well, too. Now imagine how this performance will improve once CodeWeavers rolls out an M1-compatible version of CrossOver for people to use instead.

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