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Macs powered by ARM can already run Windows apps using CrossOver

By on November 19, 2020 0

(Photo: Jeremy White / CodeWeavers)

Apple offers a way for Mac x86 apps to run on MacBooks M1 and Mac Mini using the Rosetta 2 translation layer. But what about Windows apps now that Boot Camp is no longer an option? Turns out you can still run Windows apps on those newer Macs using CodeWeavers’ CrossOver software, and it surprises (even for CodeWeavers) how well it works.

As Engadget reports, CodeWeavers founder Jeremy White posted a blog post about how Apple Silicon Macs are “officially cool” after testing CrossOver 20 on the new MacBook Air M1. However, it is important to understand what is actually being tested here.

CrossOver works as a translation layer for Windows apps, allowing them to run on macOS. However, CrossOver has yet to be updated for Apple’s M1 chips, which means it has to go through the Rosetta 2 translation layer to work. So we have a Mac application running through a translation layer allowing a Windows application to run using a second translation layer. As White explains, “I can’t tell you how cool it is; there’s so much emulation 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 processor that emulates x86 – and it works! That’s so cool. “

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CodeWeavers has already confirmed that Quicken and Among Us are working, but as the video above shows, Team Fortress 2 is also working great. Now imagine how that performance will improve once CodeWeavers deploys an M1 compatible version of CrossOver that users can use instead.

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