Parallels Desktop for Mac, the popular program for running virtualized versions of Windows 10 on Apple's Mac devices, just got better. With version 16.5 of the app, Mac users can now enjoy a seamless Windows 10 on ARM experience on Apple's latest Macs with the M1 silicon.
According to Parallels, Mac users can enjoy improved performance with version 16.5 than running Windows through the program on Intel-based Macs. When Windows 10 runs virtually over Parallels 16.5 in ARM Insider Preview, users with M1 Macs can use 2.5 times less power and improve DirectX 11 performance by 60%.
According to Parallels, Windows 10 under ARM on Parallels Desktop 16.5 with an M1 Mac is up to 30% better than a Windows 10 VM running on an Intel-based MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor. This is because the Parallels team was working on redesigning the under-the-hood app for the M1 silicon. Over 100,000 M1 Mac users have also tested the Parallels Desktop 16.5 Technical Preview for M1 Mac, according to the company.
Parallels Desktop 16.5 also supports features for the M1 Mac. You can run Windows applications on your Mac as if they were native Mac applications without managing or restarting two separate desktops. You can also share profiles, use Touch Bar controls, and customize Mac keyboard layouts.
A 14-day trial version of Parallels Desktop for Mac is available to potential users. Any Parallels version 16 user can upgrade to 16.5 for free. A perpetual license to upgrade from older versions of Parallels is available for $ 50. New subscriptions are $ 80 per year, and new perpetual licenses are $ 100 per year. Then there is Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition.
Aside from QEMU and ACVM, Parallels remains the only way to run Windows 10 on Apple's new M1 Macs. This is because Microsoft has not yet offered the ARM-based version of Windows 10 to Apple for use in bootcamp (which is not available on newer M1 Mac models). Late last year, Apple's Craig Federighi announced that it would support Microsoft and that Macs would "certainly be able" to run Windows 10.