Parallels today announced the release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full support for M1 Macs, allowing for the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and ARM-based Linux distributions to be run in a virtual machine at native speeds on M1 Macs.
Parallels says running a Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview virtual machine natively on an M1 Mac results in up to 30 percent better performance compared to a 2019 model 15-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, and Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics. Parallels also indicates that on an M1 Mac, Parallels Desktop 16.5 uses 2.5x less energy than on the latest Intel-based MacBook Air.
Microsoft does not yet offer a retail version of ARM-based Windows, with the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview available on Microsoft’s website for Windows Insider program members. The ability to run macOS Big Sur in a virtual machine is a feature that Parallels hopes to add support for in Parallels Desktop later this year as well.
Anyone with a Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac license can get an automatic update to Parallels Desktop 16.5 at no additional cost. Otherwise, one-time or subscription-based pricing options are listed on the Parallels Desktop product page, with Parallels currently offering 10% off most license configurations with code 2KQ-PTG-DYZ.