ParallelsSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Rosetta is a new piece of Apple software that will help the transition from Intel to Apple silicon
  • It can be used to help Intel-based apps run when Macs make the switch.
  • However, it won't natively support virtualization software, such as Parallels or VMWare.

Apple's new Rosetta software will not support virtualization software like Parallels, it has emerged.

Apple announced Rosetta as part of its upcoming switch from Macs which use Intel processors, to machines running Apple's homegrown A-series chips. The software will help to "translate" apps designed for Intel so they can run on Apple silicon, which means they don't have to be rebuilt. However, it seems Rosetta doesn't natively support apps that use virtualization software to run x86_64 platforms.

According to MacRumors:

Rosetta is meant to provide developers with time to create native versions of apps, and there are a few limitations that are worth noting. As outlined in developer documentation shared this week, while Rosetta will be able to translate most Intel-based apps, it will not work with Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms.

That means Apple's future Macs with Apple-designed chips will not natively support running current versions of software like VMWare or Parallels to run x86 Windows within the virtualization software. Other native solutions may appear, but will require efforts from 3rd party developers.

There is no indication that Apple's Boot Camp feature for Mac will be made available for Apple silicon Macs, which means that if virtualization support is to carry on, third-party developers will have to rebuild the apps themselves, rather than use Apple's Rosetta software to make them compatible.

Another key part of the transition to Apple silicon is Apple's Developer Transition Kits, special Mac Mini units that feature Apple's first-ever A12-based Mac. Apple recently started approving these kits for developer use.