VMware Fusion is a popular virtualization app, and on Mac, it has been one of the best ways to run Windows and Linux applications. It took a while, but VMware is now updated for Apple’s new generation of ARM-powered Mac computers.
Following the release of a free Tech Preview back in July, VMware 13 Pro and Player are now officially available — the first major update since 2020. The new version supports older Intel-based Macs, and for the first time, Mac computers with M1 and M2 chips. No matter which Mac you have, VMware 13 Pro adds a Virtual Trusted Platform Module, allowing Windows 11 to be installed without any hacks or workarounds.
Just like with Parallels Desktop, the M1/M2 version is limited to running operating systems with native ARM support, including Windows 11 (which in turn can emulate most x86 Windows apps) and some Linux distributions. There are a few other differences — drag and drop files is still limited to Intel Macs, and DirectX 11 graphics is still only supported on Intel. With M1/M2 Macs, VMware only supports OpenGL 4.3, which means many games and 3D-accelerated applications won’t work.
Given those limitations, Parallels Desktop still seems like the best virtualization app on Mac for most people. Parallels fully supports file sharing and other common features on Apple Silicon and it works with DirectX 11 (just not DirectX 12). However, VMware Fusion Player is free for personal use, while Parallels is expensive — a non-upgradable license costs $100, and upgrading costs $70.