Microsoft has done the seemingly unthinkable at its Ignite 2023 conference, announcing a new versions of its flagship Windows software that will be available to use on Apple devices, namely the iPhone and MacBook laptops.
It seems we've come a long way since the Apple vs Microsoft tech war of the 1990s, with the new dedicated Windows app essentially meaning you can remotely stream the popular operating system to any device.
The catch is that Microsoft's new Windows App, as it's calling the port of its software, is currently only available as a preview, which means getting it up and running on your iPhone or MacBook isn't as simple as hopping into the App Store. You still can, though, so read on as we explain how to use Windows App on your iPhone or MacBook right now.
How to Windows App on iPhone and MacBook Devices
As Microsoft has only released a preview version of its new Windows App, that means access is theoretically meant to be limited to developers. That's because preview (or beta, if you prefer) versions of software tend to be a bit buggy and offer a less than ideal experience for everyday users.
However, if getting your hands on the latest programs and features is something that excites you, then it's actually pretty easy to get Windows App running on Apple devices today.
Here's what you need to do:
- Download TestFlight from the Apple App Store (or open it)
- Install Windows App through TestFlight
- Open Windows App on your device
- Press “Account”
- Log in using your Microsoft credentials
However, as it's only available through TestFlight for now, there's a handful of additional caveats. Let's take a look at those in more detail so you can decide if running Windows on your Apple device is right (and going to be possible) for you.
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Who Can Use Windows App on iPhones and MacBook Right Now?
As we've said, the version of Windows App that was immediately released at Ignite is a preview version.
This means access is restricted, which right now is to Microsoft business accounts. However, as The Verge points out the log-in page has a (currently non-functioning) placeholder for personal Microsoft account holders, which is a pretty clear sign that general access will open up in the future.
In addition, anyone who does have access will only be able to use the following Microsoft services on Apple devices.
- Windows 365
- Azure Virtual Desktop
- Microsoft Dev Box
- Remote Desktop Services
It's pretty restrictive, in other words, but there are promising signs for the future and, frankly, it's a pretty big surprise this day has come at all.
Can I Use Windows App on Android and Chromebooks?
Right now, no. The beta version of Windows App that is currently available does not support Android devices.
However, this again is subject to change and while Android is off the cards, there seem to be more immediate possibilities for running Windows on Chromebooks.
In a press release announcing Windows App, the tech giant made clear that only Android was currently off limits.
“Windows App is your gateway to Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, Microsoft Dev Box, Remote Desktop Services, and remote PCs, securely connecting you to Windows devices and apps,” Microsoft says.
It added: “You can use Windows App on many different types of devices on different platforms and form factors, such as desktops and laptops, tablets, smartphones, and through a web browser. When using a web browser on a desktop or laptop, you can connect without having to download and install any software.