Japan’s Aozora Bank dumps 2,300 Windows PCs for Apple Macs

“Japan’s Aozora Bank Ltd. is planning to do something once unheard of in the business world: switch nearly all of its 2,300 desktop personal computers to Apple Computer Inc.’s Macintosh computers. Most companies use PCs that run on some version of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system. But in a multi-year effort to replace its outdated mishmash of computers — most running older versions of Windows — Aozora is forsaking the standard PC,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal. “A third of the company’s computers already are Macs — including sleek iMac computers that combine a screen and hard drive in one unit with a camera perched atop that allows employees to videoconference. Within a few months, Aozora expects about 90% of its machines will be Macs.”

“What brought on the switch? Bill Chute, Aozora’s chief technology officer, says the company decided to go with Macs because of Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS X, which has made the machines more stable and functional for many business users,” Wingfield reports. “”Already, there are signs Apple is gaining some ground: Some software developers are warming up to using Macs for programming. For years, many software developers sniffed at Macs. About five years ago, though, Apple introduced a sweeping upgrade of Some software developers are warming up to using Macs for programming, derived from Unix, a high-performance, reliable operating system long used in scientific and other demanding computing environments. While most Unix operating systems typically have bland interfaces and require knowledge of arcane commands to operate, Mac OS X preserved the user-friendly graphical environment of its predecessors. Apple has since updated Mac OS X several times with improvements, including the latest version, known as Tiger.”

Wingfield reports. “Byron Sebastian hadn’t used a Mac as his primary PC since the late 1990s, when he switched to Windows. But when Mr. Sebastian co-founded SourceLabs Inc., an open-source startup in Seattle, in late 2004, he decided to outfit the entire company with Macs for a simple reason: ‘All of our developers wanted Macs,’ he says. Mr. Sebastian says the company’s developers favor the Mac because it’s easier for them to do Unix programming. Plus, unlike most Unix systems, Macs run Microsoft’s pervasive suite of email, spreadsheets and other productivity applications. ‘It’s the best of both worlds,’ he says. One irony to the company’s Mac preference: Many of the 20 employees at SourceLabs are former Microsoft employees, including vice president of sales and marketing Cornelius Willis, once a marketing executive for Windows.”

“With all of Apple’s Macs soon using the same chips that power Windows PCs, there could be an intriguing twist to the Intel move. That’s the prospect that business users could more practically run Windows applications on their Macs, including the corporate programs that prevent them from switching off Windows. So users who wanted to run Mac and Windows software could have, say, a dual-boot computer. Such a machine would contain both the Mac and Windows operating systems and users could switch between the two,” Wingfield reports. “An alternative way of getting Windows applications to run on Macs is so-called virtualization programs that use a layer of Mac software to, in effect, trick applications into thinking they’re running on Windows. In the past, the main drawback to virtualization software has been that it’s slow. Some analysts hope that the switch to Intel chips could make such virtualization programs work faster.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Doug V.” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Now Apple just needs to get entrenched IT types into believing that their power and staffing levels won’t be dramatically reduced if they buy Macs instead of Windows boxes. Macs that can also run Windows applications would help in that regard as IT would still be required to support the myriad (and often junky) Windows-only apps running on Macs, but we still think that Apple will have a better chance as old IT people retire and new, more open thinkers infiltrate IT staffs worldwide.

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Related articles:
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
Apple’s Mac is not doomed to small market share forever; the ‘Ignorance Lag’ is ending – February 11, 2005
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 21, 2003


  1. “Now Apple just needs to get entrenched IT types into believing that their power and staffing levels won’t be dramatically reduced if they buy Macs instead of Windows boxes”

    No. Now Apple needs to get their heads out of their a** when it comes to enterprise sales and support efforts.

  2. Critic-
    Right and when the IT types see the sales and support efforts they lie, tell the their boss or buisiness owner that “Macs are difficult, ect.”

    So Apple still does not get their foot in the door.

    If you can’t get past the IT department, then you don’t sell Macs.

    There are many IT guys that go out of their way to bash Macs every step of the way. Even with hard evidence presented in from of them. Those are the support people that need to retire or be fired.

  3. That’s it!!! That’s the kind of story I have been waiting for!!! 10 or 12 more stories like that and the world will change.

    Who do you think will be the first American Company to “Switch”?

  4. “Apple’s growth in Mac sales has far outpaced that of the PC industry recently. Last year, it sold 4.7 million Macs, up 35% from the 3.5 million it sold in 2004, and far better than the 16% growth for the industry as a whole.

    Yet that growth, so far, has done little to halt the steady erosion of Apple’s share of new PC shipments world-wide over the past decade. Shipments were at 2.3% of the overall market last year, up from 2% the prior two years, but down from 8.5% in 1994, according to market tracker International Data Corp.”

    done LITTLE to halt the erosion???? Ummm…. Mac growth far outpaces the industry, and the % decline has become a % increase. That’s a TOTAL halt of the erosion, and the beginning of something better than a halt–a reversal. Duh.

  5. Sorry, but MDN is wrong on this one. Telling the IT guys that they will need far fewer staff by switching to Macs is translated to:

    Switching to Macs means that since you will only manage a much smaller group, your position, your grade and pay will be similarly cut to match your lower status.

    It’s the CEO who has to be convinced, not the IT manager.

  6. The impediments to entry into corporate sectors are threefold:
    1- Enterprise software (the likes of Exchange and Outlook)
    2- Server-side issues (Apple hasn’t really overcome the difficulties yet)
    3- Hardware flexibility (this would be the point most IT people will talk about)

    I would think that Apple could easily develop enterprise software to replace the offerings of MS, or at least make it natively possible to run them from within Mac OS. Xserve and the Mac OS X-server need a few tweeks and they’ll be ready for prime time. The last obstacle requires a bit more work, and perhaps a change in philosophy. Yet again, Apple is likely to gain a lot of ground, especially in small businesses that don’t have large IT departments, just by addressing the first 2 parts.

  7. At the moment I am being held back from going mac at work because of one app – an app that runs through a remote desktop connection on windows anyway. I can do that on a mac but I can’t print because they won’t install any drivers on their end. On windows we use Tricerat’s ScrewDrivers to enable priting on any printer – however there isn’t a mac version. On the of chance I emailed them to ask about this and was told: “you are looking at May/ June time for that to be added to version 4 of screwdrivers which is being release in April, but the functionality that you require will be in by end of Q2. ” Now of course this could be a pat response from someone who has no clue, however I choose to be omptimistic and believe that within months I’ll be able to use my powerbook at work, my iMac at home and be happy.

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