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 But in a multi-year effort to replace its outdated mishmash of computers — most running older versions of Windows — Aozora is forsaking the standard PC,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal.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. I’ll add to Too Hot’s coments

    4 – Apple’s product release secrecy doesn’t play with IT managers. These guys want to be kept up to date on upcoming products and want to see road maps (don’t like to wait for a SJ’s speech).

  2. アッペルにようこそ!
    Smart move by the bank, must be also because Apple has much better language support for the Japanese and other non-english users.

    I am proposing the same for my company ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. That’s really cool! Actually if you use Macs in the corporate world Apple does give you there road map.
    I did a contract job for a company, and the IT staff was well informed of what was coming and had pre-release software for them to test with well in advance of the products coming out. They did not release any of that information to me or anybody else but they did know what was in the works. They couldn’t release it as part of the confidentiality contract they signed with Apple.

  4. 私はこれとしてよいニュースを読むことを楽しむ。私はアメリカが見ていることを望む。
    I enjoy reading good news as this. I hope that America is watching.

  5. There is already a large US corporation using only Macs. They have around 15,000 employees, and every one who uses a computer uses a Mac. (I may be talking out of my butt here but until I’m proven wrong I’m gonna go on thinking it.)

    Apple, Inc.

    Wonder how THEY manage to do all their business stuff on a Mac?

  6. That is a good point Wingsy.

    My guess is that they either have some Win PCs and Win servers for some enterprise apps or have a lot of customized apps that were developed for them.

  7. Well, a few years ago I went to a computer trade show. the Apple corporatre reps were so everlovingly sincere (and BORING….) talking about how the Mac was such a good computer. And that was it.

    The Microsoft sales reps came out amped up like ferrets of amphetamines, and did a great show, enthusiastically involving the audience and giving away software.

    From a practcial standpoint it was like watching a dull prayer meeting vs an involving theatrical presentation.

    What this has to do with the story is that you need enthusiastic users who get out the good news by word of mouth. Logical arguments don’t cut it with IT types who have to do their budgets years in advance.

  8. Apple’s product release secrecy doesn’t play with IT managers. These guys want to be kept up to date on upcoming products and want to see road maps (don’t like to wait for a SJ’s speech).

    But Microsoft’s continual LYING plays well with them? Microsoft dangling Cairo/Longhorn/Vista like a carrot on a stick in front of them year after year is what IT managers want? Microsoft promising a million features that they later drop is A-OK with that crowd?

    I much prefer Steve’s way of announcing a product once it’s ready to ship than Bill’s steady stream of vaporware announcements that never pan out.

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