CommBank’s MacBook Airs run Windows XP


blog We’d laugh about this, but really we’d prefer to cry instead. The CommonWealth Bank of Australia is currently deploying thousands of MacBooks (Airs and Pros) to staff at its flagship new headquarters in Sydney’s Darling Park complex … but with Windows XP configured to boot by default. reports:

“Each staff member in the Commonwealth Bank’s new precinct is issued a fully specced out 11-inch MacBook Air running Windows XP, as well as a Jabra DECT headset.”

And iTNews has more detail:

“A majority of Commonwealth Bank Place staff were issued with 11-inch MacBook Air laptops, configured by integrator HP to boot directly into the bank’s Windows XP standard operating environment.”

The rollout is doubly ironic given that it was only in June this year that CommBank chief information officer Michael Harte was praising the Apple interface. At the time, this is what Harte told the Financial Review about the issue:

“New entrants … coming into the workplace and they expect the convenience that they get at home on their desktop at work,” Harte says in the interview. “If they’ve become au fait with and love the convenience and richness of an Apple interface, and then have to go back to some clumsy PC that’s being run by some enterprise service group, they get frustrated.”

When I was at a few years back, we asked CommBank whether it was interested in deploying Windows 7; however the bank said that although it had reviewed the beta of Windows 7, it had no plans to deploy it at that stage. Looks like Win7 is still on the backburner for the bank.


  1. Well, the MacBook Airs are good value for what they are. PC manufacturers are struggling to deliver similar machines at the same price.

    Still. Shame about running a legacy OS like XP on these devices.

    • Oh really? Because I own a Dell D630 with an Intel Core 2 Duo, 500GB Hard drive, and 8, yes 8, gigs of RAM. For a computer that’s more than five years old, that’s pretty admirable. And no, it is not custom. Came from the manufacturer that way. I dual boot Win 7 and Linux, and haven’t had a problem, ever. Works just as good as any Mac.

      Also, you fail to realise that ‘PC’s’ are backed by several brands, whereas Apple holds its own. Apple makes great hardware, but most models can’t compete to a good Alienware in the same price range.

      • Anthony, have you even seen an Air?

        1 kilogram (including battery), 1.7 cm think (looks thinner due to the curves).

        The actual tech specs are great too for an ultra light. In fact, I suspect in the Ultralight category the Airs take the cake, all of them I’d wager.

        All for 1100 – 1400 dollars. I know this sounds like an Ad, but seriously, your dell d630, if its the one I just googled: twice as heavy, 40% thicker (and uniformly thick, so it actually looks and would feel more like twice as thick).
        One saving grace, is that it has a screen resolution option that is better than the Air11″. (but also one that is worse).

        Did I mention the air has a SSD?

        How many laptops at the 1000 dollar mark (let alone ultra lights) have SSDs in them?

  2. The funniest part isn’t that the MacBook Air’s are running Win XP. The funniest part is that they were rolled out by HP. So freakingly funny lol.

  3. It’s only funny because Microsoft are about to discontinue support for this OS, even so it’s still superior.

    To the guy who said Mac Books airs are good value, haha.

    • Are the discontinuing support to Enterprises? The Enteprise agreements are typically longer than Consumer – and these have previously been extended.

    • Name me a laptop with the same specs as the macbook air 11″.
      (size / weight / tech specs – battery life included).

      And then compare the 2 on price.

      (I am actually genuinely interested because I don’t know of a better ultraportable)

  4. The majority of our machines still run XP. The main reason is application support(Yes Really). For normal office workstations we run Windows 7 but not on our Point of Sale machines.
    I’d love to move to a Windows 7 SOE but until software developers pull their finger out, we’re sticking with good ol’ reliable XP.

      • Reliable in as far as it runs the software required to generate a revenue stream – lest we forget what the purpose of being is business is….

        Do the figures stack up for any business to move to Win & – surely there can’t be compelling business case until you risk issues

  5. As much as hanging around in the past can get annoying, its easy to see why Windows XP remains. Hundreds of millions of machines in businesses are running the OS successfully and providing the ‘services’ required to the organisations. I use XP everyday and its rare that I, or co-workers are impeded from doing any business related tasks because of the OS we are using.

    • However I have found from my own personal experience that you can be a *stack* more efficient when using a more modern operating system, capable of more mature multitasking ;)

      • I completely agree.

        However if you were to survey all ‘office workers’ who spend a massive chunk of their day working on a windows PC, i suspect even those that use or know what alt+tab does would be in the minority. Same for tabbed internet browsing.

        The cost to business of upgrading to a new OS is enormous, not least because the reasons identified above mean staff need retraining in even the basics of a new OS.

  6. OSX or Windows is only a small part of the challenge. Most enterprises have standardized on the Microsoft end user ecosystem, which includes applications. If an organisation has thousands and thousands of applications all tethered to an OS , it is a herculean effort to move them from OS to another for very little business value – moving from Windows to OSX is merely jumping from one horse to another.
    As applications are the straight-jacket that most organisations live with, change your app model to something more agnostic such as a blended approach to HTML5 and virtualisation to get a more strategic outcome.

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