CommBank moves to IE7

CommBank moves to IE7

Summary: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has told staff it will shortly be upgrading their desktop browser from version 6 of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) software to version 7.

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has told staff it will shortly be upgrading their desktop browser from version 6 of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) software to version 7.

The bank has been running on IE6 for a number of years as part of version 3 of its desktop standard operating environment (SOE). However, it emailed staff recently to let them know they could look forward to IE7 as part of SOEv4, which is to be rolled out progressively from March. CBA has about 38,000 staff in total.

IE7 is a more modern browser than IE6, introducing new features such as the tabbed browsing made popular in rival browsers like Firefox, an anti-phishing filter and enhanced support for web standards. Microsoft reworked a number of core areas for IE7's release — such as the rendering engine and the way the software handles security.

However, IE7 was released in October 2006 and has since been superceded by version 8 of the Microsoft browser, which was released in March 2009. Internet Explorer 9 is currently in development.

Although some might call the bank slow for only now deciding to upgrade the browser, it wouldn't be the only company still running on IE6. A report from May last year by research house Forrester found that 60 per cent of companies were still using IE6 as their main browser. 39 per cent were using IE7, while Firefox sat at 18.2 per cent.

It's understood the bank needed to test a plethora of applications for compatibility with IE7 before starting to roll out the upgrade — a common problem in certain sectors, such as in financial services and some areas of government.

The bank's new standard operating environment will be again based on Windows XP. In April 2009, the bank said it had examined Windows 7, but was yet to formally test what was then the beta version of the software. The final version of Windows 7 was released late last year.

One further upgrade to make it into the new SOE will be welcome in some of the bank's branches. It's understood a lack of modern broadband connections into some locations had made delivering online video based on Adobe Flash an issue. The bank had previously disabled the software in certain situations — such as if a branch was using an old ISDN connection for internet access.

However, it will now enable Flash across its operations following gradual network upgrades to bring the old connections up to speed.

A CommBank spokesperson said the bank had "nothing to announce" when asked to comment for this article.

Topics: Operating Systems, Banking, Browser, Enterprise Software

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9 comments
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  • Commbank moves to IE7

    For someone to survive for so long on IE6 they must of had severe restrictions in place on surfing the net. (like not allowing it for most staff, and blocking all non work related sites)

    Just a shame there a lot of noobs out there who think IE6 is still ok to use, without the proper filtering, protection suite and many other layers of security in place.

    These type of stories send the wrong message out to home users & noobs.
    IE6/7 is not ok nor really safe to use unless you have the multiple layers of securty in place!
    anonymous
  • Multiple layers....

    "IE6/7 is not ok nor really safe to use unless you have the multiple layers of securty in place!"
    - which one would surely hope a bank has.

    Security in depth is the mantra here - an "old" browser it may be but Commbank (or their outsourcers!) would hopefully have their sh1t together enough that there *are* multiple layers of security applied.
    anonymous
  • IE7

    What a progressive bank. Only about 5 years behind the 8 ball ..
    anonymous
  • Web surfing not the issue?

    My guess is some of their web apps don't seem to work right under newer IE versions. Which is probably why they're upgrading to IE7, not 8.

    I'd still prefer 'n00bs' who focus on work rather than net surfing to manage my financial affairs, thank you very much.
    anonymous
  • Par for the course for enterprises

    Enterprises use IE for a lot of internal and B2B workflows. Testing all those is what can take a long, long, long, long ....., long time!

    Same thing with Office.
    anonymous
  • More Security

    Perhaps it would make more sense if the CBA were to move away from IE completely & use some FOSS, Mozilla Firefox for instance. Stop the dependence on Microsoft & use something truly useful....Firefox.

    IE7 doesn't even fulfill web standards making it immediately unsafe. It's even been proven unsafe recently.
    anonymous
  • Flash enabling...

    Considering comments from the latest pwn2own hacker contest, perhaps they should be less worried about the IE version and more worried about the Flash enabling.
    anonymous
  • IE7? Why not IE8??

    IE7 still have problems. As IE8 had already been there for sometimes why not directly upgrade to version 8? Both 6/7 are outdated now!
    anonymous
  • Agree. Why not IE8

    I cannot understand why CBA would not just move to IE8. IE7 is still a slow irritating dog of a browser compared to IE8.
    IE8 has been around for a fair while now, which is plenty of time for the bank to get its web apps to work with IE8.
    In fact I think it would be easier amend web apps to work with IE8 than IE7 because IE7 has some bizarre requirements that were fixed in IE8.
    anonymous