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Report: Microsoft Marketing Bans Purchase of Apple Products

By - Source: ZDNET | B 49 comments

An Apple a day? Not at Microsoft.

When it comes to the PC game, Apple is Microsoft's biggest rival. And, with Windows 8 set to hit tablets later this year and Windows Phone already well established, Microsoft is finding itself competing with Apple in more ways than one. So, it stands to reason that Microsoft wouldn't want employees using company funds to purchase Apple products, right? According to Mary Jo Foley's All About Microsoft blog, Microsoft's sales and marketing organization has apparently put the kibosh on purchasing Apple-branded equipment (specifically Macs and iPads) with company funds.

The following email was apparently sent around this day last week and details the new policy:

From: Alain Crozier
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:17 PM

Subject: Apple Purchases

Within SMSG we are putting in place a new policy that says that Apple products (Mac & iPad) should not be purchased with company funds.

In the US we will be turning off the Apple products from the Zones Catalog next week, which is the standard purchasing mechanism for these products.

Outside of the US — we will work with your finance and procurement teams to send the right message and put the right processes in place.

The current purchase levels are low, however we recognize there will be a bit of transition work associated with this.  Details of historical purchases in the US are provided in the attachment to help understand the changes that will be needed.Thank you for your support and leadership on this.

Alain Crozier
CFO  |  WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
WW SMSG Finance

Microsoft hasn't commented on the email's authenticity (in fact, Foley says the company has refused to comment at all), but it's not really all that surprising if it does end up being true. It's not at all uncommon for companies to distribute their own products for business use among employees and it's not as though they're banning staff from owning any Apple products at all. Still, to actually come out and ban Apple products may seem like a  drastic move to some.

If Apple products have been banned, they certainly lasted a lot longer at Microsoft than in the Gates' household. Three years back, in 2009, the wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates revealed that iPods and iPhones were among the banned items not allowed in their house.

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Top Comments
  • 42 Hide
    PennyLife , March 21, 2012 11:16 PM
    Microsoft didn't ban employees from purchasing Apple products, they banned employees from using company money to buy Apple products. That does not seem to unreasonable to me. I'm sure many companies have similar policies.
  • 24 Hide
    omega21xx , March 22, 2012 12:14 AM
    To be completely honest, WHO would actually work somewhere (like microsoft) and bring in competitor products? (like apple)
    Personally if I worked for MS and brought in an iPad or something, I'd feel stupid/embarrassed/ashamed even if I liked the product more than what my company offered. It'd just seem weird... at least IMO
  • 21 Hide
    the real mr b , March 22, 2012 12:38 AM
    Apple products are banned from my house aswell, sorry I'm not a religious person.
Other Comments
    Display all 49 comments.
  • 42 Hide
    PennyLife , March 21, 2012 11:16 PM
    Microsoft didn't ban employees from purchasing Apple products, they banned employees from using company money to buy Apple products. That does not seem to unreasonable to me. I'm sure many companies have similar policies.
  • 16 Hide
    Stardude82 , March 21, 2012 11:22 PM
    What about the people who are pushing Office for Mac?
  • 9 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 22, 2012 12:08 AM
    ^5 +1 what PennyLife said.
  • 15 Hide
    ammaross , March 22, 2012 12:09 AM
    I am not surprised in the slightest. We're just a couple headaches (more) away from sending out such a notice ourselves at our organization. iDevices and Mac desktops/laptops have to be shoehorned to work in a corporate (Microsoft) network, and even then, the result is less than desirable. When having to deal with privacy laws, having an iPhone/Pad with iCloud enabled is questionable at best, and there's no mechanism to ensure it can never be enabled. And that's just one example.
  • 24 Hide
    omega21xx , March 22, 2012 12:14 AM
    To be completely honest, WHO would actually work somewhere (like microsoft) and bring in competitor products? (like apple)
    Personally if I worked for MS and brought in an iPad or something, I'd feel stupid/embarrassed/ashamed even if I liked the product more than what my company offered. It'd just seem weird... at least IMO
  • -9 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 22, 2012 12:16 AM
    IMHO, this is pure PR. In the back room, where they tear apart each crApple product that comes out, the budget and purchasing power for crApple products is unlimited.

    The public face of M$, however, has to look mean and tough. No girlie crApple products allowed.
  • 17 Hide
    aidynphoenix , March 22, 2012 12:20 AM
    seems pretty fair to me.. employees are not to give company money to apple.. yea..
  • -2 Hide
    obsama1 , March 22, 2012 12:25 AM
    Well, Google gives its employess Macs.
  • 21 Hide
    the real mr b , March 22, 2012 12:38 AM
    Apple products are banned from my house aswell, sorry I'm not a religious person.
  • 5 Hide
    omega21xx , March 22, 2012 1:09 AM
    obsama1Well, Google gives its employess Macs.


    They use chrome books, but windows mostly except when coding related to android in which case they use linux of some form (hence why the SDK comes out on linux before other OS's).
  • -3 Hide
    alextheblue , March 22, 2012 1:44 AM
    obsama1Well, Google gives its employess Macs.
    Thus revealing how useless Chromebooks are for any actual work.
  • 3 Hide
    frostyfireball , March 22, 2012 1:49 AM
    Makes perfect sense IMO.

    Although I feel all MS employees directly involved with the creation of their products should use Macs, iDevices and Android devices on the side atleast a little to get a feel for what does and does not work in their competitors products. That way they can take their products in the right direction and sort of learn from their competitions mistakes.
  • 6 Hide
    Shin-san , March 22, 2012 1:54 AM
    Hopefully they'll allow Macs to be bought for their Mac office team, and iPhones for their Skype team
  • 3 Hide
    livebriand , March 22, 2012 1:55 AM
    obsama1Well, Google gives its employess Macs.

    I think they have a combination of Mac, Windows, and Linux. That makes sense, given they want to be fair (for instance, making Motorola, which they own, bid along with all the other device manufacturers for android stuff) and they don't have any desktop OSes anyway (and chromebooks are useless for actual work).
  • 8 Hide
    nebun , March 22, 2012 1:59 AM
    Microsoft does not need to comment on the letter...they can do whatever they please, it's their company and no one should tell them how to run it. Every company has rules, if people don't like the rules they need to leave.
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