Report: Microsoft Marketing Bans Purchase of Apple Products

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 PMSubject: Apple PurchasesWithin 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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  • A Bad Day
    I wonder how fast would a MS employee lose his/her job if the employee purposely brought a Mac laptop. iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to work...
  • PennyLife
    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.
  • Stardude82
    What about the people who are pushing Office for Mac?
  • ta152h
    Microsoft is probably worried that anyone seeing an iPad or iPhone will realize what trash Microsoft sells. Then again, the punishment for doing this should be to work on an MacIntosh. Then they'll realize what trash Apple sells. I can see why people buy iPads and iPhones, as they are pretty good products. The Mac is over priced and has way too many problems. I don't see how it makes people more productive.
  • JohnnyLucky
    ^5 +1 what PennyLife said.
  • ammaross
    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.
  • omega21xx
    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
  • fiduce
    Microsoft has played it's worst move lately. Saying that WP7 was not intended to beat IOS (but Android) was silly.
    Apple is about to launch an office suite on macs. They will ban Microsoft from their hardware.
    Silverlight is dead. WP7 is dying.
    Windows is moving to a place where it's opponents have much better weapons (Metro). Metro will only make Windows's users ready to jump to another OS (on the desktop/laptop). THEY ARE IN FACT PUSHING THEIR OWN DEATH.
    This strategy is silly ... and I'm not even sad.
  • wiyosaya
    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.
  • aidynphoenix
    seems pretty fair to me.. employees are not to give company money to apple.. yea..