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Microsoft barring certain staff from buying Macs, iPads?

updated 10:25 pm EDT, Tue March 20, 2012

Leaked e-mail points to new policy

Microsoft has reportedly moved to prohibit employees in its Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, and Operations Group (SMSG) from using company funds to purchase any products produced by Apple. The company had already barred staffers from using expense allocations for competing smartphone platforms, however the new guidelines explicitly note that Macs and iPads have been added to the list.

"Within SMSG we are putting in place a new policy that says that Apple products (Mac & iPad) should not be purchased with company funds," an alleged letter distributed to staff reads, according to excerpts posted on ZDNet. "The current purchase levels are low, however we recognize there will be a bit of transition work associated with this."

Microsoft has yet to officially confirm the authenticity of the e-mail, however the company offered "no comment" rather than an outright denial.

by MacNN Staff



  1. beb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is stupid...

    What a bonehead thing to do. Macs run Windows and Office. iPads can run OneNote and other Microsoft programs if they made em. Some of Microsoft's stuff isn't awful. My advice to Apple is to purchase a percentage of Microsoft—somewhere in the neighborhood of at least a fifth of the company. They aren't going away. And currently, or at least till v8 of Windows appears on shelves and tablets, Apple's primary market of selling tablet devices is not the same as Microsoft's. At this stage, I'd leverage/force them into complicity—at least insofar as providing the same software as they would have on their own platform. I don't think anybody would have any sympathy for Microsoft if Apple decided to go after em and get em to play a bit more fairly.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who cares about...

    Remember the blowhard status of the Zune?
    As big a jerk as Balmer can be it looks like he is either totally out of control at MS or not in control at all!

  1. b9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Proves how bad MS is doing

    Proves how bad MS is doing. They know most people including there own employees like Apple products better.

  1. jfgilbert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's perfectly right

    They don't prohibit their employees from using Apple products, they just don't want Macs or iPads bought with company money. Every company I have seen puts limitations on what you can buy with company money; in most cases, you can only get one of the two or three (obsolete) computer models that IT has approved. I use only Macs, I avoid MS products as much as possible, but they have every right to decide how their employees can use company money.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's not the point jf

    the point is not that MS can determine how company money is spent... it's that MS has to address this at all.

  1. woodsmanlw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its their company

    Though this action reeks of cry-baby-ism its their company and they can prohibit whatever they want.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I noticed the people in R&D are not on the list. I guess it's because they need to buy Macs and iPads to feed their photocopiers.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Pugsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    *Common Sense*

    I wonder if Mcdonalds allow their staff to dine at Burger King during their working lunch (paid by the company), instead of having a company meal provided? Don't be silly. I wonder Enterprise Rent-A-Car would allow staff to use Hertz for company car? Of course they don't. Microsoft may control how they spend their own money, but at least they don't try and control how YOU SPEND YOURS. Scr3w Apple and the iSheep.

  1. facebook_Hero

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    Nothing new here, companies do this all the time

    When I was at IBM (eons ago), we were not supposed to buy Apple products with company bucks, but R&D labs were excepted from the rule. Just more corporate silliness...

  1. facebook_Phil

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    Misleading Headline for a VALID practice

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a corporation placing restrictions on what a client-facing employee, or any employee for that matter, is allowed to purchase with CORPORATE FUNDS. Note that none of these employees are truly "barred" from buying Apple products. They would just have to do it with their own money.

    The employees in question are also supposed to be flying the Microsoft flag to win new clients, for Microsoft. Microsoft has made, not one, but TWO decisions on how to spend its money. It has chosen not to spend money on Apple products, but has also chosen to spend money on these employees' salaries. They pay these people to push MS. Whether you like their products or not, and I don't, that's why the company exists. That's why these people's jobs exist.

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