In an alleged email from Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, and Operations Group (SMSG), CFO Alain Crozier tells employees that corporate funds are no longer allowed to be used to purchase Apple products, specifically Macs and iPads.
ZDNet writer Mary Jo Foley received the supposed internal email from an unnamed source. If it is real, the new policy would affect approximately 46,000 sales and marketing employees across Microsoft worldwide.
The email states:
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.
While this may seem like a smack down from the big guys, it is not unusual for companies to implement policies like this. In 2009, Microsoft told employees that they could not expense iPhones, Blackberrys or Palm devices. It doesn’t mean they are banned from using them. They just can’t use corporate money to pay for them.
It seems logical for a company who has grown its success on the backs of PCs to encourage the use of said PCs in the work place. Why would Microsoft want to pay for its employees to use a Mac computer? Frankly, it is more surprising to hear that this isn’t already a policy across the entire company.
Sure, SMSG will miss out on all the amazing iPad apps that are becoming the standard in enterprise, but they’ve got Windows 8 coming soon, so they may be able to catch up.