Microsoft Bans Internal Purchases of Mac and iPad

A Microsoft internal email has surfaced which shows that Microsoft will not be allowing their Marketing and Sales groups to purchase the Apple iPad and Mac. SMSG which is short for Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, & Operations Group may be putting a policy in place that will block employees from using internal funds to purchase Apple products.

The change makes sense to not allow internal Microsoft funds to be used on competitor products, but why the change now? Here is a copy of the email that was circulated:

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

ZDNet reached out to Microsoft asking for confirmation of the email but was greeted with the standard “no comment.” So this means that Microsoft neither confirmed or denied that the email was sent. I would expect that if this was completely false that Microsoft would have stated so by now. The email above also states that the volume of purchases was low but did not include numbers to what low actually means.

Microsoft and Apple have both offered their employees free phones, Windows Phone 7 for Microsoft and iPhone for Apple. Neither company has any policies in place that will block an employee from using the device of their choice, such a policy would be extremely over reaching in my opinion. I am not aware of any other companies that have the same policies in place for competitor products. What do you guys think of this change? What do you think prompted Microsoft to make this change at this time and not long ago?

Honestly, Microsoft might be feeling the heat from Apple which should have been a long time ago. Microsoft likely has their own reasons.

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  • Graham Williams

    There’s nothing quite like hamstringing your workforce by making them use second-rate hardware. iPad aside, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are both portables with incredibly good industrial design and quality materials. This is just short sighted.

  • Sir Alec Guiness Stout

    When Motorola had it’s own computer product it tried to enforce Internal departments into purchasing their computer. It didn’t last very long.

  • Sean Wilkerson

    Yeah…Microsoft is in real trouble with market share. Are you trolling? 85% market share for Microsoft and 10-15% for Apple. Stop suckling from the Apple teet.

  • bostonsysadmin

    It sounds like a straightforward business decision. Apple products are really expensive for what they are and microsoft will most likely not have to pay for windows licenses on windows machines. So… standard cost-cutting business decision, not worth publishing a sensationalist article.

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