Microsoft Bans Employees From Using Apple Products As Work Machines

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microsoft-office-ipad
How will this ever become a reality if employees can't buy iPads?

For a good chunk of the last decade, Microsoft has had a hard time getting its employees to use its own products. During the iPod wars, Microsoft was hard pressed to get their employees to carry Zunes; when the iPhone came out, Microsoft employees wanted to trade in their Windows Phones… and one can only imagine the difficulties Microsoft will have getting employees to switch from their iPads to Windows 8 tablets.

So Microsoft, in their magnanimity, has decided to try to push employees along. A new report says that Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT & Operations Group has just sent out an email to employees, saying that they can no longer buy Apple products with company funds.

The email, reported by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, was sent to 46,000 Microsoft employees, and reads:

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

Pretty absurd and short-sighted, Alain! How are your employees going to work on porting Office to the iPad now?

What do you guys think? Is this an admission that Microsoft is running scared, or just some middle-manager’s short-sightedness?