We can’t say we’re too surprised by this story. Apparently Microsoft’s marketing and sales team has been banned from using company resources to purchase iPads and Macs. That makes a lot of sense to us — while we understand the company needs to know what its competition is doing, shouldn’t Microsoft’s marketing team be focusing on buying and selling its own products? ZDNET’s Microsoft expert Mary Jo Foley obtained the following email, and said a Microsoft spokesperson refused to comment on whether or not it was legitimate:
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.
CFO | WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
WW SMSG Finance
Mary Jo Foley explained that Microsoft has not allowed its employees to purchase competing smartphones for many years, including BlackBerry, Apple or Palm (RIP) devices.