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Microsoft rumored to stop funding employee purchases of Apple's iPads, Macs

post #1 of 85
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An e-mail claimed to be sent to Microsoft's employees states that they will no longer be able to use company funds to buy Apple's iPads or Macs.

The alleged internal company e-mail, provided to Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet, claims to come from Alain Crozier, Chief Financial officer of Microsoft's Worldwide Sales, Marketing & Services Group. SMSG represents 46,000 worldwide employees at Microsoft who handle consumer and business sales, along with service and support.

"Within SMSG we are putting in place a new policy that says Apple products (Mac & iPad) should not be purchased with company funds," the purported e-mail says. "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."

The note goes on to claim that purchase levels of Macs and iPads with company funds are "low," partially justifying their elimination. Foley reached out to Microsoft for comment, but the company declined.

If the changes are true, it would be an extension of a policy toward the iPhone that Microsoft has held since 2009. That year, Microsoft executives modified their corporate policy to only reimburse service fees for employees using handsets that run the Windows Phone mobile operating system.

Still, one report from 2010 said that about 10 percent of Microsoft employees at the time were iPhone users. Since then, Apple's presence in the smartphone market has only grown, while Windows Phone 7 has struggled to compete with the iPhone and handsets based on Google's Android mobile operating system.


Microsoft SMSG CFO Alain Crozier.


While Windows Phone has tumbled in the smartphone market, Windows on the desktop has remained dominant, even as Apple's Mac platform has outgrown the PC market for years. But Windows faces a new threat with the iPad, as continued growth has led analysts, along with Apple executives, to believe the tablet market will become significantly larger than the PC market.

Microsoft hopes to counter the success of the iPad with its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, which will offer compatibility with traditional PC form factors as well as touchscreen tablets. The first Windows 8-based tablets are expected to hit the market this October.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 85
I'm not sure why they were funding them anyway. I highly doubt Apple funds the purchase of Dells or Toshibas or Android or Windows Phones for their employees (not that their employees would choose to purchase those products, but still).
post #3 of 85
Apple is doomed !
post #4 of 85
In retaliation, Apple will now stop reimbursing its employees for buying Windows computers. Tim Cook announced yesterday that the savings would allow Apple to buy back an additional 10 shares.

Microsoft also announced that their savings would enable to buy shares - Apple shares.
post #5 of 85
What is Apple's policy regarding employee reimbursement for phones and computers?

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post #6 of 85
What will MS do with all the cash they save,

A, Invest in security

B, Invest in Windows Phone

C, Invest in Tables

D, None of the Above

It's funny how even MS uses apple because it just works, and it's cool
post #7 of 85
If you intend to be the state of the art, shouldn't you know what the state is? This is like trying to invent a car without knowing what a wheel is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An e-mail claimed to be sent to Microsoft's employees states that they will no longer be able to use company funds to buy Apple's iPads or Macs.
post #8 of 85
Not a big deal. No reason why they should fund competitors.
post #9 of 85
Microsoft apparently doesn't want their employees to be productive or to use the most cutting edge products in the world.

There's a big difference between somebody at Microsoft using Apple and somebody at Apple using something else. If somebody at Microsoft wants an iPad, that's totally understandable, as the iPad is the premier tablet in the entire world, bar none. If somebody at Microsoft wants an awesome laptop, then Apple is the obvious choice.

If somebody at Apple wishes to use something else, then that is not understandable, and the employee should be required to undergo a psychological evaluation and possible drug treatment to cure them of their illness. If any Apple employee had an Android phone in their pocket, they should immediately be fired, as that is blasphemy and such people should not work for Apple.
post #10 of 85
This morning after reading this story I sold my 138 shares of MS. If MS thinks this is how they are going to beat Apple then I dont want any part of it. I always told my employees that they should use whatever they wanted to beat the competition, just beat them. This just goes to show how bad the management at MS is.
post #11 of 85
I suppose with more and more (of their own) people preferring Apple products they need all the help they can get.
post #12 of 85
But Mr. Crozier, what if I want to run Windows 8 on my MacBook Pro? After all, we don't make PC hardware, do we?
post #13 of 85
Leave it to a CFO to think this will do anything. What is the point of this?

Will this make a significant addition to the bottom line?
Will this finally get the stock price to move upward?
Will this help solve the unemployment problem in the Seattle area?
Will this make the equivalent Windows products more successful?
The answer to all these is no.
Will it get Alain Crozier a bonus this year? Probably!
post #14 of 85
And Apple will stop funding Zunes and such...oh wait...
post #15 of 85
This is stupid and petty and probably reflects a poor understanding of operations. Any Apple products purchased for MS were bought for a reason. They needed to use them for some development purpose. The fact the levels of these purchases are "low" and that is the justification for it re-enforces my opinion.

Does anyone doubt Apple has at very least copies of Windows handy for Bootcamp use if not full blown Dells for doing development for Safari, iTunes or for Jonny Ive's team for running CAD or fabrication applications where these is no Mac equivalent?
post #16 of 85
Because they've got an entire division doing MAC software so it's not possible the OFFice for Mac group is being barred from purchasing the applicable hardware.
post #17 of 85
I wonder if this also applies to the reverse engineering group that buys apple products just so they can dissect them and feed their R&D ideas
post #18 of 85
I guess this means Microsoft can continue it's slide into irrelevance since their employees won't know what they ought to be competing with. Just apply the blinders and ignore the death march. I personally won't miss 'em, would you?
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

I wonder if this also applies to the reverse engineering group that buys apple products just so they can dissect them and feed their R&D ideas

Nah. different department
post #20 of 85
About a year ago, while out on a photography shoot here in Seattle, I met a guy who was using a Windows Phone device. It was the first time I'd ever seen one, so I asked him about it. He said he hated it and wanted his iPhone back but that his wife worked for Microsoft and they had recently changed their policy to no longer subsidize the wireless bills of employees using iPhones (apparently BlackBerry and other devices were okay; it was strictly Apple devices that were no longer allowed).

All I could think at the time was, "gee, our products are so meh that in order to get our own employees to use them we have to provide a financial disincentive to use anything else"
post #21 of 85
Microsoft needs to remember they are a SOFTWARE company. Software - that runs on hardware. As in applications (oh, and they make a couple OSes, too). MS should be writing apps and games for iOS and Mac (and Android, if there's any profit). Yes, Apple happens to compete with MS in the OS space, but MS should be happy Apple has millions of devices out there MS can put apps on.

And now that Apple hardware will run MS's OS, MS should be encouraging people to put Windows on Macs.

Apple is not a competitor. Apple is a platform MS can put their wares on.

- Jasen.
post #22 of 85
This will be very hard on the folks in Microsoft's Mac Business Unit. They develop MS Office for Mac which actually turns a profit! How will they get Office on iPad? Maybe they have a special dispensation.

Then, too, it will be hard for MS marketing to demonstrate how Windows runs on Mac hardware.
post #23 of 85
This speaks volumes to how crappy Windows 7 is and how much better OSX is. Microsoft's own employees would rather use Macs than crap Windows cloner machines. I think it would be better for Microsoft to focus on improving their OS so their employees do not want to buy Macs.
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I'm not sure why they were funding them anyway. I highly doubt Apple funds the purchase of Dells or Toshibas or Android or Windows Phones for their employees (not that their employees would choose to purchase those products, but still).

The MS employee I know used a MBP to run Windows and said it was the best Windows laptop available.
post #25 of 85
Why?

Google provides me with them if I want them.
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post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

The MS employee I know used a MBP to run Windows and said it was the best Windows laptop available.

I've run into a few issues. If your Windows IT dept. has Remote Desktop, VPN or Active Directory set up where you need to send CTL, ALT, DEL to login there seems to be a problem with Apple keyboards. According to the Apple documentation you are supposed to be able send the required commands, but I was never able to get it to work.

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post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I'm not sure why they were funding them anyway. I highly doubt Apple funds the purchase of Dells or Toshibas or Android or Windows Phones for their employees (not that their employees would choose to purchase those products, but still).

Application development. Dell is a hardware company. Apple is an OS and Hardware plus applications.

Microsoft is an OS, applications and small scale hardware.

MS Office testing by staff for OS X is just one example.
post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

I wonder if this also applies to the reverse engineering group that buys apple products just so they can dissect them and feed their R&D ideas


Obviously, that group has been underfunded for about 15 years.
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post #29 of 85
Microsoft's best product was Windows XP. MS just can't compete in a post PC world.

What's behind the non-funding of an insignificant amount of Apple products-->SOUR GRAPES!
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

Microsoft's best product was Windows XP. MS just can't compete in a post PC world.

I'd argue that. I think their development tools are pretty darn good, Excel still beats Numbers (aside from Numbers far-suprior formatting and graphing capabilities), and Windows 7 is more stable than Windows XP (I still don't like Win 7, but that doesn't mean it's not a good product).
post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

About a year ago, while out on a photography shoot here in Seattle, I met a guy who was using a Windows Phone device. It was the first time I'd ever seen one, so I asked him about it. He said he hated it and wanted his iPhone back but that his wife worked for Microsoft and they had recently changed their policy to no longer subsidize the wireless bills of employees using iPhones (apparently BlackBerry and other devices were okay; it was strictly Apple devices that were no longer allowed).

All I could think at the time was, "gee, our products are so meh that in order to get our own employees to use them we have to provide a financial disincentive to use anything else"

Actually, that potentially creates an antitrust problem.

If they simply refused to pay for ANY competitive product, it would be OK. But singling out the largest competitor and refusing to pay for their products dances pretty close to the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Microsoft needs to remember they are a SOFTWARE company. Software - that runs on hardware. As in applications (oh, and they make a couple OSes, too). MS should be writing apps and games for iOS and Mac (and Android, if there's any profit). Yes, Apple happens to compete with MS in the OS space, but MS should be happy Apple has millions of devices out there MS can put apps on.

And now that Apple hardware will run MS's OS, MS should be encouraging people to put Windows on Macs.

Apple is not a competitor. Apple is a platform MS can put their wares on.

- Jasen.

Exactly. I haven't seen any numbers recently, but it wasn't that long ago that it was reported that Microsoft makes more money from each Mac user than from each Windows user. Given the very deep OEM discounts for Windows (while Windows-using Mac users would have to pay full price), that's entirely plausible.
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post #32 of 85
Poor MS employees will be forced to use MS products...

They will bring in their own iPads & iPhones!
post #33 of 85
Even the biggest Apple fanboi, if they stop to think about this, will see a reason for concern. One of the reasons the big Windows vs. Apple war is considerably quieter today than 10 years ago is that Windows and OS X get along quite well now. The two on the same network can exchange e-mail, chat, files. webpages, etc.

If MS bans Apple products, that status quo will be broken. We need MS products to be accessible from our Apple products. MS servers are a way of life, whether you like it or not. Banning Macs = banning testing of Macs connecting to MS products. And I'm concerned it might also mean banning further development of Office for Mac.

We will be poorer for this shortsighted action on MS' part, if it proves true. Yes, it will eventually hurt MS, but only after it hurts us first. \

EDIT: Upon reading the actual letter, it's just Sales and Marketing that are losing Macs and iPads. Not Development or Testing. Move along, nothing to see here.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Actually, that potentially creates an antitrust problem.

Doubtful - this is an internal policy that is not consumer based at all. There is no trust in this system since employees aren't actually barred from owning Apple devices - a rukle that MS would have several legitimate basis to enforce from.
post #35 of 85
This is so silly. It's like those employees not gonna go and buy their own iPhones and iPads. I guess this kind of gesture really shows how behind Microsoft is and how old their management team is.

This is like if Twitter told their employees they gonna block facebook at work. You can't beat competition or create something better if you don't know what every other person is using or doing with Facebook.
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post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by flowney View Post

This will be very hard on the folks in Microsoft's Mac Business Unit. They develop MS Office for Mac which actually turns a profit! How will they get Office on iPad? Maybe they have a special dispensation.

Then, too, it will be hard for MS marketing to demonstrate how Windows runs on Mac hardware.

This impacts Sales, Marketing & Services Group (SMSG), not the Macintosh Business Unit (MBU).
post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Upon reading the actual letter, it's just Sales and Marketing that are losing Macs and iPads. Not Development or Testing. Move along, nothing to see here.

Exactly!
post #38 of 85
Hahaha.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbdukes View Post

This impacts Sales, Marketing & Services Group (SMSG), not the Macintosh Business Unit (MBU).

Or how about the publishing unit that uses Macs to design their publications?
post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmallon View Post

What will MS do with all the cash they save,

A, Invest in security

B, Invest in Windows Phone

C, Invest in Tables

D, None of the Above

It's funny how even MS uses apple because it just works, and it's cool

Probably buy more beer so their employees can get tanked and put out more products that suck.
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