Microsoft said to ban Mac, iPad purchases by its sales and marketing group

“Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, & Operations Group (SMSG) may be putting in place a policy to prevent employees from using corporate funds to buy Macs and iPads,” Mary Jo Foley reports for ZDNet.

“Based on an alleged internal e-mail passed on to me by one of my contacts, this edict just came down last week. SMSG encompasses 46,000 Microsoft employees worldwide, according to a Microsoft Careers page about the group, and includes Microsoft’s front-line consumer and business sales, service and support people,” Foley reports. “It has been Microsoft’s policy for years — dating back to Windows Mobile in 2009 — that iPhones, Blackberrys and Palm devices (and their respective data plans) cannot be expensed.”

Foley reports, “I asked Microsoft for confirmation that the email was real. I was told by a spokesperson that the company had no comment. No confirmation; no denial.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, by all means, arm your sales team with inferior equipment and saddle them with platforms that run but a mere subset of all the apps that Macs and iPads run.

Apple’s representative arrives in a brand new Mercedes AMG and the Microsoft sales guy shows up in a puke-green Pontiac Aztec with broken door locks towing a Trabant with no hub caps.

We like their strategy. We like it a lot.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

54 Comments

    1. They need to do something to prevent massive exposure of iPads by their on-the-road sales people, and to prevent lots of Macs appearing in the Microsoft open landscape offices (“bull-pens”), not to mention, their executives’ offices.

      Too many Microsoft employees already have Apple-only equipment at home, where they can permanently draw the parallels between the MS and Apple user experience.

      The only safe haven for MS employees to have Macs at work must be MS’s Macintosh Business Unit.

      I remember that in the early days, Microsoft Office got traction because of its Macintosh software. Recently I fired up my Mac SE 1GB/250MB/Eth and it still ran Word 5.1 beautifully and snappily.

      1. I think it is a good idea for Microsoft to ban Apple products at Microsoft. By not allowing the products to be used Microsoft is making it much more difficult for their R&D department to update Windows by comparing it to OSX. Anytime you want to look at the competition’s work, it is much better to use actual real data from users than to just buy one unit and use it only to compare numbers on the parts. By banning Apple from MS employees, MS will loose out on a huge opportunity to test and understand just why Apple is kicking their butts. Good move MS! Ban away!

      2. The Mall of America Microsoft store was embarassed when the DJ they hired for Opening day used a MacBook to play his music. They had to cover the Lid with a Microsoft logo copied on 8 1/2 by 11 paper. Oh well.

  1. How will they ever compete with Apple if they are saddled to substandard Microsoft products? Sounds like a train speeding to the end of the tracks with no brakes and a dead engineer.

    1. Ten will get you 20 Thr if an Apple employee needs a Winbox for whatever he is doing, he can expense it.

      And Apple’s data center is full of HP servers. I’m pretty sure some in house testing was done before that choice was made.

    2. Actually, Apple does a lot of Windows software development, so expensing PCs should be no problem in certain parts of the corporation. I would imagine that Apple’s collection of competing hardware in a range of categories is pretty impressive.

    3. Why would they need to?

      Start-up Boot Camp or run Windows in a virtual environment.

      The Dell computer – which is nothing more than a machine designed to a budget with set of commodotized parts sourced and assembled at the lowest cost – adds no value to the Windows experience.

      I’m sure that Apple allows employees that have a valid reason to expense their Windows license purchases: as for those who just enjoy a good chuckle, they probably have to pay for their own.

      1. While it’s true you can develop for Windows on a Mac, at some point you’re going to want to test that software on Windows-only boxes, and a variety of units from as number of vendors.

        1. True enough. But that’s a cost of doing business as a cross-platform vendor and I doubt very much that Apple are buying those machines via an employee’s credit card.

          That said, I would have imagined that the only Windows hardware that Apple really interacts with are the audio components required for iTunes and QuickTime. Doesn’t the hardware abstraction in Windows mean you don’t need to test on ever manufacturer with every audio chip?

          My main point was that – for mainstream Windows usage – Dell (or indeed any Windows OEM) isn’t delivering anything that enhances the Windows experience.

  2. Take 1:

    The reason Apple created the Mac is because all personal computers in the early 80s were crap. Apple created the iPod because all MP3 players at the time were crap. Apple created the iTunes Store because all download services were crap. Apple created the iPhone because all cell phones were crap. Apple created the iPad because all tablets were crap.

    Thus, if Apple employees did not use these inferior products they would not be aware of how crappy they were and they would not have had the incentive to create something great in each case.

    Now MS wants to keep their employees from seeing what crap the competition offers, thus preventing their staff from building something insanely great.

    Oh wait, I’m talking about Microsoft. Foolish me. Never mind.

    1. Sorry but, When the mac came out in 1984 the Apple II was not a crappy PC it was just different and also had way more software then the Mac, The Lisa was also better at the time! But just too expensive!

      1. I guess you could say that when the Mac came out, computers were crap in the sense that they were difficult to use for non-technical people. All those other Apple products listed (iPod, iPhone, iPad) follow that same line of thinking: Ease of Use.

    2. What if the competitor’s products turned out NOT to be crap, but beautiful instead?
      Microsoft is just protecting its employees from becoming irreperably depressed.

  3. Take 2:

    Scene: MS sales person trying to sell an enterprise VP on the newest MS product.

    MS Salesperson: You will love this new Microsoft thing. It is so much better than our last release.

    VP: How does it compare to Apple’s offerings?

    MS Saleperson: I can’t say because we are not allowed to use Apple products, but this MS thing is so much better than our last product.

    VP: It looks like shit compared to Apple’s product.

    MS Salesperson: But its from Microsoft so you must have it to validate your license.

    VP: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    And that is how Microsoft dies!

  4. I feel more sorry for Gates kids: banned from using iPods, iPhones etc. :

    Still no room for Apple products in Bill Gates’ house

    Melinda Gates:
    “Do you own an iPod, which is made by Apple?
    No, I have a Zune.

    What if one of your children says, Mom, I have to have an iPod?
    I have gotten that argument You may have a Zune.

    Do you have an iPad?
    Of course not.

    Is it true that Bill works on an Apple laptop?
    False. Nothing crosses the threshold of our doorstep.

    Isnt there room in this world for both Apple and Microsoft?
    Microsoft certainly makes products for the Macintosh. Go talk to Bill”

    ——–
    SURELY IF YOUR PRODUCT IS SUPERIOR you don’t need rules in your own house?
    shouldn’t the kids be saying “Phaaafff… who wants an iPad?? Not me…. ”

    still some paparazzi apparently has spotted Gates kids with apple gear:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080178/Is-iPhone-Bill-Gates-daughter-holds-looks-suspiciously-like-Apple-device-family-enjoys-festive-break-Down-Under.html

      1. photo could be reversed?

        anyhow I’m not being serious with the post (I even said “Apparently’ spotted)
        so chill out.

        an anyhow my point is still valid ‘if Apple stuff is so inferior why the need for a RULE?’. the kids should NATURALLY not go for apple stuff…

  5. For one, who cares, Microsoft can tell their employees all day every day how Microsoft money is spent.

    However, for two, as some have noted, Microsoft makes products for Apple’s devices! So is it any wonder why they don’t make the grade as often as not?

    The idea that Microsoft is unaware as to what business it’s actually in is laid bare by edicts such as this, if true. Ignorant and short sighted. Microsoft makes software for PCs. It also makes software for Apple’s OSes. Maybe it should get on board the rising star that is Apple? It’s only had 5 years to do something meaningful on iOS. What did we get? A miserable MSN client that gets its head handed to it by a dozen other MSN compatible variants.

  6. To be honest I’m shocked that they ever let their sales and marketing teams out into the world running anything other than Microsoft software. You wouldn’t see Lenovo salespeople turn up with Sony laptops.

    1. My brother-in-law works in Microsoft marketing for the Windows Phone. So, of course, he must use a Windows Phone. But he also has to put a Windows Phone 7 sticker on the back of it so no one mistakes it for an Android phone.

    2. Agree. It would not look good for MS employees out in the field. That said, regular employees should be allowed freedom of choice in personal devices. Company issued is one thing and understandable, a personal iPod or iPhone on break is totally different. Gates Gulag Apple home ban is his choice. A segment of MS employees deserve the same.

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