Rumor: Microsoft bans buying iPads, Macs with company money?

Microsoft makes a lot of products or partners with companies to develop hardware and software. Naturally, you might expect that Microsoft would not allow its employees to acquire hardware made by competitors using the company's money. In fact you might expect that to be a long time policy.

That apparently wasn't the case, at least until this past week. ZDNet reports that the 46,000 team members of the Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, & Operations Group at Microsoft received an email from its chief financial officer Alain Crozier. In the email, which has yet to be officially confirmed by Microsoft, Crozier states:

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.

The article points out that this kind of activity is nothing new to Microsoft. In 2009, the company announced that it would not allow company funds to purchase iPhones, Blackberry or Palm devices or their respective data plans. In fact all Microsoft team members received free Windows Phone-based devices to use in 2010.

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