Microsoft Takes Firm Stance in Refusing to Support Apple’s Growth

Apple’s growth in the post-PC era, as defined by the company, is seeing some strong oppositions by its rivals with Microsoft now refusing to fund its growth. In what appears to be a leaked internal email from Microsoft executives, the Redmond, Washinton-based software giant will no longer allow its employees to purchase and expense products from its rivals to the south in Silicon Valley in California. The company’s embargoed Apple list extends the ban on iPhones and now includes Mac computers as well as iPad tablets. Microsoft already has its Windows Phone OS that it is trying to promote, and the company will soon launch Windows 8 PCs and tablets with ARM and Intel chipsets with its hardware partners as early as this Fall according to prior speculations.

The new policy is made by the Sales, Marketing, Services, IT & Operations Group and the email detailing the new embargo originates from CFO Alain Crozier of that group. The correspondence was obtained by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet.

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.

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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

Foley had received a ‘no comment’ response when she tried to get clarification from Microsoft and the company is neither denying nor confirming such an email exists and was circulated to Microsoft employees.

Hopefully, Microsoft will still allow its research and development team to still purchase rival and competing products to do competitive intelligence and see how its current products stack up against the competition.

Microsoft mobile partner Nokia with Windows Phone encourages the use of competitive products. When Nokia head Stephen Elop took reigns of Nokia, the Canadian CEO was shocked that few in Nokia used rival products to improve and innovate on Symbian. One of Elop’s first footprints on the company was switching Nokia from Symbian to a Windows Phone operations. It’s unclear if Nokia funds employee purchases of non-Nokia devices for competitive intelligence, research, or other uses.

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