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Microsoft Barring Certain Staff From Buying Macs, iPads? 416

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-apple-for-you dept.
mr100percent writes "Microsoft has reportedly moved to prohibit employees in its Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, and Operations Group (SMSG) from using company funds to purchase any products produced by Apple. The company had already barred staffers from using expense allocations for competing smartphone platforms, however the new guidelines explicitly note that Macs and iPads have been added to the list. 'Within SMSG we are putting in place a new policy that says that Apple products (Mac & iPad) should not be purchased with company funds,' an alleged letter distributed to staff reads."
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Microsoft Barring Certain Staff From Buying Macs, iPads?

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  • Barring? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:35PM (#39430813)
    Barring and "should not be purchased with company funds" are two entirely different things.
  • Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:36PM (#39430827) Homepage

    And this is news... how exactly?
    Don't most companies ban using company funds to buy competitors' products for operational staff?

  • by g051051 (71145) * on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:36PM (#39430831)

    Lots of companies, including the one I work for, won't let you arbitrarily buy Apple products with company money.

  • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:37PM (#39430847)
    Just when I thought that the quality level of Slashdot stories couldn't get any lower, samzenpus swoops in to prove me wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:38PM (#39430869)

    "With company funds" being the keywords here.

  • Re:Barring? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:39PM (#39430905) Homepage

    This only says not to buy those things with company money. IOW, Microsoft doesn't want its own company money to be supporting Apple and other competitors. It is not applicable for staff buying them for personal use.

    Any company is perfectly within their rights to specify how the company money is spent.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:50PM (#39431143)

    I'm pretty sure apple has similar rules about buying MS products with company funds.

    Would apple be okay with their employees buying lots of MS mobile phones using company resources? I doubt it. Sure, there's not much chance of them choosing to do that but the reality is that no company is going to be happy about it's employees using company resources to buy a competitor's products.

  • Re:Barring? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:52PM (#39431173)

    This is more than just money..... it's selling to the customer. Wouldn't it look bad if a Microsoft employee came to your company to demo a new product, and they whipped-out their Apple Macbook to give the presentation? Or even less obvious... the MS presenter spends the lunchbreak listening to an iPod. It sends the wrong message that "Yeah I work for Microsoft but I really prefer Apple."

    Telling sales staff to not buy Apple (and instead use Microsoft products as frequently as possible), is the same as a store giving employees 40% off if they buy and wear the store's goods. It shows that the employee not only sells but also uses the product day-to-day.

  • Re:Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:52PM (#39431185)

    It's news because the largest software company in the world is ignoring the fastest growing platform for software in the world, rather than writing software for it.

    Don't post about subjects you're unfamiliar with. Microsoft has always written a lot of software for the Mac, and even today has a bunch of stuff both released and in development for the iPad. It makes sense with their dogfooding policies to favor Windows stuff for their staff, but they are by no means "ignoring" iOS.

  • by p0p0 (1841106) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:56PM (#39431243)
    What until we find out employee paychecks are considered company funds and they aren't allowed to purchase them with their own money.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @03:04PM (#39431385)

    What did you expect? The story had "Microsoft" in the title and ended with a question mark. This pretty much always means it's bollocks. See these examples of headline that would not technically be wrong, due to the question mark, but that are clearly inflamatory and designed for nothing more than page hits:

    "Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent $10 billion dollars on FUD campaigns?"

    "Google stole your credit card details?"

    On that note, I think just to prove the point I'll publish my own little mini story within this thread to prove the point:

    Samzenpus is a child rapist?
    =====================
    It turns out that a guy was arrested for child abuse earlier this year who held the same first name as Samzenpus, could it therefore in fact be Samzenpus himself who raped these children?

  • Re:Barring? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pokermike (896718) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @03:29PM (#39431817) Homepage

    is the same as a store giving employees 40% off if they buy and wear the store's goods

    In fact, it could be worse -- MS is paying for the equipment. Most clothing retailers require employees to wear the company's clothes while at work and to purchase said clothing with their own money (discounted, of course).

  • by synapse7 (1075571) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @03:37PM (#39431947)
    Think how surprised he would be when such story is posted again hours later.
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @03:45PM (#39432073)

    Cpu6502 will no doubt rush through the ranks as a manager because he has the usual manager capability to confuse the disease with the symptom.

    Car companies often have the parking lot filled with the companies cars and NOT because of any guidelines (cars are after all privately bought by the people in production) but because the employees feel connected to the company and are proud of what they produce.

    While they may be proud of what they produce , most also get a sizable company discount. For many, wallet no doubt wins over price.

    MS clearly is totally unable to inspire loyalty in its employees to feel proud of what they produce and want to show it. You can then put out a guideline forcing people to show fake pride but then you are just fighting the symptom, not the disease. If MS can't even build products good enough that people who want to work for you want to have the products... they got no chance in hell of selling to the rest of us. Eat your own dog food and if you got to beat the god to get it to eat, you failed.

    No, they're saying that you can't use MS funds to pay for Apple products or phone bills for non-MS phones. Not unreasonable, and quite frankly having them use their products can also result in some real world feedback on what works and what doesn't. Do employees prefer Apple products? Probably,and I'd bet it was a big enough percentage that MS decided to stop paying for competitors products. I had a friend who filled up his company car with a competitors gasoline - and got a note back, after he expensed it, from his boss saying "we don't buy non- Union 76 gas with company funds."

    I do agree that the company discount argument is irrelevant and MS should see why employees prefer Apple products to their competing ones; but that is separate form putting money in a competitor's pocket.

  • Re:Barring? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @03:58PM (#39432261)

    Wouldn't it look bad if a Microsoft employee came to your company to demo a new product, and they whipped-out their Apple Macbook to give the presentation?

    Wouldn't it look bad if a VP dropped in on your internal product demo and asked "So how does this compare to that Apple shit that we're trying to compete with" and you have to say "I have no idea since I'm not allowed to buy a fucking Mac to make the comparison?"

  • Re:Barring? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by baka_toroi (1194359) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @04:05PM (#39432379) Journal
    I'm not trying to be offensive, but stop typing "M$". You are not 15 years old, are you? Also, this isn't 1997 anymore.
  • Re:Barring? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by lightenergy (2597715) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @04:50PM (#39433027)
    I think that M$ is still very appropriate. I have to spend a small pile of cash on their trash every year and it's pretty clear from the quality of their products that, for the most part, all they care about is the money. There are bugs in Office that have been there probably more than a decade. They know about them and even put useless suggestions on their website about how to work around them but the last thing they will do is care enough to fix them. Scoring your response as a (5, Insightful) is the real outrage. slashdot has gone into the toilet with its current rating system. I don't have suggestions for anything better though. The rating system that they had before was garbage too.
  • Re:well duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zlives (2009072) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @05:08PM (#39433243)

    yes but owing one makes the owner "feel" creative..

  • Re:Barring? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KevReedUK (1066760) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @05:15PM (#39433327)

    There's no indication in the summary that other divisions were affected by this request.

    employees in its Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, and Operations Group (SMSG)

    ...so it's not just the sales staff!

  • Re:Barring? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by black3d (1648913) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @05:28PM (#39433485)

    Name a bug in Office that has been there more than a decade which affects your usage of the product.

    None?

    That's why people who type "M$" are criticized. Because it shows they're speaking purely out of spiteful bias and simply like to parrot things "they've heard" on the interwebs. This commonly occurred for example, with Windows Vista, where the product was hugely, widely bashed by people who had never used it. In fact, it's still bashed by people who've never used it. And the faults they describe largely either didn't exist, or only affected a small number of users.

    "M$" simply demonstrates a mind-set of pre-determination by the writer, and suggests they're not going to be rational in any of the arguments they make.

  • Re:well duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ancarett (221103) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @07:35PM (#39434915)
    You're so right. There's nothing touch-typing-friendly about a screen-based keyboard. It can be fun, but you can't have your eyes on one part of the room while you take down text or transcription at 80+ wpm. Virtual keyboards are useless for high-speed or even medium-speed touch-typing tasks.

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