Microsoft allegedly halting iPad purchases made with company funds

Just as the new iPad landed two weeks ago, taking off to a great start, software maker Microsoft is reportedly looking to put a ban on iPad purchases made with company funds. According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, a new policy is being put in place by Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, & Operations Group (SMSG) which sent an internal email to employees specifically stating that iPads and Macs are a no-go.

Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit makes Office and other utilities for the Mac, but the company also makes iPad peripherals and a number of apps for iOS devices, such as the MSN and SkyDrive programs. They’re also rumored to have been working on bringing the full-blown Office suite to iPad, which would help Apple’s tablet penetrate deeper into enterprise world.

Even though SMSG encompasses 46,000 Microsoft employees worldwide, it’s unlikely that the ban Apple products will put a noticeable dent in the iPad’s performance. Apple shipped 55 million iPads as of last December and is projected to sell 12 million units of the new model in this quarter alone, excluding iPad 2. An alleged email to Microsoft employees is included right below…

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.

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

I don’t know about you, but if this email is legit it’s basically an admission of defeat.

As you know, Microsoft is expected to enter the consumer tablet market later this year with the release of Windows 8 for both ARM- and x86-powered mobile devices.

Here’s a nice side-by-side comparison of iPad 2 and a tablet driven by the recently released consumer preview of Microsoft’s forthcoming operating system.