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March 21, 2012

Microsoft’s Marketing Unit Bans Company-Expensed Macs, iPads

It appears there is a trace amount of dog food going uneaten at Microsoft. The software giant is banning all purchases of Macs and iPads by its marketing and sales organization, according to an internal email seen by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

The email that purportedly comes from Alain Crozier, chief financial officer of Microsoft's Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, & Operations Group (SMSG), suggests that corporate purchases of Apple's computers and tablets are already pretty low in the business unit, but that Microsoft is taking the further step of "turning off the Apple products from the Zones Catalog next week, which is the standard purchasing mechanism for these products" in the United States.

The relevant SMSG folks based outside of the U.S. will receive assistance from the home office to "put the right processes in place" to get rid of future Mac and iPad purchases, the email goes on to say.

If the order is legit, it wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has nixed outside vendor products from its procurement catalog and/or list of products that employees are allowed to expense. As Foley noted Tuesday, "[i]t 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."