I believe in the adage that ‘Walls have ears’ but I never thought walls could also speak and fly as an internal memorandum from Microsoft leaked into the open. But this is not where the flaring issue lies. The memo stipulates that Microsoft employees are no longer allowed to use company funds to purchase products from Apple. Is this a clear indicator of company loyalty or another ensuing battle with the two tech giants?
In the 1980’s Microsoft and Apple were the two juggernauts in the computing market. From the start, Apple was clearly winning hands down, but eventually Microsoft gained in speed and triumphed. By the mid-1990’s, Apple so drastically lagged behind that they would have been on the verge of bankruptcy had its rival pushed the fight harder.
Apple faded into the scene and Microsoft rested on its laurels as it made a huge lead over Apple for an entire decade.
But the story didn’t end there. Just a few years ago, Apple got up from the pits of defeat to the rock of supremacy as it released the first iPhone in 2007. The revolutionary smartphone staved off the winning streak of then Microsoft Windows Phone and owned the top spot. By then, the release of the iPad almost cemented the place of Apple in the zenith of success, as it implied the irrelevancy of the PCs in a more modernized era.
It is surprising that for years Microsoft had been unswerved despite the decline of its market share volume. Was it because Windows was still conquering over OS X? Was Microsoft being complacent while Apple was little by little leeching into the domain of Microsoft through its smartphones and tablets?
Going back to the issue of the memo, I guess it’s a little bit off-putting to see your employees buying products from your long-standing competitor. And I think it’s just natural for the management to be protective with this kind of issue. It’s not as if that was a bizarre regulation for implement.
Meanwhile, some people may arrive at a conclusion that Microsoft is scared of Apple and that they need to impose such policies on their employees. Anyway, what Microsoft and Apple have is a serious rivalry and not a petty competition, and Microsoft can’t afford to patronize Apple as the tech giant is putting a dent in their sales records.
The copy of the memo that leaked is pasted 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.
CFO | WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
WW SMSG Finance
This is why if you are on Microsoft’s side, I guess you better sell your iPhone at cashforsmartphones.com! Isn’t this a more natural thing to do?