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IBMers used to be famous for filing lots of patents and for uniforms of dark blue suits and white shirts, but an internal email seen by the Reg suggests black turtle-necks, faded jeans and berets might be more in order now.

Admittedly IBM flogged off its PC business to Lenovo some time ago, but we didn't expect them to so quickly embrace over-priced fondleware from Steve Jobs.

An email sent to the Reg reveals that IBM is considering offering staff discounts on Apple Macs.

As part of Big Blue's "You" benefits package the company is considering offering discounted Mac hardware. Staff are currently voting on whether this is a good idea or not.

Even more shocking for the reputation of that most staid of hardware giants - IBM isn't just considering letting its staff muck about with the machines at home.

As part of the tax rules regarding the purchase the machines must be used for two years as the recipient's primary business machine.

We called IBM for comment and got a muffled response. As far as we know staff are still being polled on whether Macs should go on the benefits list. If you know more, please tell us in comments below. ®

The email:

Would you be interested in a You* offering for Apple Mac machines?

IBM is considering making Apple Macs available through the YOU* flexible benefits scheme. In order to gauge whether there is an audience for such an offering we are running a short poll amongst UK employees. Outline of the potential offering

This offering would provide employees with an opportunity to purchase a discounted Apple machine over two years from their Pre-You* income. The employee would benefit from a discount from Apple and the tax saving's offered from You* salary sacrifice payments.

The machine would be IBM property until the 2 years of payments had been completed and would need to be used as the employee's sole business machine (with incidental personal use, in accordance with IBM business conduct guidelines). At the end of the 2 years the machine can become the employee's personal asset or be returned to Apple.

Please complete the poll on the right hand side and forward this onto any colleagues who would like to vote on the idea.

IBM sent us the following: "IBM operates a Flexible Reward scheme called You* which allows employees to personalise their reward package by electing benefits which are individual to their lifestyle. Benefits include workplace, child care and insurance offerings.

"As part of the scheme IBM is surveying employees to gauge interest in the option of an Apple Mac computer. Discussions are ongoing and no decisions have been made."

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