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Friday, April 30, 2010, 03:20 pm PT (06:20 pm ET)

Kraft Foods adds new support for employees choosing Macs

Following the general trend away from top-down, centralized corporate computing monoculture, Kraft Foods has initiated a "Bring Your Own Computer" program for its employees, providing new support for employees who want to use a Mac.

The new program, detailed in documents obtained by AppleInsider, notes that, "everyone works differently. For some, a standard computer or laptop is just the right tool to get their work done. For others, a computer with a little something extra – a different operating system, custom hardware, more memory, etc. – is the best fit for their job."

Kraft's new employee initiative "gives you the freedom to choose the right computer for your lifestyle," according to the fact sheet the company distributed to employees. The program is described as "best suited for employees who want to use a particular type of computer that isn’t currently supplied or supported by Kraft Foods, such as a Mac," and prefer to take their work system home, "have the experience and know-how to take care of their own technical support," and "work out of the office on a regular basis."

As a new benefit for Kraft Foods employees, "Bring Your Own Computer lets you purchase the computer of your choice, giving you the flexibility to accomplish your work on your own computer in your own way, when and where you want. Kraft Foods helps pay for the costs with a stipend. In return, you agree to maintain your own computer and follow certain guidelines," the fact sheet outlines.

The new benefit is currently available to Kraft's salaried employees in the US, with future plans to expand the program globally, "where it makes business sense." Participating employees must comply with company policies regarding software, security and data requirements, which includes installing Microsoft Office and appropriate anti-virus software and turning on disk encryption.

The company outlines minimum system requirements for the program that effectively limit it to PCs running Windows Vista/7 Ultimate (employees can't use the Home, Business, or Professional editions) or any Intel Mac running Snow Leopard with at least a 2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.

Kraft Bring Your Own Computer