You could very well ask them why they prefer a competitor's products; I'd encourage anyone in this situation (including Microsoft) to do so. There's a huge difference, however, between allowing employees to bring in their personal Macs for work purposes and allowing employees to use your hardware refresh funding or hardware stipends on an excessively expensive competitor's product. The whole situation regarding banning iPods was ridiculous, and they were rightly mocked for doing so. Still, this scenario is about what Microsoft allows to be done with its own money, and I can't particularly demonize them for making this choice.
If Apple were a competitor to my products, I'd absolutely prevent employees from using company funds to purchase Macs. If we're a BYOD shop, with devices purchased with private money, then no problem...but I'm not helping out a rival, especially given the cost of Apple's hardware.
I do find it kind of interesting that they've waited this long to blatantly say it, though. Perhaps they're now starting to see Apple as a more viable competitor to their interests?
Your local comic shop proprietor(s) truly thank you for it. A friend of mine owns a shop in South Florida, and it's amazing how difficult it is for these shops to stay open given so many competing avenues to purchase comics and such. Between the national book chains, digital comics, etc., it seems that the publishers hardly care about the little shops that have fostered and helped to grow the comic-loving community over all these years.
Don't even get me started with the artificial scarcity of DC's "New 52," which I'm fairly certain was orchestrated to push digital comic sales while the physical shops had little to no stock...
If you seriously think that there have been "no new stories, no new characters..." introduced in relation to Star Wars, you are likely a very close-minded individual, or someone who doesn't think reading novels or playing games are enjoyable activities. To each their own, of course; however, there have been a number of well-written stories that use the Star Wars universe as a framework.
I certainly won't argue that Lucas has reaped every ounce of money he can out of his franchise (which by the way is his right, so long as people are willing to pay), but to trivialize the works of other creative individuals who use his work as the tool with which to tell their tales is akin to calling all programs written in (insert programming language here) crap because they're using a [perhaps] old tool to complete the task. What kind of sense does that make?
"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain