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Melinda Gates Tells UK Radio About Family Ban on Apple Products

On Friday, Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates, was interviewed during the Today show on Radio 4 in the UK. She revealed that Apple products are not allowed in the Gates household, even if their two daughters (Jennifer, Phoebe) and one son (Rory) ask for an iPod or some other i-gadget for Christmas.

Wait! Do they even dare ask for such products given that they live in the House That Windows Built? Of course they do, she said. "But they get Windows technology," she added. "The wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?"

True that, but even Melinda Gates understands the temptation of an Apple gadget. Back in 2009, before Microsoft finally retaliated against Apple's iPhone with the revamped Windows Phone 7 platform, she admitted to Vogue magazine that the iPhone looked rather tasty.

"Every now and then I look at my friends and say 'Ooh, I wouldn't mind having that iPhone’," she said.

As she indicated, there was no real personal rivalry between the House of Gates and the House of Jobs – it was two brilliant men leading two companies making competitive products. It was about making money, and finding ways to win over the hearts and wallets of consumers. Even Bill Gates said there was no rivalry shortly after Steve Jobs' passing late last year.

"We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future," he said. "I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing."

Steve Jobs and Apple changed the computing world as we know it with the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad. Both products have left Microsoft scrambling to find its place in the computing market as consumers have ditched their desktops and flocked to both products like magnets. Windows 8 is a direct result, bringing a touch-based app environment to multiple Microsoft-controlled screens including the desktop, tablet, smartphone and gaming console.

With a new touch-focused Microsoft platform now out on the market, it would seem that the temptation for the Gates family to switch over to Apple products would be less aggressive. But rules are prone to be broken nevertheless, especially by 16-year-olds hell bent on having their way. Just last year, despite the no Apple rule, their oldest daughter Jennifer was caught jogging in Sydney, clutching an iPhone.

So much for not investing in a competitor. Maybe it was a gift from a friend or grandparent?

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  • PhoenixMJ
    And I care because......?
    Reply
  • Teeroy32
    My house is an anti-apple house to, penguins live in my household, except gaming, Microsoft all the way
    Reply
  • Maxor127
    Teeroy32My house is an anti-apple house to, penguins live in my household, except gaming, Microsoft all the wayIt sounds like Linux all the way.
    Reply
  • Teeroy32
    Maxor127It sounds like Linux all the way.Soon it will be linux all the way once games are more redily available, but may need a dual boot windows for a while, and I do love my Xbox, only machine that will run newer Halo
    Reply
  • AzureFlash
    I wouldn't put it past the founder of Microsoft to restrict even his children's freedoms such as the freedom of choice.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    AzureFlashI wouldn't put it past the founder of Microsoft to restrict even his children's freedoms such as the freedom of choice.
    Note that it says in the household. If I'd be Gates, I'd probably do the same, Apple should be infinitely more disgusting to him than it is to anyone else and he probably doesn't want to regularly see a reminder about how people (sadly) buy into his direct competitor's BS OR have his kids mention how some stuff is better than what their dad's company makes. The closer someone is, the more they'll hurt you by pointing out that someone is better than you. So I completely understand Gates. Hopefully he at least allows Android - Windows is great for everything desktop and laptop related, but I'd rather have Android on the tablet or smartphone.
    Reply
  • Jerky_san
    Teeroy32My house is an anti-apple house to, penguins live in my household, except gaming, Microsoft all the way
    Soon that will be linux to if the gaming industry keeps moving the way they are doing.. Then I'll be all penguins to =)
    Reply
  • bluestar2k11
    There's a "No Apple" policy in my house too.
    But it's more because I find them to be bloated over-controlling pointless products with a premium price tag, that don't do anything significantly more special then what I can get else where for less money and restrictions.

    Not all my electronics are windows though, I've taken a liking to Android as of late for mobile products esp for my phone (With exception of my old Zune), but my laptop and all my desktops are windows XP or 7.
    Reply
  • twelve25
    AzureFlashI wouldn't put it past the founder of Microsoft to restrict even his children's freedoms such as the freedom of choice.
    Oh please, man. Kids have the freedom of choice once they turn 18 AND make their own money. I restrict what products my kids can buy, too.

    You think the CEO of GM buys his children Ford cars or wouldn't give them a bunch of crap if they bought one?
    Reply
  • halcyon
    We're a mixed household. My wife has a MacBook Air. My 3 and 13 yr. olds each have their own iPads and and I'm a Windows and Android man. I can't imagine ever telling my wife or 13 yr. old they can't bring a certain brand of technology in the house as long as it doesn't pose a threat I can't mitigate. I won't be buying any Windows phones unless in the future they radically depart from what they are today. ...just not interested.
    Reply