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Melinda Gates, who once yearned for the iPhone, now happily supports a complete ban on Apple products in her household. Her husband Bill started a little company called Microsoft, which you might have heard of.  (Source: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
The only fruity products allowed in the Gates household come from trees

In addition to founding arguably the world's most powerful tech company, Bill Gates also has been among the most generous figures of the modern era, giving away billions to charitable causes.  His long-time wife, Melinda Gates, with whom he has had three children, has been critical in steering those charitable donations to worthy causes.

In an interview entitled The Donor, published in The New York Times Mrs. Gates sheds intriguing light on a variety of topics, including her charitable efforts.  Among her observations is that past charity drives to support sub-Saharan Africa have been biased towards men, leaving women behind.  The Gates Foundation's efforts have focused on women, especially, in these regions.  She also discusses how she believes in birth control for the third world, despite her religion -- Catholicism -- opposing it.

Perhaps the most humorous part of the interview, though, comes when Mrs. Gates details how Apple products are forbidden in their household.  Though she admitted in the past, "Every now and then I look at my friends and say 'Ooh, I wouldn't mind having that iPhone,'" she didn't mention any such desires for Apple electronics this time around.

When asked if she owned an Ipod, she appropriately responds, "No, I have a Zune."

When asked if her children clamored for one, she states, "I have gotten that argument — "You may have a Zune.""

She was even more vocal when asked if she had an iPad, responding, "Of course not."

When asked if rumors of Bill Gates using a Mac laptop were true, she comments, "False. Nothing crosses the threshold of our doorstep."

The interviewer then asks her whether there's room in the world for Microsoft and Apple.  She comments, "Microsoft certainly makes products for the Macintosh. Go talk to Bill."

Mrs. Gates' no-Apple, no-nonsense policy is similar to that of Microsoft's Chief Executive and close friend of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer.  Mr. Ballmer, who has described Mr. Gates as being like a spouse and Microsoft like their "child", has bragged in the past of having his biological children "brainwashed" to reject Apple and Google

When asked in 2006 if he had an iPod, he responded, "No, I do not. Nor do my children. My children--in many dimensions they're as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I've got my kids brainwashed: You don't use Google, and you don't use an iPod."


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RE: MacBook
By Luticus on 10/25/2010 3:02:18 PM , Rating: 5
I find it amusing that someone wouldn't get why the "father" of windows would avoid the product of a direct competitor. Personally i completely understand the logic here. if i made a product then i probably use my own over my competitors any day. and if i felt my own product to be inferior to my competitor then i'd simply do what i could to make it better but i'd never switch. That's like shooting yourself in the foot!

I'm sure gates uses more than just "Microsoft products", he probably just doesn't use the products of those he considers direct competitors to his own products. Using other people products or openly promoting them would show a lack of faith in his own platform... why would he or anyone for that matter do this? Does steve jobs use windows?... you can bet the answer is no.


RE: MacBook
By captainobvious on 10/25/2010 3:15:19 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I find it amusing that someone wouldn't get why the "father" of windows would avoid the product of a direct competitor. Personally i completely understand the logic here. if i made a product then i probably use my own over my competitors any day. and if i felt my own product to be inferior to my competitor then i'd simply do what i could to make it better but i'd never switch. That's like shooting yourself in the foot!

I'm sure gates uses more than just "Microsoft products", he probably just doesn't use the products of those he considers direct competitors to his own products. Using other people products or openly promoting them would show a lack of faith in his own platform... why would he or anyone for that matter do this? Does steve jobs use windows?... you can bet the answer is no.


Agreed, I doubt you'll see many Fords at the Toyota headquarters or vice versa...

Any businessman worth his salt would boycott his competitors products and embrace his own company's to show his solidarity and faith in the brand if nothing else. And the same goes for his family, if it's a BIG company. Just like how a police officer wouldn't want his children breaking the law -- having your wife/child plug a competitor's product is bad news for any CEO.

That said there's plenty of good reasons to NOT by Apple products that don't involved "because you're CEO of Microsoft" (hmm... their poor build quality, their smug attitude, etc...).


RE: MacBook
By Yongsta on 10/25/2010 5:12:04 PM , Rating: 1
Yup, I remember in the past reading about either Ford or GM's CEO at the time mentioning that the Lexus LS was the finest vehicle in the world and he drove it himself as his personal car... way to back up your own product.


RE: MacBook
By mcnabney on 10/25/2010 9:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
That would be Ford's CEO. And it wasn't that long ago.


RE: MacBook
By The Raven on 10/26/2010 1:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
Umm I think I mentioned that MS doesn't make notebooks. They are not a competitor in that respect. Does money flow to Jobs? Yes. But if that is a problem does that also mean that the Gates' have never seen any Pixar movies?

Apple is MS's competitor, and even their direct competitor in the OS game. Also PMP, phone OS, media center, and others I'm missing I'm sure. But they are not a direct competitor on lappy hardware.


RE: MacBook
By Luticus on 10/26/2010 1:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
as mac is a closed platform and apple has bascially made sure tha mac and osx are seen as synonyms in the martket place it makes no difference if mac is a "notebook" and microsoft doesn't make notebooks.

microsoft makes windows and you can't buy a mac without getting osx preinstalled, therefore bill using a mac would equate to bill using osx.... can you really not see that?


RE: MacBook
By The Raven on 10/26/2010 3:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
I obviously didn't make myself clear in the OP so I must apologize. But what I was trying to make a point of is that MS is not a competitor with Apple in the laptop hardware scene. So hypothetically speaking, there would be nothing wrong with that even if he did. Hypothetically. Do you really think I was serious about Gates using Windows on a Mac? I mean anyone making a "serious" comment on this article has got to be kidding, right? I mean the article itself doesn't beg for serious debate here. What are we afraid of, that if Melinda gets an iPhone that we should all get one too?

quote:
microsoft makes windows and you can't buy a mac without getting osx preinstalled, therefore bill using a mac would equate to bill using osx.... can you really not see that?

I had XP preinstalled on both my desktop and laptop and both now have Ubuntu installed. Oh no! Look out! I'm sleeping with the enemy!! ;-)

If you live in a black and white world then I can see where you are coming from, but the fact is that you can easily get Windows on a Mac, but you can't easily get OSX on a Toshiba. And please take this all with a grain of salt and don't reply. Yes I understand the obvious. I was trying to delve a little deeper and failed to properly convey my thoughts.


RE: MacBook
By Luticus on 10/27/2010 10:04:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I mean anyone making a "serious" comment on this article has got to be kidding
I can't tell you how true i think this is... :)

quote:
If you live in a black and white world then I can see where you are coming from
I actually use all 3 mainstream os types regularly. But i'm not ceo of a major operating system corp.

quote:
take this all with a grain of salt and don't reply
heh, it would take a lot more than some post on the internet to get me upset. I take everything with a grain of salt and through it all, win or loose, i'm still laughing.

Honestly i just like to debate, i try to avoid being a troll but a good debate about a "hot topic" is a lot of fun to me and something i really enjoy doing. a lot of times the comments i post are simply to get a laugh or two and i think people enjoy it. If at any point my comments seem serious and literal then chances are whoever is at the other end is reading far to much into them or i simply took a joke too far. a lot of times my jokes regarding apple can be a bit crass or "snarky" as my wife puts it but i do personally lean a bit on the anti-apple side of things. But in the end, it's all in good fun... :)


RE: MacBook
By The Raven on 10/27/2010 2:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
Understood bro. Cheers!


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