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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 captainobvious on 10/25/2010 3:15:19 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.

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.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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