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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: Irrational brand loyalty
By deanx0r on 10/26/2010 6:45:11 AM , Rating: -1
I know the readership here is mainly composed of PC enthusiasts, but it's always them that are smug and crap daily on Apple's products. The new MBA? underfeatured and too expensive. The iPad? just an oversized iPod touch. Those crazy Apple fanatics are just goons who know squat about computers, right? I could go on, but you see the trend.

Most people just go over the specs or prices and think they can get more for their money with cheaper PC components. However, it doesn't stop the fact that Apple designs and crafts beautiful machines. Those high end crafted materials and R&D costs have to be paid for.

Apple has always been a step ahead from the rest of the competition for at least the past 10 years. They are the benchmark most other companies are trying to measure to or rip off.

For instance:

iPod: no contest. MS launched Zune only after they smelled the cash in that market.
iPad: it was just supposed to be an oversized iPod right? but look at the sales now. Does MS have a proper OS for tablet?
iPhone: prior to the iPhone, smartphones were bland. Everyone now has been 'inspired' by Apple's design.
OSX: many of Win7's features were copied from OSX.

Apple always pushes the envelop with their products. I hate to break the news to you guys, but you gotta give credits where it's due.

RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By Targon on 10/26/2010 7:15:10 AM , Rating: 5
Most of the "PC" world does not necessarily see Windows as better than MacOS, but different. Better in some ways, worse in others. This is a VERY different view than your typical Apple fanatic that can't figure out that in many ways, Microsoft has caught up, and there is very little on the Apple side that clearly is "better".

Now, there really are reasons to not be impressed by the iPad, the big one being the price. Isn't the primary draw of the iPad that it is a large iPod Touch?

Now, there really have been better products out there, but Apple has such a fanatical following that it draws attention to new Apple products, even if there is already a competing product out that is better but did not get a lot of attention.

Now, on the area of phones, Apple came out with the iPhone, and it had one significant difference when it came out, it had a much larger touchscreen without physical keyboard. In part, that was possible due to the price of screens dropping like a rock. If you really wanted a Smartphone though, the original iPhone was NOT a very good product. Copy/Paste was missing, as well as other areas that were not very good for the business crowd. Even today, the only thing that makes the iPhone better is the high resolution screen and the large app catalog. Front facing camera is a feature that most don't really care about, even if some do.

One problem that Apple has is that once they come up with a good design, they don't evolve it very quickly. MacOS X came out in 2001, and while there have been updates, it is still primarily the same in terms of use. This may seem like a good thing, but it also means that users will have a much harder time if/when Apple ever comes out with any significant updates to the OS. iOS 4 may have brought some improvements, but the GUI hasn't changed enough to provide significant improvements to how you use their mobile devices.

Yes, Microsoft may have followed Apple when it comes to many things, but Apple has not released any significant UI improvements to their products in years. Grouping icons isn't really a significant UI change since the idea of putting things in "folders" has been around since the original command line operating systems.

If Apple doesn't come out with any real improvements, the next version of Windows may end up being easier for Apple users to use than MacOS.

RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By deanx0r on 10/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By MBlueD on 10/26/2010 8:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
- Being an idiot is a prerequisite for being a fanatic in general.
- He didn't. The fact that he does not think Mr. Jobs speaks the will of God doesn't mean he discredits everything Apple accomplishes. This is where you fit the definition of Apple Fanatic you proposed.

RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By deanx0r on 10/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By Luticus on 10/26/2010 11:03:06 AM , Rating: 4
Apple is much more daring when it comes to innovations
That's why mac is based on bsd instead of it's own origional code right? Naww... couldn't be.

never due to their smart marketing, great R&D or craftsmanship of their products
Nobody ever said that apple products weren't pretty and people have been fussing about apples marketing tactics for years. My problem with apple's marketing is that it's full of lies and misinformation, and had nothing at all to do with its effectiveness.

Without the iPod and iTunes
iTunes is GARBAGE that i won't even put on my MBP! iTunes is among my "worst software EVER" list! Right up there with windows media player, real player, quicktime, and Rhapsody. However the WORST software ever written (that i've used) is the 2.0 version of the wachovia check scanner software.

Without the iPhone, you would still be stuck with antiquated UIs for smartphones
maybe, i'll go with probably not, but i'll give you a maybe here. You're assuming that no progress would ever have been made if apple hadn't come along. I don't really think that the case. Anyone who's ever used spb software on a windows mobile phone will tell you. I think it was only a matter of time before ui improvements caught on. Apple did a good job with it's UI, but don't act like they're the only company who could have.
everyone else tried to emulate Apple's success with a touchscreen and a UI designed for your fingers: google, palm and now MS
I'd say that ms's phone software is by far the most unique of the pack. That's because from what i've seen android looks a lot like the iphone os, but to be fair to apple they did create the look so cudos there.

Now we have the iPad that everyone here discredited as being a giant ipod touch
what exactally about the ipad isn't a giant ipod touch? Just because it sells well doesn't change what it is... I never said the ipad wouldn't sell. Only that i didn't want one because i'm smart enough not to.

Apple's success on the 8 millions of fanatics who bought an iPad or give credits where it's due?
I always give credit where it is due, every once in a while i feel apple deserves a "yay for you"! I'll let you know when i feel that time is again. of late they've done nothing but piss me off.

RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By Mikeadelic on 10/26/2010 9:12:50 AM , Rating: 4
I'm a PC enthusiast. I build my own boxes and usually upgrade pretty frequently to keep up with newer hardware.

I also bought a 13" Macbook Pro back in June on impulse, since I've always liked their build quality. So you can't call me a 'disgruntled' and 'smug' PC enthusiast. What I can tell you is that it's only been a little over three months and I have already switched back to Windows 7 almost exclusively.

I gladly admit that I was an idiot for purchasing the MBP. It's nice design-wise, but not worth the money by a LONG shot. I read every now and then and am consistently baffled by the uninformed fanaticism on that site.

So there you have it. I think it's safe to say that I'm giving an informed opinion. And I conclude that Apple products, as a whole package, is barely better than crap, and that you are the irrational one for defending the indefensible.

RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By Luticus on 10/26/2010 10:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
I too have a macbook pro (newest one) though unlike the unfortunate person i'm replying to i didn't purchase the device, it was given to me by my employers. what i can say is that i second all of Mikeadelic's comments. osx is a joke and i have to run vmfusion with windows 7 just to make it tolerable. I'm sure other people get along in it just fine but for me being the techy person that i am it's unbearable!

one of the only features i like on the MBP (the multitouch track pad) i now have working on my hp dv6000 (just to see if i could do it)

I have confirmed this working:

now if i could just get the mac dc connecter on my hp laptop :-)

RE: Irrational brand loyalty
By Luticus on 10/26/2010 9:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
All Apple fanatics must just be a bunch of idiots

well if that's how you portray yourself...

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