Dec. 28: Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has said her children are banned from owning Apple products such as an iPod.
Melinda Gates, a philanthropist and world health campaigner, guest edited the Today programme on Radio 4 in London this morning. Asked whether her two daughters and son had asked for an iPod, she replied “of course they ask”.
“But they get Windows technology,” she added.
“The wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?”
Microsoft has enjoyed little success so far trying to compete with Apple’s most successful mobile gadgetry. Its iPod rival, Zune, was a flop and scrapped last year.
A recently redoubled effort has produced Windows Phone 8 to take on the iPhone and Surface to battle the iPad. Both Microsoft products have been fairly well received but so far not made up much ground lost to Apple’s head start in consumer smartphones and tablets.
In 2009, before Microsoft had introduced Windows Phone in response to the success of the iPhone, Belinda Gates, 48, admitted that she had been tempted by Apple products herself.
“Every now and then I look at my friends and say, ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t mind having that iPhone’,” she told Vogue magazine.
Despite the ban, pictures were published last year that appeared to show the couple oldest daughter Jennifer, 16, clutching an iPhone while jogging in Sydney.
Melinda Gates has been credited with persuading her husband, who she married in 1994, to give up leading Microsoft to concentrate on distributing his vast fortune among good causes including the battle against malaria, sustainable agricultural development and HIV research.
Gates has said he intends to give most of his money away rather than pass it on to his children. “That wouldn’t be good either for my kids or society,” he said in 2010.
Despite Microsoft’s rivalry with Apple, Gates was on good terms with Steve Jobs.