Bill Gates still won't let his children use Apple products

Bill Gates is a rich man. If he wanted, he could buy his three children as many iPads and Macs as they wanted. But he won't, because the Microsoft co-founder has banned his progeny from using Apple products.

Melinda Gates, Bill's wife, reaffirmed the family's longstanding commitment to not allowing Apple devices in their household in an interview on U.K. radio station Radio 4 this morning, according to a report by The Telegraph, saying her son and two daughters sometimes ask for Apple products, but they won't get them. Instead, the Gates children get Microsoft-made products, such as a Windows Phone 8 device instead of an iPhone, or a Zune instead of an iPod.

"The wealth from our family came from Microsoft, so why would we invest in a competitor?" she told the radio outlet.

Melinda Gates first revealed that Apple products aren't allowed in the Gates household in a 2010 interview with The New York Times. In that interview she said, "Nothing [Apple] crosses the threshold of our doorstep."

While Bill Gates may merely want to support the company he led for decades, there's also the obvious media impact he's looking to avoid. Late last year, for instance, one of his daughters was photographed holding a device that vaguely resembled an iPhone, prompting a quick media response criticizing Gates.

Source: The Telegraph | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

2012's most viewed Wikipedia article: Facebook

Next Story

If you work in a SMB and are thinking about moving to the cloud, we need your help

114 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

And yet another thing to prove that iHatred is analogous to religious extremism, mostly by people on the losing side of the battle against Truth and Beauty.

There are tyrannical households that don't permit TV, movies, or even music, and this move, if real, just makes the Gates family seem pathetic.

Sylar0 said,
Had this policy in my home since I was old enough to understand who Microsoft and Apple were.
You mean the Microsoft that rose to prominence via monopoly and illegal practices in the 90's, and who caused millions to lose their data and have it stolen via vulnerabilities in their operating systems throughout the 2000s?

Arthax said,
You mean the Microsoft that rose to prominence via monopoly and illegal practices in the 90's, and who caused millions to lose their data and have it stolen via vulnerabilities in their operating systems throughout the 2000s?

They gave PCs to the world. I don't care for the American free market thing. Besides Apple is an over rated rich people's product why don't they all just eat food with gold leaf in it. Vulnerabilities I used XP in the 2000s I never lost data people needed to learn how to use anti-virus and firewalls at the time. Of COURSE xp was going to be attacked it was the world's first dominant consumer operating system!

Well his daughters go after Apple products because that's what the cool kids have these days - its a trend. Not to mention what a huge buzz reporters would of created around it.

And by the way, I noticed my sister doing a lot more on her mobile phone after moving on from a shiny iPhone 4S to a Lumia 800 and yes that is a major downgrade if you are a geek.

His house...his rules. When the kids get out on their own as adults, they may choose devices that they want, but til then, they are under his house and his rules. Simple as that.
Now, on another note, he's "worried" about the image of his kid(s) being photographed with idevices? Typical....people are more worried about "how they look"...social status, what a bunch of BS

is there anyone here proficient with psychology?

how this any different with Scientology which banned its member to using non-scientology service.

famous example would be: Lisa McPherson who must go to scientology doctor and not other 'infidel' doctor.

Marvelous said,
bill is smart. he can tell what products are actually trash.
Yeah, his own products, that're failing so hard in the market because nobody wants to buy them. Guess he did what he could to keep from losing 3-5 more sales to Apple.

To anyone truly believing that this has PR reasons in the slightest: Why would they tell anyone about the kids wanting that stuff apparently pretty bad?

GS:mac

No parent, no matter the "political" obligations should tell their children what to use.

Let people have a free and open mind.

Honestly, it would say a lot more about Bill Gates if he told his children to use whatever they please.

Open-Mindedness people, lets embrace it. Else, this world is doomed.

Binary said,
No parent, no matter the "political" obligations should tell their children what to use.

Let people have a free and open mind.

Honestly, it would say a lot more about Bill Gates if he told his children to use whatever they please.

Open-Mindedness people, lets embrace it. Else, this world is doomed.

Not to say I would never bestow my opinion on the children, but I would not "force" them to be any certain way.

hmm I find this to be more PR than truth. his kids are probably preteens/teenagers. they like to instagram and use all the latest fad apps like snapchat. with all their friends using iphones I find it hard to believe. but I guess when a healthy trust fund is at stake it might be possible.

"The wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?" she told the radio outlet. -- but Microsoft DID invest $150 million in Apple back in 1997, haven't counted Microsoft Office for Mac!

Crucify said,
He doesn't want his kids to truly know how $4h!tty the Apple products are.

Fixed that for you.

That must be why nobody's buying Microsoft phones and tablets, or the latest skin of DOS 8.0

Are there families out there that want an iDevice because what it is, and not because the Apple-logo on it.

That means: yes, here it is the same and lets keep it that way.

TruckWEB said,
So they never used a tablet before the Surface? No iPad or Android tablet? Wow...

Welcome to 2012...

Apple did not invent the tablet , they just popularised it.

TruckWEB said,
So they never used a tablet before the Surface? No iPad or Android tablet? Wow...

Welcome to 2012...

I've got news for you: the tablet is a Microsoft idea, welcome in 2012.

Studio384 said,
I've got news for you: the tablet is a Microsoft idea, welcome in 2012.

Where were they? Apple made them popular with an OS that can run on a tablet.

I don't think tablet were THAT popular before... Even if it's a MS idea. Welcome to who is better at doing something. Funny, MS is playing catchup now.

-T- said,

Apple did not invent the tablet , they just popularised it.

None of the Androids or Surfaces you see today would be around if Apple hadn't showed everyone how to succeed. And they succeeded so well they got all the mindless haters that just rage on anything that's #1 at the given moment.

I won't either. Just got Surface for daughter and she loves. Showed to apple fanboy brother in-law and he thought it was fantastic and very impressed.

Maybe bill doesn't want them to be social outcasts. Maybe hes teaching them a valuable lesson. "Kids don't play with the 1% of the world, you should be playing with the other 99%"

Colin McGregor said,
Maybe bill doesn't want them to be social outcasts. Maybe hes teaching them a valuable lesson. "Kids don't play with the 1% of the world, you should be playing with the other 99%"

iOS devices are 1% of the world. Damn where was I when that false statistic was reported.

Microsoft products gives me my job, so I support MS. Granted I am opened minded, and I've given my wife an iPad and iPod Nano, however that is how far I am going. No Apple computers, and definitely, no iPhone. It is bad enough that I have to deal with iPhone on a corporate level.

RommelS said,
Microsoft products gives me my job, so I support MS. Granted I am opened minded, and I've given my wife an iPad and iPod Nano, however that is how far I am going. No Apple computers, and definitely, no iPhone. It is bad enough that I have to deal with iPhone on a corporate level.

Linux gives me a job and I support macs and windows at work with all Linux servers.

Your point? Also let me see you manage windows phone as easy as iOS devices. iOS is 2nd when it comes to managing devices. I believe blackberry is still first but I don't have to manage any thank god

Sikh said,

Linux gives me a job and I support macs and windows at work with all Linux servers.

Your point? Also let me see you manage windows phone as easy as iOS devices. iOS is 2nd when it comes to managing devices. I believe blackberry is still first but I don't have to manage any thank god

To each his own Sikh. To each his own. Good for you that Linux provide you with a job.

And by the way, I am managing both Blackberry and iOS as well. Let me answer your question with a question, have you have experience managing Windows Phone within the enterprise environment? I think NOT, so why would you ask me a question on a device that has not really been implemented in the corporate environment? I do know that iOS, for it to connect to a corporate environment, you have to use third party software from its store, and Apple wouldn't want you to create your own store. At least MS has pointed out that they will allow and assist companies that want to create and manage their own store for their own software.

By the way, just to let you know, Windows Phone 8 has a feature called "company apps" . It allows companies to offer policies, certificates, and apps that would assist you to connect to your business.

Buhahahaha!! So this thread is the official "I'm the biggest dick to my kids" thread? Hats off to all of you. One day you will realize that forcing your own personal preferences down your kids throats will not have the same outcome as you think it will. Instead your kids will just think "yeah, well my dad is a dick".

Google, products are not welcome in my house on Wi-Fi I have Warmed up on Apple as I would rather someone get an IPad than Android anything but when a Surface in they get the all access to Music &Videos,

If his kids can't find a device on par to Apple devices then MS need to do some work. It's good that he is using his kids as gages of the market

Like all kids, first thing they will do out of their daddies house is go do what they want. And with their dad not letting them have apple products they are going to go full on Apple.

Shadrack said,
Like all kids, first thing they will do out of their daddies house is go do what they want. And with their dad not letting them have apple products they are going to go full on Apple.

Yea, I can imagine this to happen as well.

GS:mac

Understandable, in his position it makes sense as it would be the best marketing Apple could hope for, they would simply announce to the world that "Even the Gates Family uses Apple", for the unthinking minions, this would act as stamp of approval that Apple is best.

For almost anyone else, unless you have specific issues with the Apple ecosystem, simply banning it just makes you look like jackass. BTW I don't own any Apple products.

If there was a reason like maybe because they used to be simpler than more advanced MS products, it was understandable. Now, MS products are (over)"simplified" to be like Apple, so no reason to stop your kids. Let them use what they prefer. That's openminded-ness.

I wonder if Bill's "Microsoft products only" rule also applies to games console. Woe be tide any
of his kids, should they dare to cross the Gates threshold with a Sony Playstation 3 or PSVita!

DJGM said,
I wonder if Bill's "Microsoft products only" rule also applies to games console. Woe be tide any
of his kids, should they dare to cross the Gates threshold with a Sony Playstation 3 or PSVita!

I don't even know poor kids that play ps3 or vita lol why would rich kids want one.

"The wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?"

Bill must of had a bit of a telling off back in 1997 when Microsoft, led by Bill, indeed invested in Apple.

Just what this world needs is the Bill and Melinda Gates children walking around brain dead on Apple products. I look at my own Son and he is 27 years old and his cell phone is sucking so much possible productivity out of him. My fear is that he is going to wakeup at around 40 (hopefully), and regret spending all that wasted time...

I applaud the Gates parents for what they are doing. Do ANY of you think this type of technology is hindering our next generation of youth. I have absolutely NO doubt that this world is loosing so much.

Maybe what the government needs to do is step in and ban all mobile technology, except the ability to make phone calls until the age of 25.

Damn! The only day I haven't listed to Radio 4 and I miss out an interview with Bill G. Ahh well thank you for iPlayer :-D All on a Windows Machine hehe ;-) Its ironic that they can probably have ANYTHING they want in the world but not the most sought after gadgets by the Western World that's got to screw you up more than Micheal Jackson! I bet the kids are sneaking round to their mates in the middle of the night to have a go on an iPad haha! Kids, Are you going out to a strip club drinking and taking drugs, Yes Dad...That's OK then as long as you don't touch an iPhone haha!

I don't blame him, I've stopped buying Apple products too, took me one ipod touch to realize that their products are ****, and that they rip off consumers with high prices for meager tech.

TRC said,
Didn't Microsoft literally buy into Apple years ago, seems kind of silly to not allow his kids to have an ipod.

you mean saved from job's bankrupting them so they had competition like a cat toying with a mouse so he doesn't get bored ya.

Colin McGregor said,

you mean saved from job's bankrupting them so they had competition like a cat toying with a mouse so he doesn't get bored ya.

most of the money was due to stealing quicktime code which they was convicted off, try not to let your ignorance get in the way

evo_spook said,

most of the money was due to stealing quicktime code which they was convicted off, try not to let your ignorance get in the way

You seem to be forgetting the £150 million that MS gave Apple to prop up the flagging business. But of course in your words "Don't let your ignorance get in the way".

That's just crazy. Bill Gates really is that scared of Apple. He knows his kids will like it and it will be leaked to the media. What Bill Gates is doing is no different than what most dictators do. Keep information out of the hands of the people you wish to control so that they think they have it so good with you.

DoomsDayMayan said,
That's just crazy. Bill Gates really is that scared of Apple. He knows his kids will like it and it will be leaked to the media. What Bill Gates is doing is no different than what most dictators do. Keep information out of the hands of the people you wish to control so that they think they have it so good with you.

What bill gates is doing is the same thing MOST COMPANIES do. Steve Jobs didn't outright say his goal is to destroy the virus that is android? Factories like Fords, GM, BMW etc give discounts for their products and prefer you dont buy others. My friend works for an inventory company where they go in and count inventory for companies and there were places that would remove you if you walked in with a coke since they were a pepsi establishment. Get a clue.

That really isn't good marketing his wife does there. "...saying her son and two daughters sometimes ask for Apple products, but they won't get them."
What she implicitly is saying: "Our kids think Apple products are better, but we won't allow them"

Apple should pay her. Or her kids.

in my house im allowing everything except "android phones and tablets "
we have windowsphone - blackberry - symbian - ios

So, why are you making a big deal of out it. We don't need to use Apple products. What's wrong with using Android or Windows devices? Apple unfairly dominates the market and stole technology for use in the iPod and the iPad isn't the first tablet. This country is too obcessed with Apple and we do not run on Apple. Also, Apple locks down it's products and doesn't give you any options were as Android is open source and you have a wide range of options. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Phone or Tablet is better the iPhone/iPad
http://www.anythingbutipod.com
http://www.anythingbutipad.com
http://www.anythingbutiphone.com

Well, at least your first three sentences make sense. The rest is complete babble apart from the open source comment. I have an Samsung S3 & iPad 3 btw

Davin Peterson said,
So, why are you making a big deal of out it. We don't need to use Apple products. What's wrong with using Android or Windows devices? Apple unfairly dominates the market and stole technology for use in the iPod and the iPad isn't the first tablet.

Stopped reading right there. Go read up on how Microsoft became relevant in the first place, with all it's unfair monopolistic and even borderline-illegal practices throughout the 90's, and Google's main source of income being stealing your data, sometimes even without your consent.


"The wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?" she told the radio outlet.

100% agreed.

But... Android? My family may not have apple products as a rule... but windows phone? I can't do as much as I can do with Android right now...

Exactly what she said. The money they have came from Microsoft products so why buy into a rivals products... even though I think the iPhone and iPod are better!

Colin McGregor said,

could be worse, he could let them get an iphone

Yeah, better keep them on a phone with a crap app market so they don't spend money on app or iTunes purchases.

While I can understand why he would make such a move, I think it's a bit over the top. I also find it interesting that they have a specific rule, "no Apple products." Those kind of rules are created only if there is a genuine fear that without it in place the family would be buying Apple products instead of Microsoft.

Eh not a big surprise really. If a family that's very publicly attached to Corporation A is walking around with products from their arch enemy Corporation B, what does that say about their faith in Corporation A's products? They have an image to upload, can't bite the hand that fed them so well, etc etc. Kind of a given for any public figure really.

if you were the chair of a large company would you want their stock to drop because they used an AAPL product? because it would only because it shows that not even the elite of the company trust their products.

Oh no, I completely understand that. My point was alluding to the idea that the children don't automatically want a Microsoft product, they have to be told that they will only use Microsoft products.
Of course, you could attribute that to the idea that their friends probably all own iPhones and not Windows Phones, but still...I just thought it was interesting.

I think the rule doesn't make sense for normal consumers, but for Bill Gates? Totally makes sense to me. I really don't think it's a fear -- I take Melina Gates at her word that they're trying to support the company her husband founded. (And I'm guessing the media impact thing I mentioned plays a role, too.)

Ok, let me rephrase myself:

I would be interested to hear why the children asked for iPhones instead of asking for a Windows Phone. Is it because all their friends have one? Is it because they think the iPhone is better than a Windows Phone? Is there a feature on the iPhone that they wanted that the Windows Phone cannot do?

primortal said,
I betcha the same rules apply to Steve Job's children, no Microsoft in the house.

Hmm... Microsoft is a software company, so I wouldn't be too shocked to see Office for Mac on their computers.

GS:mac

Ezekiel Carsella said,
they could use iWork or OpenOffice

Or use both, like I do.

iWork and MS Office both have their pro's and con's.

Open Office (or better yet Libre Office) is great for the price, but in terms of MS Office compatibility it's subpar.
iWork isn't that much better either I guess (don't really use it for many MS Office documents that are a little more complex as I have MS Office, too), but at least it's great for Apple's office formats obviously and has a nicer workflow IMHO.

Not as capable, but certainly awesome enough for most of my documents and it certainly is a good PDF creator.

GS:mac

Intrinsica said,
Ok, let me rephrase myself:

I would be interested to hear why the children asked for iPhones instead of asking for a Windows Phone. Is it because all their friends have one? Is it because they think the iPhone is better than a Windows Phone? Is there a feature on the iPhone that they wanted that the Windows Phone cannot do?

Perhaps they saw their friends with iPhones and wanted to be cool? Perhaps they aren't particularily aware of Microsoft's ecosystem outside the obvious (Windows and Xboxes)? Perhaps they never really asked, it's just a general rule and they've been taught about the reasons being seen with Apple products would be bad for Microsoft?

Speculation is next to useless.

Yes, every time I've had to fix an Apple product, it's taken longer than it would have if it were any other non-Apple product.

In any case, everyone's happy with their non-Apple products.

Douglas_C said,
Just like my household - you can have anything you like, except if it's an Apple product.

As said before, I hope you're joking man.
Bill Gates founded, supported and made Microsoft to what it is today.
His family simply cannot be seen with competing products. Not only is it loyalty to his own work, but imagine that if his wife walks around with an iPhone and iMac? it will surely create a nice press item.

Shadowzz said,

As said before, I hope you're joking man.
Bill Gates founded, supported and made Microsoft to what it is today.
His family simply cannot be seen with competing products. Not only is it loyalty to his own work, but imagine that if his wife walks around with an iPhone and iMac? it will surely create a nice press item.

HP's CEO did it, many Samsung executives and workers did it, etc etc... yet the news story broke and nothing really happened after that.

Once the cat is out of the bag the news will quickly move to the lands of forgotten stories that only could survive the rapid cycle of tech news by overblowing them.

GS:mac

Douglas_C said,
Just like my household - you can have anything you like, except if it's an Apple product.

I don't mind if people use them in my house, they just get no WiFi.
No syncing to my Windows Ecosystem.
Although, I did let someone charge their iPhone from my SurfaceRT at the pub the other night.

No Apple products will be in my household, either. There was once a time when I really badly wanted to get a Macbook Air and load Windows 7 on it, but then Ultrabooks took off.

I'd love to know what they run on laptops and desktops in his home. Being the smart man he is, I doubt it would be Windows 8

dvb2000 said,
I'd love to know what they run on laptops and desktops in his home. Being the smart man he is, I doubt it would be Windows 8

That's funny. Given that he is a smart man, I concluded exactly the opposite.