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back to article Bill Gates bans progeny from iPhone Nation

Our hearts go out to little Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe Gates. Their mom and dad won't let them have an iPod or iPhone. But before you iPhone haters start cheering, we're talking about choice. Shouldn't Bill and Melinda's kids have a say in what digital-music player or texting-about-that-cute-new-kid-in-class device they use? …

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I was thinking.

Perhaps he banned it because it is overpriced, over-hyped bling that attempts to lock the user into a proprietary closed system.

Oh wait a minute, do his kids run Vista on their PC's?

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Fair enough

This is the flip side to being rich – you don't get to use competitors' products, even if they're really great. I can't imagine it really causes them too much pain...

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The Gates Syndrome caused by...

Viruses, Intruders, Spyware, Trojans & Adware

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Paris Hilton

There is no title

Well color me not shocked at all. His bunch having an iPhone or an iPod is tacit admission (and constant reminder) of his companies failures in those market segments.

Paris cos even she is smart enough to figure that one out.

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Coat

Erm...

Where I come from bling=chav, so what you're saying to Bill Gates is, go on allow your family to degenerate into a bunch of chavs?

Noooo nononono, keep your kids well away from the iPied iPiper of iPoddery. The majority of Microsoft's hardware is excellent and extremely reliable, besides there are many alternatives to the Zune.

I'm now slightly annoyed that your pointless trolling puff-piece has elicited a response.

Mines the one with the http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/01/review_creative_zen_touch/ in the pocket.

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this is news why

I mean that would a marketing execs dream. See even our competition uses our product.

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Gates Horns

Well, I suppose...

_somebody_ has to buy those Windows Mobile HTC phones after all...

Seriously, it could be worse - at least the little Gates children can always call Daddy and say that they REALLY need a mobile app to keep track of massive collection of toys and small countries recieved as birthday presents, and could he just have a few geeks at the factory knock one out for their Diamond HDs, please? By Friday?

I mean, how much better is THAT than the AppStore?

And who needs iTunes when you can have U2 play your birthday party, in your own backyard? And remember, if you HAD an iPhone you couldn't even video the concert on your mobile!

Somehow, I think the kids are alright...yeah, the kids are alright...

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They are PC

so may I recommend PC Linux ! IT works and is not um , fruity .

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Happy

His Billiness' worst nightmare!

Their software and interface is so good, people are willing to pay over the odds for mediocre hardware just to get it.

It appears that no amount of money can make windows-based gadgets desirable.

Forget the gadgets, just wait until a rebellious teenager walks into school with a Macbook Air...

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Coat

Are you fucking kidding me?

@ b166er

"The majority of Microsoft's hardware is excellent and extremely reliable"

You're having a laugh, arent you? from the 30gig brick zunes to the RRoD-nation of 360 owners, Microsoft has proved they cant make reliable hardware. even on a closed, proprietary system, they still cant make software that reliably works for that system.

MS owns the OS market for the same reason Intel handed the beatdown to AMD back when AMD was turning out superior hardware ; MS has its hand so far up resellers asses that Dell et al may as well be glove puppets. Dont tell me its due to quality hardware and software, you just sound like a drone doing it.

as for Bill not letting his kids get iphones, I think thats a pretty shitty thing to do, to take your job home and inflict your work on your children. Grow up, Bill. you have the money. you're the big man, you won already. you won, bill. Dont be a fuckhead to your kids just because the Mighty mighty MS didnt win in the making-a-walkman-mkII war.

apart from it being a black mark in my mind against him as a father, I really dont think the kids are going to suffer. Im sure they'll cry all the way to the bank.

Mines the one with the best product in the pocket, regardless of the label on it (oh, Diamond Rio, where art thou....)

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Bronze badge

Matriarch?

Matriarch is a FEMALE leader, surely the author means PATRIARCH?

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Paris Hilton

@wonkothesane

Matriarch was interned - read the whole article grep for "lusting" to get the context.

Apple envy was euphemism for err.. banana envy.

Paris, coz she engulfs anything she envies.

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re: Are you fucking kidding me

"You're having a laugh, arent you? from the 30gig brick zunes to the RRoD-nation of 360 owners, Microsoft has proved they cant make reliable hardware"

Don't forget the piece-of-shit Microsoft keyboards. The Microsoft Natural Elite (one of the first split-style ergonomic keyboards) was so forward-thinking, they redid the positioning of the arrow keys and the home/end block so that you could no longer hit keys by feel/memory. But hey, at least they had all of the keys, instead of what appears to be the new fad of removing the [INSERT] key entirely from that block.

Then there's the newer Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro that I got because I needed a split keyboard with a USB connector. It looked like a good keyboard until I used it. It turns out there are quite a few three-character groupings that you cannot hold down at once. Hold down one or two keys, and there's no problem. Try holding down a third key, and it will refuse to recognize the third key. The combinations I specifically recall are L-I-C, I-N-C, and I-S-C. That was a problem for me because when I type, I'm usually hitting one key before my finger is completely off the previous key (or before the keyboard controller acknowledges the release). As as result, I was constantly misspelling words and had to force myself to slow down (words such as "since", "licensed", "application", etc). I've had other keyboards with similar limitations that I noticed when playing FPS games, but nothing that even came close to the limitations of the Natural Keyboard Pro.

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Silver badge

While the iPhone probably isn't bad,

you can and always have been able to get far better music players than iPods for a good deal less money. You don't get the brand recognition, of course, but P.T Barnum was quite wrong, it is actually several a second.

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Gates Horns

Retarding their own kids

Just for the sake of keeping the monopoly going.

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Heart

@ WonkoTheSane

Except that Billg, the patriarch, didn't express any "Apple envy"; the article quotes Melinda Gates as saying "Every now and then I look at my friends and say, 'Ooh, I wouldn’t mind having that iPhone.'" There's your envious matriarch.

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Boffin

dogfood

hey, have we checked up if the messiah of the fruity market does or does not enforce his chums to use or not use fruits?!

besides, i think we should start bitching & head-fucking the fruit-market for a change. vole is aging, and will probably die before the fruits get saggy.

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eek
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Read the article...

@WonkoTheSane

"Microsoft matriarch suffers Apple envy"

"But you know she's conflicted when she goes on to say: "Every now and then I look at my friends and say, 'Ooh, I wouldn’t mind having that iPhone.'""

Notice the use of the word she. I'm pretty sure the author meant exactly what he wrote.

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Anonymous Coward

You see..

"RRoD-nation of 360 owners,"

If you bother to actually do some reasearch there are a great load of people (myself in cluded) who have never had a RROD issue, the people who seem to get them, seem to get the multiple times!

Doesn;t this maybe tell you that thees a environmental factor involved, like maybe they are putting it into a area with no airflow then getting in a tiz before it overheats!

Not saying it doesn;t happen, just saying the problem is made to look worse than it is, same with a lot of ms products due to teh hatred out there for them.

remember, unhappy people shout load, happy, contented people stay quiet!

P.S. I own a ps3,360 and a wii before anyone shouts fanboy!

"as for Bill not letting his kids get iphones, I think thats a pretty shitty thing to do," <-- its a marketing thing, if steve jobs kids used windows pc would cause marketing hell.

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Anonymous Coward

Errr Right

Heff or Hoff who can tell the difference

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Damn iPods

Maybe he is saving his children the pain of buying an iPod only to have a new one come out two weeks later and never get bug fixes or software updates.

Just like my 160Gb iPod. So many annoying issues and not the faintest chance in hell they'll ever bugfix the firmware. That's right, audiobooks, I'm looking at you.

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Coat

Thank you BillG...

For keeping the riff-raff out.

In fact, if BillG wholeheartedly endorsed a product, I'd probably avoid it as the plague...

@WonkoTheSane; I think Matriarch fits well. ;-)

Mine's the one with the 5GB 1Gen iPod and a set of Sennheiser headphones in the pocket.

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Happy

@Heff

In the main you are right, however there's something I really must ask:

Why would Microsoft put their collective hands up an <unspecified number> of Equus Asinas owned by Dell?

Enquiring minds need to know.

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Why would...

Why would Gates and family want an overpriced bit of bling like an iPhone or iPod when he could get a superior Nokia or Zune?

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Coat

Re: Matriarch?

"Matriarch is a FEMALE leader, surely the author means PATRIARCH?"

The envious one is Melinda, and if we assume that Bill is male, then the evidence of the three kids suggests that she is female. However, the author's choice of word here jars with the article's assumption that Bill has imposed the ban on an unwilling family.

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Simple answer

"Shouldn't Bill and Melinda's kids have a say in what digital-music player or texting-about-that-cute-new-kid-in-class device they use?"

Simple answer: no. What kind of not-having-children-themselves idiot would think they did?

Complex answer: yes. Of course they have a "say" in it. Which their parents are free to completely ignore as they make the decisions around here.

Glad to see Bill and Melinda reinforcing the "not while you're living under my roof" policy.

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@Wonko

Melinda Gates is the one showing iPhone envy, so Matriarch is correct.

Or are you suggesting Melinda is really a man? (it doesn't sound like she wears the trousers!)

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The kids ...

will eventually grow up and they'll be able to buy what THEY want. Then the Gates' are truly fucked.

Still, at least their kids WILL grow up. Unlike the kids targeted by Planned Parenthood (supported by the Gates' Foundation) ... they won't grow up or even be born!

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Ballmer is hilarious

What a total and utter twat.

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Stop

Aren't they too young?

His kids are roughly 12, 9 and 6.

I wouldn't give kids that age a phone or an mp3 player, of any description.

Why aren't their ages mentioned? Because then this wouldn't be a story, would it?

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Re: You see...

"Not saying it doesn;t happen, just saying the problem is made to look worse than it is, same with a lot of ms products due to teh hatred out there for them."

Yes, $1 Billion worth of worse than it is? Or are you thinking that's normal on the "Day in the life of AIG" scale?

Blind Idiot.

Here, step out of the closet:

http://criticalstudiesofgames.blogspot.com/2008/06/rrod-cost-microsoft-one-billion.html

"[Microsoft] relied upon its own processor-architecture knowledge in designing the graphics chip to save "tens of millions of dollars", then went directly to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to begin immediate production of the 360's GPU. This shortcut proved to be a costly mistake for Microsoft. The faulty GPU ran too hot, warping the motherboards, unseating chips, and disconnecting heat-sinks in the console."

"While Microsoft initially claimed only 3% of the original wave of consoles suffered from the RRoD, in reality, up to 80% of the 360s from the first production runs fell victim to Microsoft's costly error. "

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Sam
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Coat

Matriarch, Patriarch?

Surely it should be MICROiarch

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Happy

If you sell a product you use that product

FFS

How many Merc dealers drive a Volvo? None.

How many Volvo dealers drive a Merc. None.

Why do car dealers give their staff nice big discounts?

Anybody??

And I regret getting an iPhone.... but stuck with it now ...

Wouldn't get another one

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Anonymous Coward

I won't allow an XBox in my house

And my child that wants it is 18.

Well, he thinks he's funny because what he really wants is me to buy it for him. No chance of that. I'm already paying his tuition at university -- he can spend his own money if he really wants it.

Oh, and no PS3 either. The PS2 and the Wii are plenty, thank you.

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Jobs Horns

Fair enough...

because apple products are overpriced crap.

If one of them ends up turning into an iDiot they might end up spending all of their parents' money on overpriced, underpowered white plastic.

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Jobs Horns

@P.Lee

So that is why people are willing to pay over the odds for mediocre hardware just to install an application that allows them to run XP on it?...

Sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they just want to mark themselves out as the kind of person who is a massive sheep with too much money and knowing nothing about computers then?

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@P.Lee @Anonymous Coward

"Sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they just want to mark themselves out as the kind of person who is a massive sheep with too much money and knowing nothing about computers then?"

These desperate arguements are getting more and more pathetic the more popular the eye-fone gets.

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Go

replies:

@ chris C : dont get me started on microsofts keyboards. and as for dicking with the home key block, if I ever lay my hands on the PFY gonk at logitech that thought moving my insert and delete keys around was a good idea, Im gonna cut him in the parking lot.

@ the Heff/Hoff AC ; you're down to insulting my internet handle? seriously? Good job.

@NG : I dunno, man. Maybe MS is _really_ pushing for the asiatic market?

@ Davey : I can see the arguements for not giving your kids unfettered net access or a TV in their room, and to some extent a phone, but 12 years old and no walkman*?

@ apple haters ; Im not particularly blown away with Apples desktop hardware either (I cant really justify dual-booting either; I'd dualboot for games, and whats the point unless you have a decent GFX card?), but then, having spent a lot of time dicking around with their software, the hardware is'to-task', in that it does whats needed of it.

*yes, Im still calling them walkmen. its a little device you carry on you that plays music. its a fkin walkman, no matter what silly damned name you give it.

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Stop

Two points...

1) the iPod and iPhone are shit - their dad's a techie so he would know this and has therefore made a sensible decision on this basis

2) as a Microsoft man, the publicity caused by some paparazzo snapping one of his kids using an Apple product would be detrimental to his business, and he has therefore made a sensible decision on this basis

So this isn't really a story at all is it?

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Alert

@Ascylto

So you're saying that birth control is a bad thing?

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Paris Hilton

@ascylto

I missed your post earlier. You are a convincing argument for planned parenthood with your attitude of restricting people's freedom of choice.

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Clarification

Every piece of Microsoft hardware I've owned has been flawless, including Xbox 360, various MS Mice over the years, MCE Remote, Sidewinder. (never had a Microsoft keyboard, but then I'm a 2 finger typist, but even then I expect they've got a high MTBF per key).

If what Adam T quotes is correct, then it's hardly Microsoft's fault surely? You design a processor then subcontract that to a massive chip foundry and they fuck it up. At least Microsoft did the honourable thing and replaced them all.

Did you mean the Rio Karma? Unfortunately, when I picked up the Zen Touch for the knock-down price of £85, the Karma was no longer on sale. I looked at that and the Cowon.

For the record, Microsoft owns the OS market due to good business acumen and the fact that Apple were too stubborn to reduce the price of the Macintosh accordingly. This is why William Gates III had to allegedly bail them out with large cheques periodically to avoid a dust-up with the Monopolies Commission. The world is yours for the taking, Bill Gates just did exactly that. He's also now benevolent enough to give a lot back to the world.

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2006/01/70072

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Jobs Halo

Lucky for all of us...

It's lucky for all of us that he didn't force his "R&D" departments to go without Apple products, else we'd all still be messing around with autoexec.bat instead of getting work done.

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Gates Halo

I never would'a thunk it.

I'm impressed. Finally Bill has his head on straight.

"Oh, you want an iPud do you? Start a business you lazy punk. Here is a little startup capital in the form of a washer, a dryer and a little soap. I even made a business plan for you that includes protection money to pay the butler to keep the maid off your ass. Now get to work!"

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Gates Horns

@ Francis Fish

"How many Merc dealers drive a Volvo?"

You miss the point, it not about Bill buying an ipod. How many Merc dealers kids and Wives drive Mercs? Seems you think its 100%.

@AC 13:01

"I won't allow an XBox in my house ..

And my child that wants it is 18."

18 year old aka an adult, bet life is a barrel of laughs round your house.

PS my xbox is off with M$ after falling pray to RRoD, just like the other 80% of owners.

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@ascylto

Still, at least their kids WILL grow up. Unlike the kids targeted by Planned Parenthood (supported by the Gates' Foundation) ... they won't grow up or even be born!

So what do you propose to do with these unwanted kids. are you willing to adopt them ?? Does your concern stops once the child is born ?

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Boffin

Maybe he's banned those items

and a lot more because he wants his kids to be literate, critical thinkers, and most of all, not dependent on non-critical technology.

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@kain preacher and @AC

No, voluntary family planning is fine by me ... I'm talking about the One Child policy in China with forced surgical contraception and abortion which removes the rights of the putative parents and denies children the right to have a brother or sister at the behest of the state. Also, Planned Parenthood's origins are in Eugenics ... originally to erase black people from the planet. Gates' father was an avowed eugenicist (as was a certain Mr A Hitler).

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Overpriced

Yeah the iPods nad iPhones are overpriced for their spec, like Bill says it's the software that makes the products what they are. Not only the software but the overall design as well.

Apple products do well because they are better than anything else on sale, sure there are players and phones that offer more features and higher specifications, but usually they are poorly designed in some way.

As for forcing your own products on your children, thats just dumb. It's not as if he is short of money. I guess he dosn't own anything made by sony either, and does he check devices before he buys them incase they run Linux? I know my toshiba TV runs a linux kernel so is that off his list too? Then again I do doubt he has a TomTom LOL.

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Xbox RRoD

My 360 is 2 years old and works fine, I know over a dozen who haven't returned 360s because of RRoD. I know two people who have, one broke it themselves then intentionally made it RRoD to get it replaced and the other used the thing on a nice deep carpet. Now anecdotal evidence doesn't prove a whole hell of a lot but I really don't think failure rates are near what some people say they are.

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