How Bill Gates Was The Grinch To His Kids’ Apple Christmas

How Bill Gates Was The Grinch To His Kids’ Apple Christmas

Here’s a sure fire way to spark a riot on Christmas: give your kids Microsoft Surfaces instead of the iPads and MacBook Airs they wanted instead.

Who would be that Grinchy? Microsoft founder Bill Gates, apparently. He gave his two daughters and son Microsoft products for Christmas, instead of the Apple products they asked for.

The revelation comes from Melinda Gates, who told an interviewer on Radio 4 in the U.K. about Christmas morning in the Gates house:

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?”

I can answer that one. Because it’s Christmas, and on Christmas, you try to get people the things they actually want instead of the things you egocentrically want for them to want. That’s why I stopped distributing French Kissing coupons to all of my female friends and started giving them coupons redeemable for not kissing me at all in 2013 instead. If I can figure that out, how can a guy like Bill Gates, one of the most generous philanthropists on Earth, so misunderstand the point of seasonal giving?

To clarify, it’s not like I think getting a Microsoft product is a bad gift. It’s not at all, if someone buys you one having sincerely given some serious thought into what you want and what you’d prefer, even if they conclusion you come to is wrong. But buying someone a Surface when they have explicitly said they want an iPad, all because you think you know better than them? Congratulations, you’re a tool.

  • matthewmspaceyoutube

    When his kids get jobs, the first thing after they get paid enough will be iPhones, since they have been denied them their whole lives.

  • FriarNurgle

    Those poor poor deprived children. Must be tough getting by without Apple gadgets and only gajillion dollar trust funds to wipe their tears upon.

  • monstermasten

    Bill Gates is a great man with asperger’s syndrome. Maybe that is it.

  • Bob Smogango

    No, Bill just wanted to make sure they increased the number of Surface RT tablets user base because at this stage, even a couple makes a HUGE difference in the numbers sold. Plus it kind of looks bad if Bill’s own children use an Apple product. Heck, even Microsoft employees were using iPads, etc. before Microsoft put out a moratorium against them using Apple products. Maybe if Microsoft actually was an honest business partner, they would get Office of iOS out a little sooner and maybe they would increase their revenue/profits from Apple users.

    The REAL reason why Microsoft is making these tablets is so their own employees are using a Microsoft product, since they would be using iPads if they didn’t. Freaking Bill Gates. EGO, EGO, EGO.

  • Bob Smogango

    To FriarNurgle, Bill’s kids aren’t getting much of his money when they get older. He has already made a public statement that his own children won’t be getting his Billions.

    Personally, children of wealthy parents should be entitled to have enough so they don’t starve to death, and so they can go to college and have some money available to them, since there are a lot of jealous people out there that might not hire them because they are Bill’s kids and they get treated differently just because of their parent’s wealth. They might not even want to work for Microsoft either.

    Being brought up in a wealthy family has it’s advantages and disadvantages because they many times run into too many idiots that don’t always realize that kids of famous and wealthy people actually get much money from their rich parents. Some do, but not all.

    My parents were wealthy when I grew up, but I worked during high school, I worked while going to college or used my own money that i got from my own investments from working to pay my bills while going to college. So my parents didn’t spoil me too much. They certainly didn’t leave me with millions of dollars when they passed away either.

    Please keep your jealousy to yourself. It’s kind of embarrassing for Bill to give his kids a competitor’s product for Christmas because of the obvious reasons. he may not give them enough money to buy their own iPad.

  • jaydorsey1978

    Perhaps Ballmer made him do it, he’s a lot beefier than Bill… probably threatened to sit on him if the kids got their iDevices.

  • Bob Smogango

    Bill Gates is an idiot in many ways. he thinks that his billions will solve the problems of Africa too. He has about enough money to buy every man, woman and child a nice dinner and that’s about all he has. And he thinks he can help Africa become self sufficient when his own kids will have to look for a job by themselves. he might give them a job at Microsoft, but what happens if they don’t want to even work there? Freaking Bill. As Gary Busey said in the movie Under Siege. “Are you an idiot?”

  • musicwizard

    Are we serious? Who gives a crap what Bill Gates gave his kids.

  • dcdevito

    What would he give them if they were bad? Samsungs? :p

  • Bob Smogango

    What’s even worse is it wouldn’t surprise me if Bill got his kids presents for free or at a HUGE discount. I wouldn’t have waited until Christmas to give them computers. I would give my kids something OTHER than computers that have a little more meaning to it. Computers are tools you give your kids, if you can afford them, automatically. I can understand why he’s afraid to give them Macs and iPads with him being who he is, but if the kids got Macs and iPads with their own money, there isn’t much Bill can really do about it. Maybe Bill should realize that Microsoft SUCKS and even his own kids don’t want his own company’s products. He might want to rethink the whole WIndows 8 strategy and just make Microsoft an application developer and get out of the OS and tablet business and accept the fact that Windows SUCKS.

    In some ways, i feel sorry for this kids. They are in a no win situation. Too bad they aren’t old enough and have enough money to defect completely. I guess Bill has to have control over everyone, even his own kids.

  • Bob Smogango

    It’s too bad there isn’t much of a secondary market for second hand like new Surface RT’s so they could sell them and buy iPads and Macs behind Bill’s back. Could you imagine them trying to sell their Christmas presents on eBay telling everyone that they are Bill Gates’ children that want to buy a Mac and IPad instead of Surface RTs? Hahahahahahahaha… If I had tons of money, I would just buy them Macs and IPads and let them know that not EVERYONE is a loser like their father……..

    Only loser father’s treat their own kids like crap.

  • Bob Smogango

    Even Bill’s kids will probably grow up to resent their own parents. Giving them a Surface RT is like giving them a rock for Halloween. Great dad! I wanted an iPad. Imagine what his kids are telling their friends what they got for Christmas? hey Bill jr., what did you get for Christmas? “I got a piece of $HIT Surface RT.”

  • davester13

    Maybe they were naughty this year. A lump of coal for you both, suffer with this Surface!

  • Alexander530

    Bad daddy.

  • aapladay

    John, I am so sick of this biased crap you continuously spit out on Cult of Mac. It’s terrible, and I wish there was a way to see Cult of Mac without the junk you write.

  • bdkennedy

    They should buy them both and let them chose or they are going to get left behind in technology when they have to get jobs. It will also show their parents why their products suck and why their net worth is about to tank in the next few years.

  • Andrew Newsome

    They should buy them both and let them chose or they are going to get left behind in technology when they have to get jobs. It will also show their parents why their products suck and why their net worth is about to tank in the next few years.

    i’m sure they’ll suffer with only a few billion

  • Andrew Newsome

    I can’t believe some people are getting so emotional about this article…let alone taking it seriously.

  • Gadget

    John, I am so sick of this biased crap you continuously spit out on Cult of Mac. It’s terrible, and I wish there was a way to see Cult of Mac without the junk you write.

    It’s not called Cult of Microsoft. Maybe you are on the wrong site.

  • VirtualVisitor

    “Coupons for not kissing” – awesome!

  • Steven Quan

    Hey Melinda: Apple isn’t your competitor. Bill’s not working at MSFT anymore. You can get your kids iPads, it’s ok. There’s a running joke that MSFT employees use their Surfaces and Windows machines at work, and use their iPads and iMac’s at home.

  • JacktheMac

    John, I am so sick of this biased crap you continuously spit out on Cult of Mac. It’s terrible, and I wish there was a way to see Cult of Mac without the junk you write.

    This website is called ‘Cult of Mac‘ you may find a clue in there as to the perspective of the writer’s opinion.

    Also, where’s the bias ? The iPad is an objectively better device than the Surface; iOS is more mature and more sophisticated than Windows’ mobile equivalent; the Zune (which I seem to remember being forced on the Gates’ offspring a few Christmases back) was universally derided as Windows ‘me too’ answer to the Zeitgeist-defining iPod (it came in brown, for %&@*’s sake). This isn’t bias. It’s called journalism.

  • HerbalEd

    Poor Bill. He was damed if he did and damned if he didn’t. Can you imagine the media uproar, and the screams from MS investors if they found he gave his kids Apple products for Christmas instead of MS ones?

  • Robert X

    There’s a running joke that MSFT employees use their Surfaces and Windows machines at work, and use their iPads and iMac’s at home.

    I am not sure that is really a joke. :)

  • simbasounds

    Nice post, John :)

    “one of the most generous philanthropists on Earth” .. I hope that’s ironic. I used to hate him because he was the competition who stole and badly copied Apple’s designs; then more during antitrust ’98; but lately it’s evident he’s a malevolent social darwinist. “Philanthropy” in association with Monsanto is anything but.

    This is not conspiracy theory – it’s right-out-there imperialism:
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/05/wikileaks-exposes-unholy-alliance-of-us-government-bill-gates-and-monsanto.aspx

  • madaroda

    “Because it’s Christmas, and on Christmas, you try to get people the things they actually want instead of the things you egocentrically want for them to want.”

    I could not agree more with this statement. There’s a war on Christmas in this country, and Bill Gates is on the wrong side. Thanks to the author for pointing out who our enemies are.

    At our Christmas dinner, my kids wanted to drink champagne. I egocentrically wanted them to grow up to be non-alcoholics, and offered them diet Dr. Pepper instead. But then I remembered it was Christmas, and so I let them get sloshed.

  • Andrew Newsome
    John, I am so sick of this biased crap you continuously spit out on Cult of Mac. It’s terrible, and I wish there was a way to see Cult of Mac without the junk you write.

    It’s not called Cult of Microsoft. Maybe you are on the wrong site.

    You DO realise you can write articles about Apple-related news without implying Apple is perfect and everyone else sucks?

    This site is for Apple news, not about bashing every other company and praising Apple.

  • FilthyMacNasty

    Between the Surface and a lump of coal, I’d take the coal. The Surface is a lump of…

  • mfullstop

    The real problem with this article has nothing to do with Mac vs. Windows. It’s John Brownlee’s assumption that kids should have the right to demand something for Christmas and that if you defy their preference, you’re “a tool”.

    Brownlee is expressing a particular ideology in relation to gift-giving: that at Christmas, you should give your loved ones objects that they attach utility to and would like to purchase themselves, except you’re footing the bill. He then concludes, as though it’s just self-evident, that this is the right way of going about things “because it’s Christmas”. In fact, I don’t think that’s self-evident at all. I suspect a large proportion of people would identify more closely – again, putting the Apple/Microsoft thing to one side – with Bill Gates’ conception of gift-giving, rather than John Brownlee’s.

    Why? Well, to the extent that a person cares about the giving or receiving of gifts, whether at Christmas or on a birthday or on some other occasion, the exercise is about expressing something about the relationship between the gift-giver and the recipient. And it should have some kind of value for both people. It’s not purely a one-sided transaction in which the gift-giver is told what the recipient wants, and promptly trots out to the store to get that particular object. So by giving his children Microsoft products, Gates was taking into account the fact that his children expressed their wish for iPods or similar technology, but also engaging with the obvious reality that Microsoft was his life’s work.

    Brownlee may think that his conception of gift-giving is superior to all others, but I think it’s grossly unwarranted to brand anybody who views gift-giving in some other way as “a tool”.

  • duncanfurg13

    Those kids need to be put in child protection.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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