Bill Gates Says His Wife Is Lying, His Kids “Never Ask” For Apple Products

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Earlier this month, Melinda Gates told an interviewer in the U.K. that “of course” her kids asked for iPods for Christmas, but the Gates won’t give their children Apple products because “the wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?”

This isn’t the first time Melinda Gates has piped up on the subject of giving her children Apple products. Two years ago, Melinda Gates took part in another interview in which she said that she had “gotten [the] argument” that her children should be allowed to have an iPod. She said that her response was to say, “You may have a Zune.”

Today, the FOX Business Network did an interview with Bill Gates, in which he says his children have never asked for an Apple product in their lives. Ever! Someone’s lying.

The interview is posted up on FOX Business, and during it, Bill Gates says a lot of noble and interesting things about his charity work , online education and the tech landscape as a whole.

During the interview, Gates said this when asked about his wife’s recent quote on refusing her children Apple products: “Well, they never asked. So I don’t know. It would be interesting if they did ask, but they love their Windows phones and they love their Windows PCs.” The quote’s at the very end of the interview.

Gates is a smart, charitable guy, and I think one of the better humans on the planet… but he’s a total dick about having Apple products in his home, and this quote is downright disingenuous. His wife is on record twice in the last two years saying her kids want Apple products instead of Microsoft products, but that they won’t even give them to their children on Christmas.

Heck, she said that when her kids asked for iPods, she gave them Zunes instead. Zunes! That’s like asking for a Transformer robot for Christmas and getting a tin can emptied of its payload of beans with pipe cleaners glued to the sides instead.

I’ve said it before, I’ve said it again: only jerks give unwanted gifts to people on Christmas under the auspices of supposedly knowing better. Come on, Bill… own up, you big Grinch. Your kids want Apple products and you know it.

Related
  • BrainGameMayhem

    “…he’s a total dick about having Apple products in his home.” Really? Even if he did buy his competitor’s products, which is highly unlikely, do you think he’d publicly admit it?

  • Atienne

    If this blows up and she divorces him, I’ll marry her. She gets 1/2 his stuff. :-)

  • jeffythequick

    …and in other news, a chicken crossed the road to get to the other side.

    Film at 11.

    This is one of the most non-news article that you guys have written. I’m sure that the CEO of Exxon tells his kids not to fill up at the Shell station, and other such things, and the Amazon kids don’t go to Barnes and Noble. Heck, I bet your kids aren’t supposed to hang out at MacRumors.com, either. Then again, maybe not.

    I can only imagine the field day that the Apple Mafia would have with pictures of Bill Gates’ kids doing the Apple dance commercials.

  • daov2a

    Saying someone is charitable and a “better human” and then calling him a dick is a very strange way to describe someone and very poor writing.

  • dcdevito

    I hate his former company but the dude’s a legend. Not right calling him a dick.

  • oclanman

    This is such a pointless article. I find it very disgraceful when people like John Brownlee go on personal attacks that have nothing to do with technology and have no point other than to be rude. Who cares whether Bill Gates allowed his kids to have Apple products or not? They’re his kids. It’s his money. He can do what he wants.

  • aardman

    “Well, they never asked. So I don’t know.”

    Given his hard ass attitude about Apple products in the family, of course his kids never asked him. They asked mom, who asked dad on their behalf, who then shot the whole idea down.

  • seaaalex

    Ah Brownlee is trolling for page views again …

    And calling him a dick ? John with your track record ?

  • Eric

    I love my Mac Pro, and I prefer my iPhone over the competitions’, and yes I even have an iPod Touch Nano (gift). But if I were Gates’ kids, and I can get any Microsoft gadget for free. Sure, give them to me. I’ll use it. lol

  • Steven Quan

    I enjoyed reading this article, up until he called Bill G a dick. That wasn’t right with all the good things Bill G has done for humanity, giving monies for vaccinations in Africa and such. It also wasn’t very good journalism.

    Is this article useful? I think it’s about as useful as those “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” commercials. Bill G has always been hard up when it comes to Apple. When asked about Apple’s runaway success with iPad, Bill G said something to the effect of Microsoft always being at the forefront of tablet technology.

  • jeffythequick

    For all those calling Mr. Gates male genitalia, what company invested in Apple when it was about to go bankrupt in 1997?

    Oh yeah, that was Microsoft.
    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-202143.html

    Mr. Brownlee, grow up.

  • hdboy

    This “humanitarian” is the same Bill Gates who, as a teenager, cheated the original DOS developer out of a fair share of Microsoft’s very first contract (with IBM), back-stabbed Apple’s Jobs and Wozniak by secretly developing Windows once he received pre-release access to the first Macintosh graphics-based operating system and then illegally copied it instead of just developing the contracted software. Later, he sandbagged Netscape by copying the world’s first successful Internet browser and then pummeling the innovative company in the marketplace by withholding access to Windows API’s while giving away his own copycat product (Internet Explorer) — with the (then-young) OS.

    This also is the same nerdy guy that cut corners by skipping sensible Windows and Web security and privacy controls so that he could create a proprietary, Internet advertising network designed to track users online activities for business clients. This sounds eerily similar to today’s problems with Google Search and Android — doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this critical mistake ended up introducing the world to a generation of computer viruses, spyware and malware that eventually brought down Windows — and millions of personal computers owned by his own unsuspecting customers.

    As for his $250 million “investment” when Apple was in financial trouble back in 1997, let’s get real here. This relatively small payment held far more value as a PR gesture that reassured Mac developers, and a watchful U.S. Justice Department that had long been investigating Microsoft for anti-trust violations. At that time, a Microsoft without Apple as a competitor instantly would have faced more legal scrutiny for serious anti-trust investigations. The payment also served as a settlement that closed the book on Apple’s then-active infringement lawsuits against Microsoft. So, don’t think for a minute that Apple was THE ONLY (nor even primary) benefactor in that transaction.

    Was Gates a smart and tough businessman? To be sure. An honest businessman motivated to improve mankind? I think not. He’s certainly doing the right things now and so I won’t question his motives. But some of us who watched all this unfold during his early career will never think of him as a humanitarian in the same way as say, Mother Theresa.

    Finally, while his charity is wonderful (and I acknowledge that the Gates family should be applauded), it’s also a no-brainer for the wealthy to give away millions and billions they don’t really need long after they’ve already cashed in billions and billions, sometimes even in ill-gotten gains. The IRS calls this giving a tax deduction and it shelters current earnings.

  • hdboy

    Oh, and I think Gates is parsing the language and lying about his kids not wanting iPhones and iPods. His kids may not have asked him directly for Apple products, but I’ll bet that they said something to their mom. After all, no one has accused them of being morons. In that era, very few kids wanted an iPod over a Zune..

  • Harvey Lubin

    Yeah, Bill. Your wife who is more in contact with the kids than you are is a big, fat liar. (I’ll bet there’s “no soup for you” tonight. ;-)

  • Harvey Lubin

    For all those calling Mr. Gates male genitalia, what company invested in Apple when it was about to go bankrupt in 1997?

    Oh yeah, that was Microsoft.

    jeffythequick, the amount was only $150 million… nowhere near the amount Apple needed (over a Billion dollars) at the time, and so NO it did not “save” Apple.

    Also, that $150 million was an investment, NOT a gift. The investment was to be held for 5 years, so Mr. Gates made a very nice profit on that investment by 2002.

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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