Microsoft founder Bill Gates has banned iPods and iPhones from his household, the software billionaire's wife, Melinda, has revealed.
The rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, and Gates and Apple founder Steve Jobs, is legendary, but the pair have made valiant efforts to conceal any animosity. A rare public appearance together at a conference in 2007 was described by journalists as a "love fest".
But behind the scenes, Apple is the forbidden fruit in Microsoft quarters.
"There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household. But iPods and iPhones are two things we don't get for our kids," Melinda Gates said in a recent interview with Vogue.
But the rule has evidently been difficult to follow for Gates now that the Apple wundergadgets are the talk of the town.
"Every now and then I look at my friends and say, 'Ooh, I wouldn't mind having that iPhone,' " she said.
Melinda Gates, 44, is the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic organisation with about $US35 billion in assets. The Vogue interview centred on her efforts to enhance global health care and to reduce extreme poverty.
The couple have three children, Jennifer, 12, Rory, 9 and Phoebe, 6.
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