Bill Gates s sprawling Washington state compound is, as you might expect, packed to the gills with bleeding-edge gear, from the heated floors and 20-seat home theater to the X-ray machine (for screening the mail, of course) and miles of fiber-optic cabling. But here s what you definitely won t find at chez Gates: an iPhone.
In the latest issue of Vogue, Bill s wife, Melinda Gates, reveals that among the "very few things" on "the banned list in our household" are—you guessed it—iPods and iPhones.
Brutal, yes—especially for Bill and Melinda s three kids (two daughters and a son, aged 12, six, and nine, respectively), who ll just have to grin and bear it as their little pals make merry with the latest and greatest iPod.
And even Melinda herself admits to an occasional pang of Apple envy: "Every now and then I look at my friends and say, Ooh, I wouldn t mind having that iPhone. " (Ouch!)
Then again, what else did we expect from Microsoft founder Bill Gates? The man has his pride, not to mention scores of Windows Mobile and Zune team members who d probably feel a tad bit hurt if Bill Jr. was running around with an iPhone.
So, which phones and MP3 players are on the Gates s "good-to-go" list? Well, there s always the Zune for music and video—not the sexiest MP3 player out there, mind you, but at least it s got Wi-Fi and a snazzy interface.
And of course, there are plenty of Windows Mobile handsets to choose from; personally, I d go for the Palm Treo Pro (if I had to get a Windows Mobile phone, that is), although it s not exactly a barrel of fun for the teens. Or how about the HTC Touch Pro? That s a pretty cool phone … I guess (as I pat the iPhone 3G in my jeans pocket).