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Bill Gates bans progeny from iPhone Nation

Microsoft matriarch suffers Apple envy

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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?

Apparently not.

In an effusive article about mommy Gates, Vogue quotes Melinda as saying: "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."

The article goes on to opine: "Harsh, perhaps, but understandable. After all, it's hard to walk around tethered to merchandise made by your father’s most famous competitor."

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.'"

C'mon, Bill, lighten up. You once gave the iPhone a backhanded compliment yourself, when you told BusinessWeek: "If there's anything good about the iPhone, it's software."

Make your wife happy. Spare your kids the embarrassment of having to listen to High School Musical on a Zune.

Shower a little Apple bling on their lives.

After all, you have a clearer view of reality than Steve Ballmer, who famously told USA Today that "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." And who famously laughed at it during a CES interview.

Swallow your pride, Bill, and get your little ones an iPod Nano apiece - and let them pick out whatever color they'd like.

And buy Melinda that iPhone she's evidently lusting for. You can afford it.

May we suggest the white 16GB model? It'd go oh-so-well with the "luminous chestnut hair that falls freely to her shoulders" that Vogue fawns over. ®

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