There should be an image here!My household, like most, doesn’t have silly rules exclaiming that you can use one brand of product but that other comparable brand is forbidden. Yet apparently, this is not what it’s like in the upper echelons of Microsoft. According to multiple reports, both the Gates and the Ballmers, led by what may be described by some as an absolutism mentality, put severe limitations on the tech enjoyed by their kids.

In this piece, Melinda Gates makes it clear that Apple products are not allowed in their home. This means no iPads or iPods for the kids in the Gates household. On Ballmer’s side of the fence applies with the addition of no Google. Seriously, and I quote: “…I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.” Wow, life is limited in those two households.

Now here is the interesting thing: I imagine that there are similar rules in the Jobs household and I know that in Google’s offices, Windows PCs are a thing of the past. So clearly this issue is much more than some anti-Apple/Google issue. It’s overly competitive individuals who take their lives WAY too seriously limiting the experiences of their kids and or employees due to personal bias.

Why does it have to be this way? In my household, despite my distaste for Windows and OS X, we run both and Linux as well. At no time is one machine “banned” from my home because much of my work flow revolves around the Linux platform. Banning something from my family members because I am potentially competing against it is just stupid.

By not being such an absolutist, I am able to see how other non-Linux products might do something better, perhaps that needs to be emulated in my chosen platform. Vice versa, in some cases. However you cut it, I think it is important to never “ban” something in your home because you work for the competing product vendor. I mean, does Michael Dell ban HP printers from connecting to his computers? After all, HP makes PCs, too. Surely I am not the only one seeing how utterly dumb this mindset is?

[Photo above by James Vaughan / CC BY-ND 2.0]