My favorite story of the week was the Fortune Magazine article on Steve Ballmer's plans for keeping Microsoft on top of the technology world. I had already heard most of what Ballmer had to say in the article — it's the usual stuff about the huge opportunity in the convergence between consumer electronics and computing — but Ballmer also had a hilarious comment about his kids. I've heard Steve say before that he emphatically does not own an iPod, but this week he went even further by saying, "I've got my kids brainwashed: You don't use Google, and you don't use an iPod."
I'm sure Steve believes what he said (and he's probably right about his kids' usage habits), but I couldn't help but think of one of his kids in a computer lab at school and the teacher says, "Now everyone open up Google and type 'George Washington'" and one the Ballmer kids raises a hand and says, "I'm sorry, but my dad says I can't use Google." Or a Ballmer kid hanging out with a friend who says, "Hey you've got to listen to this cool song on my iPod" and the Ballmer kid responds, "I'm sorry but I'm not allowed to use one of those."
I'm not trying to make fun of Ballmer or his kids. I'm just saying I personally wouldn't think less of him or his company if his kids use the best technologies out there, regardles of who makes them.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.