Security is Bill Gates' "top priority", and the iPod has been a "great success", reports ABC News.

Interviewed by the channel, Microsoft co-founder and chairman Gates moved to pour cold water on recent claims that Apple's iPod is the plat du jour across Microsoft's Redmond campus.

"I doubt that's the case", Gates said, "the iPod's a great success", he observed. Gates then proselyted Microsoft's curious mantra of "choice". "Microsoft is providing choices to consumers", he explained.

I speak of iPod to come...

Gates uses a Creative Zen for his digital music needs, allegedly.

"What we have today, whether it's iPod or the other things are only the start of what we're gonna have in a few years," said Gates. "People are gonna want choices. These things are going to be smaller or better, cheaper. So, music has changed. The age of the CD is really coming to an end."

In a strange twist of Orwelian doublespeak, Gates claims Microsoft to be "responsible for the creation of the PC industry". In another aside, he remarks, "competition is always a fantastic thing".

He also remarks that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has "done a lot of amazing things for our industry".

Firefox reignites the browser wars

With Internet Explorer market share hitting a steep decline, MIcrosoft recently revealed plans to release another version of the browser, despite earlier statements that it would not do so. Redmond likes to hang onto the markets that it has, Gates confirmed:

"Our commitment is to keep our browser that competes with Firefox to be the best browser - best in security, best in features. In fact, we just announced that we'll have a new version of the browser so we're innovating very rapidly there and its our commitment to have the best," he said.

Gates also talks about US society, politics, AIDS, his foundation and the requirtement to educate US children as fundamental for the future.