Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may not have been able to stop the world's consumers using iPods, but has banned his own children from using the world's most-popular music player.

Speaking to Fortune Magazine, Ballmer confirms he rules his house with an iron rod - and he's happy to brainwash his family. The magazine asked if he's one of the many Microsoft employees who have iPods.

"No, I do not. Nor do my children. My children - in many dimensions they're as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I've got my kids brainwashed: you don't use Google, and you don't use an iPod," he said.

Ballmer - who is facing internal company flak on account of recently announced delays in shipping Windows Vista - has a plan to crack the iPod market: "It's going to take an innovative proposition. In five years are people really going to carry two devices? One device that is their communication device, one device that is music? There's going to be a lot of opportunities to get back in that game. We want to be in that game. Expect to see announcements from us in that area in the next 12 months."