Yesterday, The New York Times’ John Markoff spent a half-hour with Apple CEO Steve Jobs after he introduced iTunes movie rentals, Time Capsule, the MacBook Air and more.

According to Markoff, the MacBook Air “is a reversal of field for Mr. Jobs, who in the past has insisted that less-than-full-featured laptops are undesirable.”

MacDailyNews Take: Did Markoff watch Jobs’ keynote? Job spent considerable time on, and stated rather clearly, that Apple’s new MacBook Air does not compromise to get the weight down like other laptops. Jobs said that, unlike other so-called thin (before yesterday, at least, they seemed thin) laptops, MacBook Air doesn’t compromise on thickness, keyboard or screen size. The whole point is that the MacBook Air is so thin and full-featured. So, where’s Jobs’ “reversal of field?”

Markoff continues, reporting that Jobs told him that the MacBook Air “is the most elegant computer the company has created, right down to the four rubber footpads that support it. Some of the competitors’ machines are so flimsy, he said, they require a fifth or even sixth pad to keep from sagging.”

Markoff reports, “[Jobs] had a wide range of observations on the industry, including the Amazon Kindle book reader, which he said would go nowhere largely because Americans have stopped reading. ‘It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,’ he said. ‘Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Besides the fact that Kindle is a product in search of a market, it also doesn’t help that it looks like something John Dykstra superglued together back in 1975.

Markoff continues, “He was equally skeptical about Google’s decision to develop smartphone software… ‘Having created a phone its a lot harder than it looks,’ he said. ‘We’ll see how good their software is and we’ll see how consumers like it and how quickly it is adopted.’ In seeking not to get locked out of the mobile phone world, ‘I actually think Google has achieved their goal without Android, and I now think Android hurts them more than it helps them. It’s just going to divide them and people who want to be their partners.'”

Markoff continues, “Mr. Jobs saved his greatest compliment today for his former archrival Bill Gates, who has now largely retired will retire from Microsoft this summer. ‘Bill’s retiring from Microsoft is a big deal,’ he said. ‘It’s a significant event, and I think he should be honored for the contributions he’s made.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: LOL! Yeah, right after Gates serves his time for stealing and copying from Apple for 30 years while calling it “Microsoft innovation,” an oxymoron if there ever was one. Honor Gates, for what, exactly? Stifling productivity worldwide for the last two decades by plunging the world into the Dark Ages of Personal Computing because he couldn’t resist buying a Mac and trying (and failing) to replicate it every G.D. year? For driving countless innovators out of business by illegally abusing his monopoly? For stealing from the ignorant for years so that he could try to buy his way into heaven at the end? Microsoft Bob? Promoting solid pastel V-neck sweaters? We’re at a loss.

For which contributions, exactly, should we be scrambling to honor Bill Gates? Maybe Jobs meant for producing upside-down and backwards, insecure, poorly-faked Macs for the masses which eventually worked to get him back at Apple and therefore get Apple back on track? “I think he should be honored for the contributions he’s made.” Maybe Jobs simply means the charity contributions, but we have a tough time commending anyone who donates ill-gotten gains. (However, we will say that giving it away to charity is at least better than amassing collections of cars, yachts, and mansions – unless, of course, you build and sell cars, yachts, and mansions for a living, that is.)

Jobs is crafty. He comes off looking magnanimous towards Gates in The New York Times, but don’t discount what are obviously also his feelings — perhaps his true feelings — which were clearly on display in the “Get a Mac” video that opened Jobs’ keynote yesterday. And these are Jobs’ feelings or this video wouldn’t have been shown:

Direct link via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcqzaMtwQWk

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Citymark” for the heads up.]