Robert X. Cringely: Steve Jobs ‘is proud of being an a**hole’

“Robert X. Cringely is nothing if not individualistic. That’s probably the one thing that marks him out among all the technology reporters who are part of the industry in the US – the man is different… He agreed to be interviewed by email,” Sam Varghese reports for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Varghese: You’ve called Bill Gates a bright but poorly socialised kid under the age of nine. You’ve called Steve Jobs a sociopath. Did either of these gentlemen give you something less than a kindly look the next time you met them?

Cringely: Jobs is proud of being an a**hole. Gates doesn’t mind his actions being described but he doesn’t like people to characterise him (say why he does what he does). As such, Microsoft once used one of its classic threats (defy us and we will destroy you) against a book publisher of mine. I told the publisher they were wankers and cowards and wouldn’t follow through on their threat. I was right.

Varghese: Some people say that all the innovation in the industry has been killed by Microsoft. Comment.

Cringely: Microsoft is about money, not innovation. They aren’t opposed to innovation and like to be seen as innovators, but what really matters to them as a company is the money. Think of it that way and a lot of what they do starts to make sense. When I give speeches… I like to pull out a $US20 note and point out that there is something about that note that bothers Bill Gates – that it is in my pocket. Microsoft really does want all the money and I’m not sure they won’t get it.

Full article here.


  1. I like the MDN format because it is so easy to read the comments below. A lot of times there is an incredible amount of extra information in them. I think it probably chews up a bit more bandwidth for them but it really is a plus for the readers. Other sites you have to read the comments one at a time or in threads only. I also like the slant MDN takes. It is extremely Mac-wing ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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    Ex. has a promotion for winning 1 i-Trip a day for a week. They hava a link to ipodlounge, which links to the promotion on

    Yeah technology!!!

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