Bill Gates: ‘I wrote Steve Jobs a letter as he was dying. He kept it by his bed’

“One of the few people to understand [Bill Gates’] compulsions was Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, who died of cancer in October. The two men’s long and stormy relationship has been chronicled in Jobs’s latest biography, but, until now, Gates has said little about their divisions – and their bonds,” Mary Riddell reports for The Telegraph. “‘Steve was an incredible genius who contributed immensely to the field I was in. We had periods, like the early Macintosh, when we had more people working on it than they did. And then we were competitors. The personal computers I worked on had a vastly higher [market] share than Apple until really the last five or six years, where Steve’s very good work on the Mac and on iPhones and iPads did extremely well. It’s quite an achievement, and we enjoyed each [other’s work].'”

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s Steve “enjoying” Gates’ work:

Riddell reports, “This tribute, part praise, part reminder of Gates’s dominance, is more tactful than the comments Jobs made in his lifetime. ‘He spent a lot of his time competing with me. There are lots of times when Steve said [critical] things about me. If you took the more harsh examples, you could get quite a litany.'”

“The atmosphere changed in 2007 when Gates left Microsoft to set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife,” Riddell reports. “‘Steve and I did an event together, and he couldn’t have been nicer… I got a fair bit of time with him in his last year.’ Some months before Jobs died, Gates paid him a long visit. ‘We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future.’ Later, with his old adversary’s death imminent, he wrote to him. ‘I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know.'”

Riddell reports, “That last gesture was not, he says, conciliatory. ‘There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness.’ After Jobs’s death, Gates received a phone call from his wife, Laurene. ‘She said; ‘Look, this biography really doesn’t paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.’ And she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

63 Comments

  1. In 1985, I laboured for 3 weeks to get a lotus 123 spreadsheet to print out legibly on a 15 in line flow printer, from a PC. The next year at a different employer, I took a Mac home for the weekend, set up a cash flow forecast and break even analysis for a business I was planning, on Excel, and got it to fit on the page in about 10 minutes. Have been using MS products on Macs ever since. Gradually transferring to numbers, pages etc, but both together have been wonderfully productive tools.

  2. Microsoft “invented” Excel, Powerpoint, and the true windows Word ( not based DOS Word ) on the Mac and made more money for each Mac sold ( ~$200 ) vs PC sold (~$60) in ’86-’88. And MS purchased $150 mil of Apple stock when Jobs returned in ’97 to help keep it alive. I am glad Gates and Jobs were friends at the level they were. [ that’s why the first real Office products for PC were version 6 on Windows95 – the first 5 versions were Mac only ]

  3. Steve jobs became a very bitter man from seeing what bill gates accomplished with the windows operating system, and try to stop it with law suites. When that didn’t work he became even bitter and made it more personal between him and bill. That when he began to criticizes bill’s work. Bill is a classy guy cause he never got personal with jobs or as angry has he did at lease I can say in public as jobs did. what kill jobs the most is the fact that windows has dominated the computing market and not apple is an old war munger who can never win, jobs history off war foes back to IBM, HP, Microsoft, now Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others anyone how get in the way of him selling apple products. Apple will never win because even with the success in mobile market they still have trouble in the desktop market the mobile market isn’t enough to carry them there is still room for lots o competition apple has a large size of the US market for now with tough competition from android and believe it or not windows phone is picking up some ground (3rd) passing RIM. not to mention some i-phone users say they are getting bored of their i-phone and trying out other options and if u look at the market on a global scale apple has a very small share where most buyers go for the cheaper option apple cannot win. Steve jobs will die his third death when Microsoft wins the mobile market. poor Steve jobs will never rest in pease

    1. Steve jobs became a very bitter man from seeing what bill gates accomplished with the windows operating system, and try to stop it with law suits. When that didn’t work he became even bitter and personal with his criticism of Bills work. Mr. Bill Gates is a classy guy because he never got personal with Steve jobs or as angry has he did at lease I can say not in public as Steve jobs did, Total classiness of bill Gates when Steve Jobs return to Apple to head the company and launch the I’m a Mac ad campaigns Microsoft and bills Gates got criticize by partnering companies and investors for not going at apple directly. And instead did their add campaign in a lighter tone making no criticism of Apple. What killed Steve jobs the most is the fact that Windows OS has dominated the computing market and not Apple. Steve Jobs is an old war monger who can never win a war, Steve Jobs history off war goes back to IBM, HP, Microsoft, now Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others anyone how gets in the way of him selling apple products. Apple will never win because even with the success in the mobile market they still have trouble in the desktop market the mobile market isn’t enough to carry them. There is still room for lots of competition since the market is young, Apple has a large size of the US market for now with tough competition from Android and believe it or not windows phone is picking up some ground (3rd) passing RIM. Not to mention some i-phone users say they are getting bored of their i-phone and trying out other options and if u look at the market on a global scale apple has a very small share where most buyers go for the cheaper option apple cannot win. Steve jobs will die his third death when Microsoft wins the mobile market. Poor Steve jobs will never rest in peace.

  4. Jexhu

    How can anyone take you seriously? You write like an infant.
    Whenever you do get your head out of your ass, you will find that the war is over….Apple won. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    1. Well i do realize there was some typo after i posted because i didn’t bother to go over what i typed. However that fluff and puffy face of yours looks like the perfect fit for an ass. you sound like George bush declaring victory for a war unsuccessful and doling out trillions after.

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