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What Gates and Jobs Really Think of Each Other

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 62 comments
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Bill is a gent and Steve comes off as, well, a little more cutting.

The Telegraph recently published an interesting piece entitled, "What Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Really Think of Each other." Putting each man's public comments regarding the other in one place, the piece aggregates some of the more interesting comments made by Bill and Steve over the years and it makes for some pretty interesting reading.

Jobs is definitely the more chatty of the two. The Apple boss has had a lot to say about Microsoft, Windows and Bill Gates over the years. Bill, on the other hand, has been pretty quiet about his Cupertino-based competitor.

In the beginning, Bill was a big fan. In 1984, Gates famously said the Mackintosh had what to took to create a new standard:

"To create a new standard, it takes something that's not just a little bit different; it takes something that's really new, and really captures people's imagination. And the Macintosh – of all the machines I've seen – is the only one that meets that standard."

Bill Gates (1984)

Steve, on the other hand, has been less complimentary of Microsoft's wares. In 1994, he declared he was disappointed with Redmond and its "third rate" products:

"I guess I am saddened, not by Microsoft's success – I have no problem with their success, they've earned their success for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third rate products."

Steve Jobs (1994)

1994 was a busy year for Steve. He talked a lot about Microsoft back then; more so than he does now. It was the same year he opined that Windows may be Microsoft's biggest asset but it was also its biggest liability. Jobs also said that Microsoft had only had two goals in the decade leading up to 1994:

"Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus' success in the spreadsheet — basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost."

Steve Jobs (1994)

Steve also had some kinder words for Bill during that year:

"I think Bill Gates is a good guy. We're not best friends, but we talk maybe once a month. I think Bill and I have very different value systems. I like Bill very much, and I certainly admire his accomplishments, but the companies we built were very different from each other."

Steve Jobs (1994)

In 2008, Bill, ever the gentleman, says Apple is "fantastic" and keeping Microsoft on its toes:

"Whether it's Google or Apple or free software, we've got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes."

Bill Gates (2008)

However, just two years prior to this, Steve was accusing Microsoft of wasting money on research and development only to turn around and copy Apple and Google:

"Our friends up north [Microsoft] spend over $5bn on research and development, and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple."

Steve Jobs (2006)

Fast forward to 2009 and Gates' wife, Melinda, reveals that iPhone and iPods are two of the very few things banned in the Gates household

"There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household, but iPods and iPhones are two things we don't get for our kids."

Melinda Gates (2009)

Read the full list of quotes from both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on the Telegraph.

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Top Comments
  • 43 Hide
    Abrahm , February 18, 2010 5:10 PM
    Jobs seems like quite the self righteous d-bag.
  • 33 Hide
    ominous prime , February 18, 2010 5:01 PM
    I would have liked to see some more recent quotes from both of them. And they definitely paint Jobs as quite a jerk; I'm not thoroughly convinced yet, but I have my suspicions that he may very well be..
  • 33 Hide
    leo2kp , February 18, 2010 5:21 PM
    And that's why Bill Gates is richer than Steve Jobs.
Other Comments
    Display all 62 comments.
  • 33 Hide
    ominous prime , February 18, 2010 5:01 PM
    I would have liked to see some more recent quotes from both of them. And they definitely paint Jobs as quite a jerk; I'm not thoroughly convinced yet, but I have my suspicions that he may very well be..
  • 43 Hide
    Abrahm , February 18, 2010 5:10 PM
    Jobs seems like quite the self righteous d-bag.
  • 11 Hide
    zeuss , February 18, 2010 5:12 PM
    what happened to the caption of the week?

    This would have been a great picture for it.
  • -9 Hide
    theblade , February 18, 2010 5:17 PM
    This would have been a great pic for a what are they saying contest!

    Something like this:

    Jobs: Have you seen the ipad, it's a striped down version of the iphone just this big.

    Gates: I've seen your puny ipad, I can crush it with one hand!
  • 18 Hide
    Scotteq , February 18, 2010 5:17 PM
    Meh - I believe the reality is they've *both* copied each other over the years. Willingly or not; some ideas/features are good enough that they end up being deemed necessary in the eyes of the end users. At that point, you're forced to deliver or lose sales/share.

    Regarding the banter itself: I would opine that Jobs has little to lose - and potentially a lot to gain in the eyes of his supporters and fence-sitters - by freely taking shots at Microsoft.

    Bill Gates isn't quite as free to express an aggressive opinion in that area, as his comments (right or wrong) would inevitably be portrayed in the worst possible light. About the furthest he could go is to damn with faint praise.


    Both men are clearly savvy enough to know this.
  • 27 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , February 18, 2010 5:18 PM
    Good for Bill. What an awesome nerd!

    There is no reason to publicly trash your opponent.
  • 5 Hide
    godwhomismike , February 18, 2010 5:18 PM
    zeusswhat happened to the caption of the week?This would have been a great picture for it.


    My Caption:


    "AGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRR STEVE!!!!! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SUCH A CONDESCENDING SMUG JERK?"
  • 30 Hide
    ta152h , February 18, 2010 5:18 PM
    Bill Gates has always been a gentleman. I've never liked Microsoft, or their products too much, but it's REALLY hard to dislike Bill Gates as a man.

    Steve Jobs? Kind of easy. Always has been. If he thinks Apple makes first rate products, he needs a better view through the looking glass. They make expensive garbage. Always have.
  • 33 Hide
    leo2kp , February 18, 2010 5:21 PM
    And that's why Bill Gates is richer than Steve Jobs.
  • 22 Hide
    icepick314 , February 18, 2010 5:24 PM
    "There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household, but iPods and iPhones are two things we don't get for our kids."

    Melinda Gates (2009)

    don't forget Playstation as well...
  • 22 Hide
    ohim , February 18, 2010 5:32 PM
    Well, gates has the look of the peaceful geek with good manors and who sits in his place, on the other side is jobs who looks more like the bully and the guy who can`t hear anybody over the sound of how awesome he is.
  • 6 Hide
    helldog3105 , February 18, 2010 5:41 PM
    I don't blame them for banning the iPod, those headphones get dangerously loud, to the point of damaging people's hearing. The iPhone is just a phone using apples OS, what's the harm in it? I wouldn't be surprised about the Playstation being on that list though. Mrs. Gates seems like the kind of woman that would want to protect her children from violence and such. I find that to be an admirable trait by the way. I'm not trying to insult her in any way.
  • 11 Hide
    cadder , February 18, 2010 5:42 PM
    I think Jobs is Apple's biggest enemy.
  • 2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 18, 2010 5:57 PM
    Interesting progession of thoughts and comments by both of them.
  • 24 Hide
    JMcEntegart , February 18, 2010 6:03 PM
    etichianother "let me stir the pot" article by Jane.


    Please try and keep your comments constructive.
  • 21 Hide
    830hobbes , February 18, 2010 6:12 PM
    JMcEntegartPlease try and keep your comments constructive.

    Jane, your articles are my favorite on Tom's. Keep it up!
  • 4 Hide
    greenbuck , February 18, 2010 6:14 PM
    Put yourself in Steve's shoes. Here's a guy who always takes ideas from what you make, and turn it into something more successfull and become richer than you. Wouldn't despise that guy? Ofcourse you will. But that's just how the game is played. Everyone takes ideas from one another. So Steve should not hate. Bill overall is a nice guy. You've got to admire his philanthropy hobby. He's doing a lot of good to poor people in the world. Is Jobs doing any philanthropy? If he does I haven't heard about it.
  • -2 Hide
    coldmast , February 18, 2010 6:23 PM
    why don't we through some of the Blamer comments in!
    They keep comingncomingncoming....
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