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.