Bill Gates: History will remember Steve Jobs

Early last month we reported that Malcolm Gladwell, a bestselling author, said that people will remember Bill Gates far into the future, thanks to his philanthropic achievements, while Steve Jobs would become an obscure figure for future generations. In his recent interview with Charlie Rose, Gates gave a definitive statement on how he feels about that claim.

“Steve Jobs did phenomenal work, both when I partnered with him and when Microsoft competed with him, and that deserves to be remembered,” Gates said, further proof that no matter how much bad blood went down between them, they always maintained a certain amount of mutual respect for one another.

Even though Gladwell's statements will probably turn out to be true – Gates' philanthropic achievements are huge – that doesn't mean that Steve Jobs will be left behind in obscurity to all but the generations he touched. And while he might not be remembered in the same way that Gates is, that doesn't make his huge role in the digital revolution any smaller. Without both of them, things might look a lot different today, and that doesn't necessarily mean that they're in competition for how the future will remember them.

As far as that goes, Bill couldn't care less about his image. “I don't think anybody does the work they do based on how they think they'll be remembered,” he said. That goes for what he's doing now, as well as what he did at Microsoft. “I think now in my 50s, this way of operating, where I'm backing a lot of these great scientists... is the most natural for me,” he said. That's great, Bill; the world is lucky to have people like you and like Steve Jobs.

Source: PC Magazine | Image Credit: Charlie Rose

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Galaxy Nexus software update could break sales ban

Next Story

More Microsoft Office 2013 logos leaked

42 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Rolando said,
On a long enough timeline, both will be forgotten... much like all human beings

On a long enough timeline, everyone life expectancy is 0 (or something like it) (The fight club)

Malcolm Gladwell obviously knows nothing about the history of computing, and has absolutely no interest in it. True computer enthusiasts will always remember/know about both Bill and Steve, and their importance in the computing industry. I love looking at old articles about Windows 3.1/95 and Macintosh System 6/7.
History won't remember Malcolm Gladwell.

“I don't think anybody does the work they do based on how they think they'll be remembered"

You and I maybe. But when you get to be in the Gates/Jobs league, its all about the personal legacy.

Bill will want to be remembered for what he did with his money; not how he got it. But both he and Steve will be remembered as personifications of the era where personal computing took off.

“I don't think anybody does the work they do based on how they think they'll be remembered"

Achilles wouldn't agree...

Well one thing I know - Steve Jobs wasn't noble enough to say nice things about his competitors especially Gates and Microsoft. Just read his biography and you will get some pleasant and some unpleasant shocks.

xpclient said,
Well one thing I know - Steve Jobs wasn't noble enough to say nice things about his competitors especially Gates and Microsoft. Just read his biography and you will get some pleasant and some unpleasant shocks.

Steve Jobs worked all the time until he died. He didn't get to retire, sit back, relax, and be reflective in front of an audience.

lunarworks said,

Steve Jobs worked all the time until he died. He didn't get to retire, sit back, relax, and be reflective in front of an audience.

You can say those things even while you are working.

Steve Jobs will be remembered for changing technology. Bil Gates will be remembered for putting his billions where his mouth is and changing the lives to people around the world. The latter caries most weight.

A340600 said,
Steve Jobs will be remembered for changing technology. Bil Gates will be remembered for putting his billions where his mouth is and changing the lives to people around the world. The latter caries most weight.
No he won't. Let's be real. The history books will give a single sentence to mentioning that he happened to be a big philanthropist. He will be remembered for Microsoft and mostly just Windows. The only history books that will make it more than an afterthought are the books that study philanthropy. That's how history works.

ILikeTobacco said,
.....

So says you. If his philanthropic work leads to the global eradication of malaria, then he will be known for that. The infant mortality rate is also on the rise thanks to funding and participation by the foundation members.

Tech people may only remember Bill for windows/Microsoft. The rest of the world will remember how he changed mankind for the better.

The trouble is that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs come from what seems a different era a lot of bloggers like to write about so called bad blood. There was none, the only really bad blood steve had was with scully. Both were professionals and grew up together in the same industry, they shared, they competed but they were friends / colleagues. If there was bad blood then steve wouldn't have called microsoft to help out apple and bill wouldn't have helped apple, you can see how they got on through interviews. Again just because they competed against each other doesn't mean too say they didn't get on.

The interview just shows how professional Bill is, it's a shame that many other top level people are not so much any more and resort to name calling.

In the grand scheme of things they both will be remembered as the pioneers of computers, who were there at the beginning and who (along with others) helped shape it to what it is now and what it is in the future.

After watching that interview, I don't know of a more down to earth person than Bill Gates. Where Jobs would criticize Microsoft his entire career and make bizarre comments like Gates "should have dropped acid", Gates is absolutely delighted by the success of iPad. Charlie Rose was shocked.

He may have changed the world through democratizing computers, and is now saving millions of lives and changing the world in even greater ways. Again.

But all of that means nothing next to the fact that he is just the perfect gentleman.

Bill Gates has done a lot for the world, from his work in the technology industry to his philanthropic work - his determination in tackling malaria and AIDS/HIV is highly admirable. However, his role in the anti-competitive business practices of Microsoft should not be dismissed. It all has to be taken in context.

I very much respect the man but the reality is much more nuanced than some will have you believe.

While he obviously made some mistakes and had some ethical lapses in his youth, Bill is NOW truly a class act. You have to dig really deep or get really creative to find something negative to say about this story.

*gauntlet thrown*

I agree. People who create extraordinary things don't do so just to be remembered, they do it because that's what they love to do.

CaveKnight said,
I agree. People who create extraordinary things don't do so just to be remembered, they do it because that's what they love to do.

Tesla.

Brian Miller said,
I have always wondered why people referred to Jobs as a "genius" when he wasn't. He only surrounded himself with clever people.
Because he was a genius. You don't have to be a technology engineer to be a genius. There are musical, math, technology, and in Jobs case, marketing geniuses.

Brian Miller said,
I have always wondered why people referred to Jobs as a "genius" when he wasn't. He only surrounded himself with clever people.

He may not have been a genius in the way Bill Gates is a genius. But nobody could put the polish on a product like Steve Jobs could or market it anywhere near as well.

Brian Miller said,
I have always wondered why people referred to Jobs as a "genius" when he wasn't. He only surrounded himself with clever people.

because he was a very clever man, he did design a lot of his own work, he held a number of patents for his designs and ideas. Also from his biography he was redesigning hospital equipment etc.. when he stayed in there.

Yes he was a very good public speaker, good marketer but he was far from an idiot and could do a lot himself, his biography is a great read.

ILikeTobacco said,
Because he was a genius. You don't have to be a technology engineer to be a genius. There are musical, math, technology, and in Jobs case, marketing geniuses.

He was a business genius as well. When he returned to Apple they were practically bankrupts. He axed everything and said we need to focus on 4 categories

- A desktop computer for consumers (iMac)
- A desktop computer for pros (Mac Pro)
- A mobile computer for consumers (Macbook)
- A mobile computer for pros (Macbook Pro)

Those 4 products are what turned Apple around. Then the iPod, iPhone and iPad had lots of input from Steve

Brian Miller said,
I have always wondered why people referred to Jobs as a "genius" when he wasn't. He only surrounded himself with clever people.

True, but he knew how to market products and sell things. Thats where he shinned. Regardless on what I think about Jobs, at least he had the guts to put money behind what he was doing and take a chance. And it paid off.

ILikeTobacco said,
...marketing geniuses.

That is a colloquialism. There is no such thing as a true genius score for "salesman". 8P

He was this generation's PTBarnum and while the niche gizmos he's associated with today will soon be obsolete and forgotten, Steve WILL be remembered over future decades for buying ILM's animation team and creating PIXAR.

In my opinion, that is the only really good and lasting thing Steve Jobs ever did for the human race.

Panda X said,
Why is that photo used in every article that mentions Bill? In case we forgot what he looked like?

thats a new photo from that interview.

.Neo said,
Why do people feel the need to complain just about everything?

This is even worse. Picture was taken 2 days ago.