Steve Jobs kept letter from Bill Gates at his bedside

Microsoft and Apple are still bitter rivals in some areas of their businesses, but in the end it seems that Apple founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates had developed a mutual respect for each other. In a new interview on the UK web site The Telegraph. Gates said that he wrote a final letter to Jobs before Jobs' death in October 2011.

Gates didn't reveal much about the contents of the letter but did say, "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."

After Jobs passed away, Gates said he heard back from his widow Laurene. Gates said " ... she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed."

Gates also talked about how Microsoft competed with Apple in the past, saying:

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].

When Gates left his full time work at Microsoft to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates said he and Jobs got along better, saying, "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."

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Both men are extremely talented. Both have flaws. But as humans beings, the one that has made an evolutionary arc for the better is Bill Gates. Steve Jobs was all his life about revenge, about proving his enemies that he could, a negative drive force, and very inmature so.

Steve Jobs might have more taste, but Bill Gates has more class and there's no passive aggressivity in his comments. He works well with competitors and that's in the spirit of Microsoft.

Steve Jobs might have won in some areas and achieved making Apple better capitalized than Microsoft, but the last battle will be won by Bill Gates: when he dies, not only gadget buyers will mourn him, but the whole world he helped and will be remembered for more than just a few months.

... BOTH Microsoft and Apple have shaped the way we communicate today and in some measure, they have created a cyber-culture that is now dominating the world.

... Give Jobs the credit he deserves, I don't see any of you doing something major like him and Gates.

Brands are just brands. If gates &/or jobs hadn't been as successful, &/or if their competitors had been more successful, others would have taken their place. Whether you're talking about computers or OSes or cell phones, music/vid players etc. you're not talking about products that were the work of one man, so neither man was irreplacable. That's not taking anything away from gates or jobs or anyone else, but just looking beyond those two, refusing to ignore all the work & tech both relied on to 1st conceive of & then build their respective biz... neither started from scratch after all.

Did Steve ever say anything good about Bill or Microsoft publicly? imho anytime Steve mentioned MS was to accuse them of something or put them down and make an impression of an inferior company/product.

Oh but it's not stupid when people go crazy over Jesus?

Give Jobs the credit he deserves, I don't see any of you doing something major like him and Gates.

MrXXIV said,
Oh but it's not stupid when people go crazy over Jesus?

Give Jobs the credit he deserves, I don't see any of you doing something major like him and Gates.

Did you seriously just compare steve jobs to jesus?
Wow, now I think ive heard it all.

the better twin said,
Did you seriously just compare steve jobs to jesus?
Wow, now I think ive heard it all.

A study was done that showed people who are devoted fans of Apple had the same brain pattern as people who were devoted to their faith. I think it's a bit much honestly but I know that Apple fans are hardly wavering and scoff at anything else. But MS has fans, Porsche has fan, and sports... yeah, I think sports has everything beaten.

laserfloyd said,

A study was done that showed people who are devoted fans of Apple had the same brain pattern as people who were devoted to their faith. I think it's a bit much honestly but I know that Apple fans are hardly wavering and scoff at anything else. But MS has fans, Porsche has fan, and sports... yeah, I think sports has everything beaten.

Yeah...but apple has devotees.

holy **** talk about milking the cow... This cow was dry 2 weeks after his death.. Stop posting this ****. K, thx

Dusco25 said,
holy **** talk about milking the cow... This cow was dry 2 weeks after his death.. Stop posting this ****. K, thx

Lol...but but people NEED to know this!

smooth3006 said,
jesus can we let steve rest in peace? the man has been dead for months, enough with these useless stories.
Ha! You must be joking. Jobs was a monumental creator in regards to the technological advancements of today (as was Bill). He and Bill are/will be legends that will be in the history books. Expect both of them to be talked about long after they've left this earth. And why shouldn't they? The lives we live today wouldn't be possible without them. In 500 years their work and impact will be considered at the levels of Newton, Davinci, and Einstein. There aren't many people that can claim they've had the ability to influence so many billions of lives and we're lucky enough to witness it all live.

Tim Dawg said,
Ha! You must be joking. Jobs was a monumental creator in regards to the technological advancements of today (as was Bill). He and Bill are/will be legends that will be in the history books. Expect both of them to be talked about long after they've left this earth. And why shouldn't they? The lives we live today wouldn't be possible without them. In 500 years their work and impact will be considered at the levels of Newton, Davinci, and Einstein. There aren't many people that can claim they've had the ability to influence so many billions of lives and we're lucky enough to witness it all live.

History will put him in the category of PT Barnum and Henry Ford, not Einstein, Newton, or Davinci...

He was a brilliant marketing person and could package what the public wanted, and streamline things like Henry Ford... However he was not a brilliant person with regard to technology or the technology his company produced.

If you asked him technical questions about technology that an average CS student would know, he didn't grasp the concepts. He made the products pretty and he made them 'crisp' and efficient and he made the world want them.

Tim Dawg said,
and we're lucky enough to witness it all live.
This.

The 80s were the best decade to be born in Nothing's changed so much so fast as the computer industry in that time and continuing.

Tim Dawg said,
Ha! You must be joking. Jobs was a monumental creator ... In 500 years their work and impact will be considered at the levels of Newton, Davinci, and Einstein. There aren't many people that can claim they've had the ability to influence so many billions of lives and we're lucky enough to witness it all live.
In 500 years Apple will be an interesting sidenote and all of their products will be the same. Microsoft will me the name that will be in the books as that which brought computing out off the office and into people homes. Jobs did not create or build anything. He had ideas and knew how to get other people to create so he could sell it.

Enron said,
Bill is so Metro! Not to say he's a square, but he is quite a live tile.

he is full of charms.. such great XPerience in his life that he lives to a Zune . .

Lachlan said,

he is full of charms.. such great XPerience in his life that he lives to a Zune . .

What a vista comment space...

I think as everyone gets older - they way they view things change. The younger Gates might not have done this, but nonetheless, Gates has been a class act.

MistaT40 said,
I think as everyone gets older - they way they view things change. The younger Gates might not have done this, but nonetheless, Gates has been a class act.

I agree, I've noticed that the way I view things has changed as I've got older.

MistaT40 said,
I think as everyone gets older - they way they view things change. The younger Gates might not have done this, but nonetheless, Gates has been a class act.

True, but even in Gate's early days, as he started to have success it wasn't about making money, it was about creating technology and getting new technology to everyone instead of the rich kids like himself that had access to university computers.

This worked with Apple's early vision of selling a computer to everyone.

Microsoft and Apple were great partners for years, and Microsoft help give the Mac credibility with Word Processing and Spreadsheets, even creating a new paradigm of the technologies on the Mac that we enjoy today in the Windows versions too.

When Jobs started having trouble in Apple, he slipped away to his projects and when he wasn't with Apple, he kind of withdrawn into the NeXt and other projects.

Jobs didn't appreciate Gate's work, as he saw it a lot like the average person, which doesn't touch the complexity and technical details and contributions that most people never see or understand. This is why Jobs often took jabs at Gates, even at a time when Job's Macs and iPad were using core hardware technology Gates and Microsoft were responsible for creating. If you stopped and asked Jobs about the GPU architectures, the ARM architectures, or even user level shader code, he would have a general understanding of them, but not a history or technical understanding that Microsoft was behind the 'key' points of these technologies and the iPad would not be possible it wasn't for Microsoft's work with ARM, and Microsoft GPU work, etc.

Microsoft is a close software company, but have 'given' away more technology and ideas than any other company, especially in the hardware and architecture field.

neo158 said,

I agree, I've noticed that the way I view things has changed as I've got older.

Mostly my eyes have just gotten worse. At the rate I am going I wonder if I will be legally blind in a decade.

Bill Gates is a class act. Writing a letter of love and kindness to Jobs, who has belittled his professional achievements, is very classy. Keep it up, Bill.

Nerd Rage said,
Bill Gates is a class act. Writing a letter of love and kindness to Jobs, who has belittled his professional achievements, is very classy. Keep it up, Bill.

Agreed. Bill has always kept things classy though. It's very admirable.

See this is how everyone should be. Fanboyism is just stupid and childish. Even more so today with the internet and 12 year olds on the loose.

CMG_90 said,
See this is how everyone should be. Fanboyism is just stupid and childish. Even more so today with the internet and 12 year olds on the loose.

Not that I want to promote fanboyism, but Jobs and Gates were basically at war with each other for much of their careers. It was only after Bill became less involved with Microsoft that they actually got along. They were the ultimate fanboys. Jobs still was basically until he died (remember his "I'll destroy Android" speech). But we can't hold that against them, if they weren't fanboys for their own products, they weren't doing their jobs properly.

Majesticmerc said,

Not that I want to promote fanboyism, but Jobs and Gates were basically at war with each other for much of their careers. It was only after Bill became less involved with Microsoft that they actually got along. They were the ultimate fanboys. Jobs still was basically until he died (remember his "I'll destroy Android" speech). But we can't hold that against them, if they weren't fanboys for their own products, they weren't doing their jobs properly.


Even when at war they were less fanboylike then many of their users

Boz said,
I wonder if Gates ever realized that Jobs didn't enjoy any of Gates' work.

Publicly. I'm sure personnaly jobs liked some.

Boz said,
I wonder if Gates ever realized that Jobs didn't enjoy any of Gates' work.

I personally believe that Jobs was jealous of bill gates success and felt like he needed to prove a point.. he proved it and died doing it..

Interesting. Although I am not an Apple fan, I do admire Steve Jobs' tenacity and shrewdness. He did make an impact in the world. BOTH Microsoft and Apple have shaped the way we communicate today and in some measure, they have created a cyber-culture that is now dominating the world.

Aletheia said,
Interesting. Although I am not an Apple fan, I do admire Steve Jobs' tenacity and shrewdness. He did make an impact in the world. BOTH Microsoft and Apple have shaped the way we communicate today and in some measure, they have created a cyber-culture that is now dominating the world.

I like bill and he is a gem(with all his donations) but thats still not an excuse for being an AH(steve)... no i am still not impressed about steve.

still1 said,

I like bill and he is a gem(with all his donations) but thats still not an excuse for being an AH(steve)... no i am still not impressed about steve.

Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were tough to work for. They both had a "find a way to get it done by Friday or you're fired" attitude. They were both considered AH by many people.

Aletheia said,
Interesting. Although I am not an Apple fan, I do admire Steve Jobs' tenacity and shrewdness. He did make an impact in the world. BOTH Microsoft and Apple have shaped the way we communicate today and in some measure, they have created a cyber-culture that is now dominating the world.

Why do people keep crediting Jobs when he was only a CEO? He did not create an iPhone, hard working engineers did.

FoxieFoxie said,

Why do people keep crediting Jobs when he was only a CEO? He did not create an iPhone, hard working engineers did.


It's rather well accepted that he micro managed just about everything. It's hard to argue he didn't have a major impact on shaping the company's products...

M_Lyons10 said,

It's rather well accepted that he micro managed just about everything.

Well to some extend that honor should more honestly go to Tim Cook…

Aletheia said,
Interesting. Although I am not an Apple fan, I do admire Steve Jobs' tenacity and shrewdness. He did make an impact in the world. BOTH Microsoft and Apple have shaped the way we communicate today

Which is nonsense. Gates's impact is far, far larger. But both of them are overshadowed by the man who died about the same time Jobs did, but without whom neither would have been where they are. In fact without this man much of their product would not exists as it is if at all.. And I am talking about Dennis Ritchie obviously. It is a _shame_ this man's death is largely overlooked.

paulheu said,

Which is nonsense. Gates's impact is far, far larger. But both of them are overshadowed by the man who died about the same time Jobs did, but without whom neither would have been where they are. In fact without this man much of their product would not exists as it is if at all.. And I am talking about Dennis Ritchie obviously. It is a _shame_ this man's death is largely overlooked.

Because people like drama. They like hero, villain and the drama between these characters. None of them care or know what's important or who really did shape the world.

Those who did are the great people that most of the time behind the scene and they don't care one little bit about fame or popularity. My hat's off to these great people.