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."