Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

Summary: Bill Gates to respond to the portrayal Jobs offered of Microsoft's co-founder in the biography by author Walter Isaacson as someone was is "basically unimaginative" and "had never invented anything."

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TOPICS: Apple
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If he was irked by Steve Jobs' posthumous criticism in a new biography, Bill Gates isn't letting on.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week" Gates was asked by anchor Christiane Amanpour to respond to the portrayal Jobs offered of Microsoft's co-founder in the biography by author Walter Isaacson as someone was is "basically unimaginative" and "had never invented anything." Jobs is also quoted saying that Gates had "shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

Gates listened to the question without evincing any outward reaction and offered a more balanced appraisal of what became a love-hate relationship between Microsoft and Apple over the decades.

"60 Minutes" interview with Walter Isaacson:Steve Jobs about his rivals
"60 Minutes" interview with Walter Isaacson: Part 2

"Over the course of the 30 years we worked together, (Jobs) said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I mean - he faced several times at Apple the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace so the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products including a range of prices because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it's tough," Gates said.

"So the fact that at various times he felt beleaguered. He felt like was the good guy and we were the bad guys - very understandable. I respect Steve. We worked together. We spurred each other on even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.

Topic: Apple

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  • Gates proves yet again that he is the better man

    What a great, classy response to a classless personal attack.
    toddybottom
    • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

      @toddybottom
      It wasn't classless. It was him imposing his standards of excellence on others. Gates understands that and has a different set of standards. You don't gain anything by bashing the dead.
      JohnE7
      • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

        @JohnE7<br><br>And what, exactly, did Jobs invent? Not the Apple I or Apple II computer (that was Wozniak). Do you really believe he "invented" the iPod, Mac, or iPhone? Sure, his name is on a lot of patents, but Job's talent was basically telling other people that their stuff wasn't good enough until it was. Jobs was a great CEO, but "inventor"? No way.<br><br>Besides, Apple took a lot of ideas from other people, but I never heard Jobs give *credit* to anyone for anything he stole. Everyone knows he didn't invent the Mouse or GUI that he claimed were his inventions. Apple's "Time Machine" was only added to OSX after Windows included "Restore Points"... but when Jobs announced TM, it was just another of his wonderful life-changing "inventions". OSX is basically just BSD *nix, but did Jobs ever say anything about how 90% of his New OS was lifted from the public domain? Using BSD was a great move, admittedly, but it just shows how Jobs thought everything was his for the taking, but if anyone did something similar to him, they were "stealing"... i.e. his ludicrous rant against Android.<br><br>Jobs' reality distortion field affected him as well, preventing him from seeing the truth. Unfortunately (as his biographer mentions), it probably kept him from seeking the care he needed to stay alive. I do feel sorry at his passing, but I think he lived in a fantasy world of his own making.
        EtienneChristophe
      • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

        @JohnE7

        You are right about not bashing the dead, but it WAS classless. Gates could have certainly called Jobs on his stance against the democratization of technology, on imposing artificial limits on capabilities, on and on.

        I think Gates has comported himself quite well in this interview. He looks to be beyond bickering about technology and onto more grandiose legacy plans.
        chuck2a
      • It was him imposing his standards of excellence on others?

        @JohnE7
        Really? Did Steve Jobs tell you that himself, or is it just an excuse for Jobs' bad mouthing others?
        William Farrell
      • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

        @JohnE7 Yes you do. You gain a hit television show on AMC.
        jgm@...
    • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

      @toddybottom Classy is not what I call Gates. Clueless as to his stinginess in Research and Development for his products. Having observed technological advances for years, Gates always stole from Apple who spent the real money on R&D. Back in the late 1990s after John Scully (the ultimate unimaginative CEO) had driven Apple into the gutter and Jobs had returned to Apple, Gates loaned Apple $100M to keep their doors open. Otherwise, Gates would have had to spend much more than that to do some R&D innovation himself. Who would he have stolen his innovation from if Apple went under? Apple turned around under Jobs and easily paid back the $100M to Microsoft. The field was littered with little start-ups but no alternative big software companies. The PC industry followed Apple's advancements in hardware like little puppy dogs. As far as the descrepancy in market cost, Apple always used the best components for their computers, while cheap PCs used the cheapest (and quickly failure) components they could to sell to the suckers who went for the cheap. Every Apple I've owned had a failure rate of 0% and lasted years because they were upgradable. I only bought new computers because the advancements had gone farther than the upgrade capabilities. I still have them and they are still running today. Take that cheap PCs! Apple was the first innovator of the WYSIWYG (developed by Xerox) architecture for personal computers (later copied by Gates for Windows) and was one of the original Personal Computers. PCs were still DOS-based for years until Gates changed WYSIWYG legally enough and called his version Windows. Gates was lucky that he came later under IBM's aegis which captured the business market. Gates was a great businessman, but not an artistic taskmaster character like Jobs.
      jerryball
      • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

        @jerryball

        Microsoft infused money into apple because it saw another avenue for the implemetation of MS Office. W/o Office and the cash Apple would not exist today. Apple didn't invent the os JOb's bought the Xerox PARC programmers and stole the intelectual property from XEROX
        honkytonkin
      • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

        @jerryball <br><br>Thank you for a classic fanboi response and a complete inability to even use any of the search engines to learn history or recognize any of the benefits of MS R&D, while still being unable to understand Apple as a marketing and packaging company that has successfully redesigned other people's inventions for years. Gates is a tech and programmer, Jobs was a salesman and motivational speaker.<br><br>A perfect example of the reality distortion field <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
        tonymcs@...
      • Tonymcs, for over a decade of ZDNet I've ask the same question

        What original contribution to IT has MS made. <br><br>There can be no doubting their commericial success. But jobs frustration, express on many occasions, is the lack of contribution. <br><br>Gates programming was an embarrassing game.<br><br>His post MS legacy will eclipse the decade of antitrust abuse, but it will not be forgotten by those of us that lived through this period. <br><br>Using your extensive knowledge of MS R&D I predict you'll finally be the one to end my search. There must be at least 8 billion examples a year for decades;-)
        Richard Flude
  • i respect both

    i was genuinely sad at Steve's passing and I am certain i will feel just as much sadness hopefully in MANY MANY years when Bill passes. both changed the world in different ways.
    vprashar@...
  • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

    ..."shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

    Did Jobs God-complex allow him to ever think anybody else is capable of inventing anything? Hubris!

    I can't believe I am defending MS, but I had enough of the Cult!
    chuck2a
  • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

    Indeed! For this reason, I admire Bill a thousand times more than I admire Steve.
    rman667
    • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

      @rman667
      A lot of the MS culture that Gates inspired came from the courtroom, MS v Netscape. Some of the things said and done were quite horrible. Gates and Co. had no shame ripping off and destroying a smaller competitor, who brought the internet to the masses. This was the most shameless behavior of a monopolist who ran out of ideas and the only weapon they knew how to use was their deep pockets...
      prof123
  • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

    I respect Bill Gates and Microsoft and Apple equally. Both firms offer essential products for the work I and millions of others do day-in and day out.
    jlionz
    • I admire Microsoft and Apple equally

      @jlionz
      Both have changed the world for the better.

      I do not have equal respect for Gates and Jobs. Gates has gone on to change the world for the better. Jobs has simply oozed hatred.

      It is important to realize that the company and the men are different entities. Hating MS and loving Apple like many on ZDNet do doesn't mean that you have to have the same opinions of the men that once led these companies.
      toddybottom
      • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

        @toddybottom Well said. I totally agree. I take back some of my previous post. You are exactly right, and snarking Apple OR Microsoft does no one any favors.
        jerryball
  • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

    Gates is a kind and generous man. A man of high characters will not replied to some attacks like Job's. I do not see or hear of any charity or poor people Mr. job supported. Usually, people who attack others are often unsecure.
    mat3509st
    • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

      @mat3509st

      Yes, I'd love to hear where Jobs' billions are going. I already know how Gates is spending his money.
      EtienneChristophe
    • RE: Gates responds to criticism from Steve Jobs

      @mat3509st
      You are absolutely right!!!
      arkansasmellow