Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates has responded to Steve Jobs’ criticisms from his recently released biography.
Steve Jobs’ official biography, authored by Walter Isaacson, details some of his feelings on Microsoft and Bill Gates. Jobs mocked Microsoft’s lack of humanity and claimed that Microsoft “just didn’t get” the original Mac enough to copy it properly. Jobs also spoke about Gates in one of his interviews, describing him as wealthy but questioning whether that was his aim. “Bill ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal then he achieved it,” explained Jobs. “Its never been my goal and I even wonder in the end if it was really his goal, I dunno.” Jobs also thought Bill Gates was “unimaginative and has never invented anything.” Jobs also claimed that Gates “just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”
Gates responded to Jobs’ criticisms during an interview with ABC News on Sunday. Asked about Jobs’ comments, Gates praised Jobs. “Steve Jobs did a fantastic job,” Gates told ABC News during a video taped interview. During the interview, see below, Gates described his relationship with Jobs over their 30 year history:
“When you think about why is the world better today, the Internet, the personal computer, the phone, the way you can deal with information is just so phenomenal. Over the course of the 30 years we worked together, you know, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I, you know, respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.”
Gates also detailed his feelings on why Jobs may have described him as unimaginative. “He faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace,” Gates said. “So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products, you know, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it’s tough.” Gates added that Jobs’ feelings were reasonable. “And so the fact that … at various times, he felt beleaguered, he felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys, you know, very understandable.”