Bill Gates: Steve Jobs Appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed

Microsoft Chariman and founder, Bill Gates seems to be on revelation sphere about his relationship with late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, as the Gates in a recent interview with The Telegraph, among other things, talked about his relationship with Jobs.During the interview, Gates recalled his often up and down relationship with Jobs changing somewhat after […]

Microsoft Chariman and founder, Bill Gates seems to be on revelation sphere about his relationship with late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, as the Gates in a recent interview with The Telegraph, among other things, talked about his relationship with Jobs.

Bill Gates: I wrote Steve Jobs a letter as he was dying. He kept it by his bed

During the interview, Gates recalled his often up and down relationship with Jobs changing somewhat after the launch of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007: "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."

Gates said that when he learned of Steve's medical condition, he wrote him a letter:

"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…There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness."

After Jobs passed away, Gates said he received a call from Jobs's wife Laurene Powell, who told Gates Walter Isaacson's biography did not accurately depict the mutual respect between the two. "She said: 'Look, this biography really doesn't paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.' And 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. Some months before Jobs died, Gates paid him a long visit. "We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future." Later, with his old adversary's death imminent, he wrote to him. "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."

Gates also quoted as calling Jobs an "incredible genius," and also noting many times Jobs' would say critical things about him:

"Steve was an incredible genius who contributed immensely to the field I was in. 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]….He spent a lot of his time competing with me. There are lots of times when Steve said [critical] things about me. If you took the more harsh examples, you could get quite a litany."

This tribute, part praise, part reminder of Gates's dominance, is more tactful than the comments Jobs made in his lifetime. "He spent a lot of his time competing with me. There are lots of times when Steve said [critical] things about me. If you took the more harsh examples, you could get quite a litany." In Jobs's view, his rival was "unimaginative", "a bit narrow" and derivative. As he once told an interviewer, "He [Gates] would be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram."