IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Gates and Jobs appear together on stage

Microsoft and Apple leaders share the stage at The Wall Street Journal's D5 Executive Conference.

Wall Street Journal's

appearance

Microsoft's

Apple's

Jobs described Gates and himself as "the two luckiest guys on the planet." Gates, he said, "built the first software company in the industry. And I think he built the first software company before anyone in our industry knew what a software company was, and that was huge."

The Microsoft co-founder was equally complimentary.

"What Steve's done is phenomenal," he said, both in founding Apple and then reinventing the company when he returned on 1997 after an absence of 10 years.

"In a certain sense we build the products we want to use ourselves," Gates said. "He's really pursued that with an incredible taste and elegance and had a huge impact on the industry. Apple literally was failing when Steve went back and re-infused innovation and risk-taking that have been phenomenal. So the industry has benefited immensely from his work. I'd say he's contributed as much as anyone."

The ensuing conversation recalled Jobs decision on returning to Apple to drop the decade-long animosity to Microsoft and concentrate instead on what Apple itself was doing. And Gates played a role in that, providing a Mac version of Office which he said has been 'great business'. Later Jobs said that he wished that in Apple's early days he and fellow founder Steve Wozniak had been prepared to work with other companies in the way that Microsoft had.

In fact, the two men only failed to see eye-to-eye when Jobs talked about Apple's Get a Mac advertising campaign featuring the Mac and PC characters. Gates did not seem to be persuaded when Jobs said that the belittled PC Guy is what makes the ads work.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022