In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Bill Gates sat down to talk, among other things, about his relationship with Steve Jobs. 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.” When Gates ultimately 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’ passing, Gates said he received a phone call from Laurene Powell, Jobs’ wife, 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 Jobs’ work in general, calling him an “incredible genius,” but 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.
Gates also recently sat down for an interview with Yahoo! and ABC News to discuss his relationship with Jobs and their last meeting. Get the full story here.