Bill Gates discusses Steve Jobs, Apple's iBooks & the future of education

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


In a new interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates discusses conversations he would have with the late Steve Jobs, and also shares his thoughts on the future of education in the wake of Apple's iPad textbook announcement.



Gates sat down with Nightline's Bill Weir for an interview in which he talked about his philanthropy. Having given away a significant portion of his wealth, Gates is no longer the world's richest man.



Given his efforts to fight disease and poverty, Gates said the passing of Jobs late last year put some perspective on how fragile life can be. He said it was particularly strange to have someone as "vibrant" as Jobs die so young.



"It makes you feel like, 'Wow, we're getting old,'" Gates said. "Yet you look back and think about the great opportunities we had."



Still in good health, Gates said he hopes to live long enough to see some of his current projects become a reality. He noted that medicines the Gates Foundation have invested in, with grants totaling more than $26 billion since 1994, are 15-plus years out from hitting the market.



In particular, one of the projects he and his wife Melinda have worked hard on is the eradication of malaria. "I need a couple of decades here to fulfill that opportunity," he joked.



Gates also spoke about the one-on-one conversations he would have with Jobs. The former Microsoft chief executive said that while he and Jobs had very different skill sets, Jobs was "every bit as intense" as himself.







"He and I always enjoyed talking," Gates said of Jobs. "He would throw some things out, some stimulating things, we'd talk about the other companies that had come along. We'd talk about our families and how lucky we had been in terms of the women we had married. It was great, great relaxed conversation."



Weir also asked Gates about iBooks 2 for iPad and the digital textbook push Apple announced in a media event last week. While Gates didn't specifically comment on Apple's initiatives, he did say that there is a great deal of opportunity for improving the education system in America through technology, given that it hasn't seen much improvement in the last 30 years.



"The idea of having personalized learning is now enabled by a lot of innovation on the Internet," he said. "Having good classes, having the teacher be able to look at where their students stand -- we're going to have technology on our side. It's early days."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common. Makes me wonder what kinds of conversations Steve Ballmer had with Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 2 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common. Makes me wonder what kinds of conversations Steve Ballmer had with Steve Jobs.



    Well, sounds like tech visionaries have much in common; and while BillG, even though thinking different from SteveJ, certainly qualifies as one, I'd have a hard time thinking the same way about Ballmer. Sure, rich he is and exec qualities come with him, but I wouldn't think from the presentations I have seen on his side that there is much to be expected from him on the change-the-world aspect of things. So unless this changes big time, I think we could spare that part.



    -- Fl.
  • Reply 3 of 72
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common.



    Too bad Jobs never got a chance to enjoy his billions since he was working everyday. Bill on the other hand is retired and probably is enjoying every minute of it.
  • Reply 4 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Too bad Jobs never got a chance to enjoy his billions since he was working everyday. Bill on the other hand is retired and probably is enjoying every minute of it.



    Well, if I had his vision and position and possibilities, I would certainly be relaxed because I wouldn't ever have to worry about money and paying bills and stuff (thus saving a lot of my time), but I'd never swap the excitement of *this* job in *this* company with a retirement based on simply spending case. I'm totally with Steve on where he found his greatest joys. Now... looking at the big, complex heap of stuff with very little through-and-through beauty that is Microsoft, I can see how one would leave the place behind and do other things with that level of freedom. :-)



    Fl
  • Reply 5 of 72
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Too bad Jobs never got a chance to enjoy his billions since he was working everyday. Bill on the other hand is retired and probably is enjoying every minute of it.



    I think working is what Steve Jobs enjoyed.
  • Reply 6 of 72
    Quote:

    While Jobs didn't specifically comment on Apple's initiatives, he did say that there is a great deal of opportunity for improving the education system in America through technology...



    I think you meant "While GATES"...
  • Reply 7 of 72
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Sounds like Bill Weir forgot to wear a microphone
  • Reply 8 of 72
    shompashompa Posts: 340member
    Bill philanthropy work is great. I respect that he is one of the few rich people who understand that they won't take the money with them into the grave.



    But.



    Bill stole this money from us, the consumer. MSFT have been guilty for many illegal things to make their monopoly on the PC market. MSFT is a fun company that never have succeeded at anything that they have competition on. Still today 94% of their profit is from Windows and Office.



    People who work with IT knows how it is to deal with MSFT and their Select Agreement.



    Home users: If I want to buy a PC from any company beside Apple, I am forced to use Windows. But windows users are so uneducated that they believe that they have an "open" platform and Appel is a "closed" platform.

    Apple follows open standards like HTML5, H264 and OpenGL. MSFT uses their non standard HTML browser, WMV, Silverlight and DirectX. If you are a gamer you are forced to use MSFT since they have DirectX. But the users believe that they are free to choose since its an open standard.



    Isn't it strange that Windows Ultimate costs 300 dollars and OSX ultimate costs 29 dollar? MSFT Office costs 300-500 dollars and Pages/Keynote/Numbers cost 10 dollar each?



    For most companies its cheaper to buy an iPad + Apple office, then buying MSFT Office.



    So.. Great that Bill gives money, but he is a thief.
  • Reply 9 of 72
    shompashompa Posts: 340member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common. Makes me wonder what kinds of conversations Steve Ballmer had with Steve Jobs.



    Balle-mer is a genius.

    Apple invent IPhone. Google clones it. MSFT creates its protection racket. Today almost all Android vendors pays the MSFT protection fee 5-15 dollar per device.



    MSFT would not be the big company its today without Balle-mer. The reason why MSFT are big is that they manage to license DOS to IBM. The funny thing was that Balle-mer sold Dos before MSFT had it. After the IBM deal MSFT went out and bought Quick and dirty DOS and the worlds largest software company was created.
  • Reply 10 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by florianvk View Post


    Well, sounds like tech visionaries have much in common; and while BillG, even though thinking different from SteveJ, certainly qualifies as one, I'd have a hard time thinking the same way about Ballmer. Sure, rich he is and exec qualities come with him, but I wouldn't think from the presentations I have seen on his side that there is much to be expected from him on the change-the-world aspect of things. So unless this changes big time, I think we could spare that part. ...



    I strongly disagree that Gates qualifies as "visionary" of any kind and I think there is a mountain of evidence to support that view.



    Agree about Balmer though. He is practically the textbook example of what used to be called a "dullard." The man has zero imagination and is entertained by things like sports and dancing girls not intellectual or artistic pursuits.



    If he hadn't been dragged along by his friendship to Gates, he'd probably be a refrigerator repair man or a delivery guy or something.
  • Reply 11 of 72
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,581member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common. Makes me wonder what kinds of conversations Steve Ballmer had with Steve Jobs.



    I expect Balmer to say "ee ee ooh ooh ahh ahh, unga bunga"
  • Reply 12 of 72
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Who had less tact in that interview, the interviewer or Gates?
  • Reply 13 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    He is practically the textbook example of what used to be called a "dullard." The man has zero imagination and is entertained by things like sports and dancing girls not intellectual or artistic pursuits.



    I do not believe that being entertained by sports and dancing girls equals being a dullard.



    I'm not his publicist nor his apologist, but geez, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University - he only appears to be an idiot. BTW, the article is about Bill Gates.
  • Reply 14 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common. Makes me wonder what kinds of conversations Steve Ballmer had with Steve Jobs.



    Steve Jobs: 'Boy, Steve. You sure screwed up Bill's baby.'



    Steve Ballmer: 'My cat's breath smells like cat food.'
  • Reply 15 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PowerMach View Post


    I do not believe that being entertained by sports and dancing girls equals being a dullard. ...



    I wasn't clear. I just meant that if one is not interested in anything else as well, then you one would be a dullard. Not that liking those things alone made someone a dullard.



    A dullard is someone who has no "life of the mind" and wallows in sensorial experience alone.
  • Reply 16 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shompa View Post




    Bill stole this money from us, the consumer. MSFT have been guilty for many illegal things to make their monopoly on the PC market. MSFT is a fun company that never have succeeded at anything that they have competition on. Still today 94% of their profit is from Windows and Office.



    People who work with IT knows how it is to deal with MSFT and their Select Agreement.



    Home users: If I want to buy a PC from any company beside Apple, I am forced to use Windows. But windows users are so uneducated that they believe that they have an "open" platform and Appel is a "closed" platform.

    Apple follows open standards like HTML5, H264 and OpenGL. MSFT uses their non standard HTML browser, WMV, Silverlight and DirectX. If you are a gamer you are forced to use MSFT since they have DirectX. But the users believe that they are free to choose since its an open standard.



    Isn't it strange that Windows Ultimate costs 300 dollars and OSX ultimate costs 29 dollar? MSFT Office costs 300-500 dollars and Pages/Keynote/Numbers cost 10 dollar each?



    For most companies its cheaper to buy an iPad + Apple office, then buying MSFT Office.



    So.. Great that Bill gives money, but he is a thief.



    No one forced you to buy a PC or to use Windows. People actually make choice and some people do not care! As long as they can get on the web and Facebook is all that matters.



    Apple hardware is actually very closed and I think its a good thing. We don't have to deal with wacky compatibility issues. ATX is great if you like to build and tinker with custom hardware components. Your not going to get any more open than a ATX PC.



    Try doing anything like Windows Rights Management on Apple Mail or convince an financial analyst to use Numbers. They will just laugh at you.



    I agree with you, the computing power of an iPad meets many office users needs.



    ON many front Bill Gates lacked innovative thinking and imagination but he is is one of the greatest technologist and philanthropist of our time.
  • Reply 17 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    He was very tactful not too say much about the iBook initiative from what I read here, I haven't run the full interview yet. He could have slammed it and promoted whatever Microsoft intend to do to copy Apple as I'm sure Monkey Boy would have done.
  • Reply 18 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PowerMach View Post


    I do not believe that being entertained by sports and dancing girls equals being a dullard.



    I'm not his publicist nor his apologist, but geez, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University - he only appears to be an idiot. BTW, the article is about Bill Gates.



    Deleted Trollish Comment
  • Reply 19 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I wasn't clear. I just meant that if one is not interested in anything else as well, then you one would be a dullard. Not that liking those things alone made someone a dullard.



    A dullard is someone who has no "life of the mind" and wallows in sensorial experience alone.



    Your clarification clearly clarifies. All is well. Thanks.
  • Reply 20 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Sounds like tech billionaires have much in common. Makes me wonder what kinds of conversations Steve Ballmer had with Steve Jobs.



    I feel that changing the world is what Steve Jobs enjoyed.
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