Before he died, Steve Jobs kept a letter from Bill Gates by his bed

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


In a new interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates reveals he wrote a letter to Steve Jobs before he passed away, and the letter apparently meant so much to Jobs that he kept it at his bedside.



Gates spoke this week with students at a school in South London, where he acknowledged that Jobs had said critical things about him in the past. But according to The Telegraph, Gates said the two were comfortable with one another by the time Jobs became gravely ill late last year.



"There was no peace to make. We were not at war," Gates said. "We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing."



In fact, Gates said he received a phone call from Jobs's wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, about negative comments her husband had made to biographer Walter Isaacson, in which he called Gates a "basically unimaginative person who "has never invented anything." Gates said Jobs's wife told him that Isaacson's book didn't "paint a picture of the mutual respect" the two had for one another.



Gates also revealed that he wrote a letter to Jobs when his death was imminent, in which he told the Apple co founder "he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built." Gates also wrote about Jobs's kids, who he had gotten to know.











Jobs's wife reportedly told Gates that Jobs appreciated the letter, and even kept it at his bedside.



Gates's latest comments come only days after he spoke with Nightline about Jobs, as well as his own philanthropy and efforts to eradicate diseases like malaria. Gates said in that interview that it was strange to have someone as "vibrant" as Jobs die so young.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    …Gates said. "We made great products…



    Well, Steve made great products. Bill made great copies.



    Other than the lying to the creator of DOS to get an improbable discount and the theft of Mac OS 1.0 to make Windows and stagnate the industry for twenty years, Bill was a decent guy.



    I DO agree that he's a good person, particularly with the things he has done since Microsoft and plenty of stuff during. But the good in his life didn't come from his business. He was a very dishonorable businessman.



    Just like the good in Steve's life came from his business. Incredible works that truly exemplify the Crazy Ones speech.



    Steve and Bill were antitheses. Two poles of the same magnet. Bill's good came with people. Steve's good came with business. On the opposite fronts, they were quite despicable.



    I wonder if it was only coincidence that they existed in the industry at the same time or if they had to exist to balance each other.
  • Reply 2 of 127
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Well, Steve made great products. Bill made great copies.



    Other than the lying to the creator of DOS to get an improbable discount and the theft of Mac OS 1.0 to make Windows and stagnate the industry for twenty years, Bill was a decent guy.



    I DO agree that he's a good person, particularly with the things he has done since Microsoft and plenty of stuff during. But the good in his life didn't come from his business. He was a very dishonorable businessman.



    Just like the good in Steve's life came from his business. Incredible works that truly exemplify the Crazy Ones speech.



    Steve and Bill were antitheses. Two poles of the same magnet. Bill's good came with people. Steve's good came with business. On the opposite fronts, they were quite despicable.



    I wonder if it was only coincidence that they existed in the industry at the same time or if they had to exist to balance each other.



    This is the first time I agree with you.



    This is a historical moment, truly.





    Gates = Great person, despicable businessman.



    Jobs = Despicable person, great businessman.
  • Reply 3 of 127
    [Whom he had gotten to know. -Ed]
  • Reply 4 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    This is the first time I agree with you.



    This is a historical moment, truly.





    Gates = Great person, despicable businessman.



    Jobs = Despicable person, great businessman.







    Very true. As of myself, I am looking forward for the event where Steve Ballmer (or, more likely, the one in charge after him), will explain on stage how much Microsoft and Apple care for each other, while a giant screen will display Tim's face, smiling (but moderately, as always with him ..).
  • Reply 5 of 127
    igxqrrligxqrrl Posts: 105member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Well, Steve made great products. Bill made great copies.



    Other than the lying to the creator of DOS to get an improbable discount and the theft of Mac OS 1.0 to make Windows and stagnate the industry for twenty years, Bill was a decent guy.



    I DO agree that he's a good person, particularly with the things he has done since Microsoft and plenty of stuff during. But the good in his life didn't come from his business. He was a very dishonorable businessman.



    Just like the good in Steve's life came from his business. Incredible works that truly exemplify the Crazy Ones speech.



    Steve and Bill were antitheses. Two poles of the same magnet. Bill's good came with people. Steve's good came with business. On the opposite fronts, they were quite despicable.



    I wonder if it was only coincidence that they existed in the industry at the same time or if they had to exist to balance each other.



    From reading the Jobs biography (and from being an Apple customer/Mac fan for the last 27 years), Jobs was not exactly an "honorable businessman" either. Neither of them seem to have been above lying, cheating, and stealing.



    There is no doubt that Jobs' eye for aesthetics, good design, and elegance far surpassed Gates complete lack thereof. But trying to extrapolate that further is of questionable utility.
  • Reply 6 of 127
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Well, Steve made great products. Bill made great copies.



    Other than the lying to the creator of DOS to get an improbable discount and the theft of Mac OS 1.0 to make Windows and stagnate the industry for twenty years, Bill was a decent guy.



    Don;t bring up Gates lying in a comparison with Jobs. Jobs was caught in several lies including lying to Woz about a sum of money they earned from Atari. Then the claim that he was sterile to avoid paying child support.
  • Reply 7 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Other than the lying to the creator of DOS to get an improbable discount and the theft of Mac OS 1.0 to make Windows and stagnate the industry for twenty years, Bill was a decent guy.



    Saying Windows stagnated the industry for 20 years is unfair. It might not have gone the direction you would want, but IT did move a great deal. Apple became a big part of it in the last 10 years, but the 1990s were great years for Microsoft products and IT -- MS Office, Exchange, NT, Win 2k, Back office, web browsers, smart phones were all great products born from the 1990s without Apple being a leading force



    Please don't flame me. I am a big apple fan, own multiple iphones, and converted multiple people to Macbooks from Windoze :P
  • Reply 8 of 127
    Did BG really have to "release" the details about the letter? Strikes me it was a very personal communication between two people that should have stayed private. I imagine SJ would have wanted it to remain private and not in the public domain?



    Anyway, hello to Jason Isaacs
  • Reply 9 of 127
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post


    Saying Windows stagnated the industry for 20 years is unfair. It might not have gone the direction you would want, but IT did move a great deal. Apple became a big part of it in the last 10 years, but the 1990s were great years for Microsoft products and IT -- MS Office, Exchange, NT, Win 2k, Back office, web browsers, smart phones were all great products born from the 1990s without Apple being a leading force



    Please don't flame me. I am a big apple fan, own multiple iphones, and converted multiple people to Macbooks from Windoze :P



    The period between the original Mac and Windows 95 (11 years) was pretty atrocious, primarily due to Microsoft fumbling the GUI.
  • Reply 10 of 127
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post


    Saying Windows stagnated the industry for 20 years is unfair. It might not have gone the direction you would want, but IT did move a great deal. Apple became a big part of it in the last 10 years, but the 1990s were great years for Microsoft products and IT -- MS Office, Exchange, NT, Win 2k, Back office, web browsers, smart phones were all great products born from the 1990s without Apple being a leading force



    Please don't flame me. I am a big apple fan, own multiple iphones, and converted multiple people to Macbooks from Windoze :P



    I won't flame you, but "great years for MS" don't equal great years for the industry. Web browsers and smart phones didn't flourish because of MS. They did it in spite of MS. Exchange, NT, Win 2K, etc. are not great moments for the industry. They neither propelled technology nor usability of technology. They were status quo designed for monopoly locking.
  • Reply 11 of 127
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post


    Saying Windows stagnated the industry for 20 years is unfair. It might not have gone the direction you would want, but IT did move a great deal. Apple became a big part of it in the last 10 years, but the 1990s were great years for Microsoft products and IT -- MS Office, Exchange, NT, Win 2k, Back office, web browsers, smart phones were all great products born from the 1990s without Apple being a leading force



    Please don't flame me. I am a big apple fan, own multiple iphones, and converted multiple people to Macbooks from Windoze :P



    MS used Windows and the dominance in the desktop app business (by not porting apps to other OSs) to scuttle or slow organic development of competing products. Some that's just business but governments called it illegal. It was just stopped too late IMO.
  • Reply 12 of 127
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    ...

    Gates = Great person, despicable businessman.



    Jobs = Despicable person, great businessman.



    Cut the bullshit. Jobs was not by any measure a despicable person, Gates is not a saint. As far as their business skills go, Gates was largely driven by his insecurities, and Jobs' genius was simply to make great products.
  • Reply 13 of 127
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    This is the first time I agree with you.



    This is a historical moment, truly.





    Gates = Great person, despicable businessman.



    Jobs = Despicable person, great businessman.



    You know, I've read everything there is to read about Jobs, and watched everything there is to watch about him. I've read what people who worked closely with him, and knew him better than message-board experts said about him. Yet, after all that, the word 'despicable person' to summarize him is not what comes to mind. He made mistakes- yes. So do we all. But I think it says quite a lot about you, that you're willing to throw this kind of vicious and conclusive judgement about his character. Get some damn perspective. I've met many people in my life who I would say are 10x more 'despicable' than Jobs could ever hope to be. Yet I still wouldn't define any of them as a 'despicable person'. That term, for me, is reserves for the purveyors of the most heinous crimes. In my experience, the people that throw these extreme definitions among people, are the ones who are far, far worse. I know alot obout Jobs. I don't know anything about you. Yet simply from your post, and the fact you can call someone like Steve Jobs summarily a 'despicable person' - tells me that I doubt you have the greatest character in the world. It takes a certain kind of person to throw this vitriol and viciousness towards someone with so many qualities. Jobs comes nowhere near that definition if you look at his life as a whole.
  • Reply 14 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Don;t bring up Gates lying in a comparison with Jobs. Jobs was caught in several lies including lying to Woz about a sum of money they earned from Atari. Then the claim that he was sterile to avoid paying child support.



    Let's wait for an in depth Bill Gates biography, on which he would have absolutely no control whatsoever, to count the sins on both sides.
  • Reply 15 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    Gates = Great person, despicable businessman.



    Jobs = Despicable person, great businessman.



    Really, Gates was/is a good businessman. He played the game well. Jobs was all about products, and sometimes that made good business sense and sometimes it didn't. By "business sense" I of course mean one's goal to build the biggest company and garner the largest market share and earn the highest profits. Gates set out for those goals and achieved them. Jobs didn't and he also achieved them, but business was only a means to an end: getting the product to the people.
  • Reply 16 of 127
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    This is the first time I agree with you.



    This is a historical moment, truly.





    Gates = Great person, despicable businessman.



    Jobs = Despicable person, great businessman.



    Wow. sounds like you're really a "it's all black or white" kinda guy.
  • Reply 17 of 127
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    You know, I've read everything there is to read about Jobs, and watched everything there is to watch about him. I've read what people who worked closely with him, and knew him better than message-board experts said about him. Yet, after all that, the word 'despicable person' to summarize him is not what comes to mind. He made mistakes- yes. So do we all. But I think it says quite a lot about you, that you're willing to throw this kind of vicious and conclusive judgement about his character. Get some damn perspective. I've met many people in my life who I would say are 10x more 'despicable' than Jobs could ever hope to be. Yet I still wouldn't define any of them as a 'despicable person'. That term, for me, is reserves for the purveyors of the most heinous crimes. In my experience, the people that throw these extreme definitions among people, are the ones who are far, far worse. I know alot obout Jobs. I don't know anything about you. Yet simply from your post, and the fact you can call someone like Steve Jobs summarily a 'despicable person' - tells me that I doubt you have the greatest character in the world. It takes a certain kind of person to throw this vitriol and viciousness towards someone with so many qualities. Jobs comes nowhere near that definition if you look at his life as a whole.



    Good answer.
  • Reply 18 of 127
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Don;t bring up Gates lying in a comparison with Jobs. Jobs was caught in several lies including lying to Woz about a sum of money they earned from Atari. Then the claim that he was sterile to avoid paying child support.



    yeah. and don't forget the time he told Aunt Betty that he didn't steal that pie cooling on the windowsill.
  • Reply 19 of 127
    I don't know what the word 'apocryphal' means, but I'm sure that it can be used to describe this story.
  • Reply 20 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    I don't know what the word 'apocryphal' means, but I'm sure that it can be used to describe this story.



    So you think Bill Gates was lying about having written a letter to Steve? Or, since you "don't know what the word means" but think you can still use it to describe something, would you like to explain what you MEAN by your post?
    cornchip
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