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Bill Gates Opens Up About Steve Jobs 294

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-did-he-say dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates displayed a bit of emotion when talking to CBS's 60 Minutes about Steve Jobs. The interview didn't focus entirely on the relationship between the two men, with most of its running time devoted instead to Gates's charitable efforts. But when the conversation shifted to their last meeting before Jobs's death from cancer in 2011, Gates—normally so cerebral—seemed a bit sad. 'When he was sick I got to go down and spend time with him,' Gates said, describing their meeting as 'forward looking.' Jobs spent a portion of their time together showing off designs for his yacht, which he would never see completed—something that Gates defended when the interviewer seemed a little bit incredulous. 'Thinking about your potential mortality isn't very constructive,' he said. Gates also praised Steve Jobs's marketing and design skills: 'He understood, he had an intuitive sense for marketing that was amazing.' In contrast to his subtle—and not so subtle—digs at the iPad over the years, Gates conceded that Apple had 'put the pieces together in a way that succeeded' with regard to tablets. Gates's magnanimity toward his former rival and Apple is a reflection, perhaps, of his current position in life: it's been nearly five years since his last full-time day at Microsoft, and all of his efforts seem focused on his philanthropic endeavors. He simply has no reason to rip a rival limb from limb in the same way he did as Microsoft CEO."
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Bill Gates Opens Up About Steve Jobs

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  • Oh come on Bill (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:22PM (#43711933)

    'Thinking about your potential mortality isn't very constructive,
    That is bullshit, and he knows it. Wasting your last months on earth worrying about a design for a mega yacht somehow is constructive? I guess rich people really aren't like me. They don't seem to actually have a soul.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:26PM (#43712001)

    "Death is the great equalizer. In his pale presence they forgot their old squabbles and jealousies..."
    Norman Douglas, South Wind

    Seems fitting.

  • Both are assholes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:42PM (#43712197)

    Yes, it's a shame a vindictive billionaire, who disavowed his daughter for nearly 20 years, didn't get to see his yacht finished before he died.

  • Re:Coming soon! (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @02:04PM (#43712455)

    ahem, iirc. it was Steve who took pride in stealing other's ideas ;)

    A particular irony with Microsoft is that in many cases, MS Research develops a technology, licenses it (unbeknownst to the masses) to a 3rd party, and later releases a product with the same capability and is accused of copying. Most of what MSR does is licensed that way, and a not-inconsequential portion of it eventually comes back.

    That's why very interesting tech, like the Courier and the adaptive keyboard that made the media rounds a couple years ago, never get to market. Something is done with a partner, and that partnership ends before a product hits the market. Microsoft keeps the IP and maybe licenses it in the future, maybe not. That's why they spend $10B a year in research and rack in a huge amount of revenue from the IP that comes out of it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @02:08PM (#43712503)

    Uhm, he actually makes money on his "charities", which in really just funnel funds to MS through the backdoor. All the excusive MS-only licenses he sells to entire third world nations in exchange for healthcare donations are probably not doing them a net favor.

  • Re:Oh come on Bill (Score:5, Interesting)

    by unimacs (597299) on Monday May 13, 2013 @02:09PM (#43712527)
    My step-dad worked in construction his whole life and he loved it. He loved building things. Well after "retiring" he'd putter around in the workshop he had in the garage. Not long before he died he had me helping him build these modular tables and benches he could reposition for doing various things. His health had deteriorated quite a bit by this point and I strongly suspected he would die before getting much if any use from these tables.

    To me it seemed kind of pointless and physically it wasn't easy for him. As I suspected, it was only a few months later that he ended up in the hospital because of his ongoing heart problems, suffered a stroke and died.

    These tables were monstrous and incomplete. Nobody wanted them, so eventually they were dismantled.

    The missing part of the story is that this man survived over 40 years after open heart surgery and was relatively active in spite of several heat attacks and periodic bouts with other debilitating health problems. Part of the reason he managed to do this was that in spite of his often poor health he never stopped living the life he wanted to live. He may very well have known he'd never finish the tables, but he loved the process. It got him up in the morning.

    I think lots of people when faced with mortality will spend more time with their families and trying to do the things they wished they had been doing all their lives. Some people were already doing it. That may be the case with Jobs. I'm not saying he wasn't a jerk and that he didn't have regrets. I'm sure he did. But that doesn't change what brought him joy.
  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Monday May 13, 2013 @02:32PM (#43712799) Homepage Journal

    By all means, please DO NOT link us to http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50146679n [cbsnews.com].

    May not work on an iPad or Windows 8 tablet.

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Monday May 13, 2013 @02:53PM (#43712971)

    I prefer Bill Gates trying and perhaps failing at charity in an attempt to be a decent person to Bill Gates trying and succeeding in being a douchebag.

    Actually operating a charity is not as easy as you think it is. It's not just a matter of wrapping up some food and sending it to starving kids in Ethiopia. If that were the case, we'd have solved hunger long ago, as we already make more than enough food for every person on Earth.

    The issue isn't Bill Gates "trying and perhaps failing at charity". The problem is that an enormous amount of the work done by his foundation is actually harmful, not beneficial.

    Why has the Gates Foundation invested hundreds of millions of dollars in oil companies in Africa (who are among the biggest polluters and whose pollution is causing substantial harm to the local people)? Why has the foundation invested in dozens of the worst polluting companies in the U.S. and Canada? Why has the foundation invested enormous amounts of money in big pharma companies who are actively fighting against making inexpensive medications available to developing nations?

    Why? Because that's how Bill Gates and all his billionaire friends make money, now and in the future. Less than 20% of Gates' wealth comes from Microsoft stock.

  • wasting time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday May 13, 2013 @03:02PM (#43713053) Journal

    Many years ago, I once spent a Saturday trying to make the Catalan solids out of wood, using cheap tilt vises, a homemade rotary table, and a poor man's milling machine (an end mill in a cheap drill press that couldn't hold it steady). Didn't get very far-- the tools simply didn't have the precision needed to do a good job. Even though we economized too much on the tools, they were still ridiculously expensive. Why did I try that way? I was following my father's vision of how such a thing should be done, and machinery was what he grew up with. Another Saturday, I used a different approach of making a paper model and filling the interior with epoxy. This worked much better but still had problems. For one, epoxy has a shelf life. It will not harden properly if it is too old, and this was. Another is that epoxy generates heat when it is curing, and this was a large enough mass to become almost too hot to touch. I don't know if an even larger mass could get hot enough to cause real problems such as fires and melting, but it was something to keep in mind. Then my father wanted to employ number punches to number the sides, as if hardened epoxy was just as malleable as metal. To satisfy him, I tried it, and of course the epoxy shattered. Today, those shapes would be a trivial job for a 3D printer.

    The point? If I had spent those Saturdays playing computer games, no one would have thought anything of it. But when I mentioned this use of a Saturday, I got a lot of strange looks, and a few queries about why I had "wasted" my time so. My brother warned his fiancee, who dislikes nerds, that I was likely to show off those polyhedrons. It was almost as if I had contracted a contagious disease, the way people acted about the whole thing. Nice when your own brother inoculates his circle against your weirdness, so that they all know to keep their distance and not give you any opportunities to bore the hell out of them and show off how nerdy you really are.

    You don't know what specifically Jobs and Gates were discussing about yachts. If it was ways of fitting the ship for cleanup of oil spills, plastics, or other pollution, or for some sort of science like ocean or hydrothermal vent research, or as a test bed for Internet communication over vast expanses of empty ocean (think how that could benefit the Pirate Bay), I would not call that a waste of time. And even if it was none of that, it likely was something of some use. I hardly think Jobs and Gates would have discussed the sort of crass, trashy thing a moronic joker like Donald Trump would do, such as solid gold plumbing fixtures which serves no good purpose, as it is only to inspire jealousy by rubbing in how incredibly filthy rich the owner is, and that only works on fellow fools.

  • by vivek7006 (585218) on Monday May 13, 2013 @04:19PM (#43713773) Homepage
    My Humble prediction: By the end of this century, Bill Gates will be remembered as a Nobel Prize winning humanitarian while Steve Jobs will be relegated to the dustbin of douchebags
  • by denobug (753200) on Monday May 13, 2013 @07:00PM (#43715195)

    My Humble prediction: By the end of this century, Bill Gates will be remembered as a Nobel Prize winning humanitarian while Steve Jobs will be relegated to the dustbin of douchebags

    That might be true. But for many of us that might live until 3/4 of this century We will continue to write how much they respect one another. That should be enough to keep Steve's reputation as a tech genius and Bill as a prodigy turn hard-driving tech executive turn philanthropist. You can probably equate Bill and Steve's relationship to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Plenty of people after them will be intrigued by their personal relationship with one another.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @07:09PM (#43715249)

    I don;t think it's Obama's fault for the division.

    No, Obama didn't start the fire, so to speak...

    But I believe he and his administration have pushed it as far as they possibly can, and have become one of the main polarizing factors we have in govt and society today.

    When he was running, there was quite a lot of talk of him bringing people together, reaching across aisles, being a govt. of openness, etc.

    That just goes against what his real ideology is IMHO.

    I see him and the current administration as being more devicive (sp?) than any other previous administration going back like to Nixon.

    Is there anything, major and specific, that the Republicans have compromised on that you can use to blame Obama for? I'm an (I) but as far as I can tell, we have a 1980's style Republican in the office of the President. Elections have been such that the rest of the Republican's have just moved so far to the right that old style Republican's now make up the core of the Democratic party and the old Left is now (still) sitting in Occupy Wall Street camps, being mostly ignored by the media.

    Did the Republicans agree to raise income taxes on the top 2% yet? How about giving parity to labor and capital int he tax rates - I see labor taxed at ~35% and capital at under 15% after deductions are taken into account. Is Social Security Tax now paid on dividends? No, of course not, that would increase equity in the US and reduce the horrible shift in the US Gini index.

    So, please enlighten us all, what is a major sacrifice the Republican party has made in efforts to be bi-partisan? It's not real control, defense cuts, coal or oil subsidies. I don't recall them even voting to increase taxes so the damn FDA can have a meat inspector visit a plant every year, much less the chemical ones like West Texas. What mega-multi-billion dollar program they ran in favor of are they willing to cut?

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"

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