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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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  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:16PM (#43711819)
    insert Bill Gates slam here
    insert Steve Jobs supreme being statement here
    *phew* day saved.

    Sent from my AT&T iPad
    • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vivek7006 (585218)
      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 @08:30PM (#43715821)

        Bill Gates will be remembered as a Nobel Prize winning humanitarian

        JD Rockefeller Sr. is still reviled because of his merciless monopolism, despite granting his fortune to charity.

      • While I admire Mr. Gates immensely, I also pity him... such a success, yet always in living in the shadow of Steve. Both mere mortal men, one an ego-maniac with unbridled drive, and the other that is all too human and owes it all to his mother's promiscuity, and one very clever idea (licensing). While Steve failed time and again, and through sheer will was able to overcome adversity to turn his tiny creation into the largest richest company the world has ever known, Bill leveraged his initial conditions to
  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:18PM (#43711857)
    Microsoft Yacht(tm).
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:20PM (#43711895)

    We hear and see stories about bitter company rivals. However at the same time they are also partners.
    For the most part it is business it isn't personal.
    In areas where they are competing in the same spot, they will be quite bitter rivals, however if a different product supports the other company they will be best friends.

    Microsoft Fought OS's while partnered in Office.

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:27PM (#43712007)

      You see the same thing among lawyers... they may be bitter rivals in court, but then go out for drinks and have a few laughs afterwards. You have to figure two people in direct competition will probably have more in common with each other than with another random person. Just because they are professional rivals doesn't mean they can't have a great personal relationship.

      • by alen (225700)

        kind of like athletes?

        chances are these people went to school together or have friends in common and see each other at holidays or common functions

        i've known officers in the army who trained each other in west point and ended up in the same unit or assuming command of a unit from a former upper classman

        • Hardly the same thing. Athletes often have friends on rival teams, but officers aren't usually pals with their counterparts in enemy armies.

          • by sgent (874402)

            Umm.... I'm not so sure about that. Especially in civil wars, high ranking officers are often friends with each other.

            US Grant and Robert E. Lee is the classic example, but there are numerous others.

            • by griffinme (930053)

              Many officers knew each other before the war but Grant was a nobody before the war. Lee had been important before the war (He had an almost perfect record at West Point). They had met once in Mexico but Lee didn't remember the meeting. It was rumored that Lee was offered command of the entire army in the North but declined when Virginia went with the South. But there were many moments were former friends and even families would be on opposite sides. This led to some very hard feelings especially in areas wh

            • More like Grant and Longstreet, who were cousins-in-law.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        You see the same thing among lawyers... they may be bitter rivals in court, but then go out for drinks and have a few laughs afterwards. You have to figure two people in direct competition will probably have more in common with each other than with another random person. Just because they are professional rivals doesn't mean they can't have a great personal relationship.

        Actually, years back, we used to have this type of thing with our lawmakers in Washington, DC.

        I think it was Tip O'Neal and Reagan, that

    • by jimicus (737525)

      We hear and see stories about bitter company rivals.

      You'd be surprised. Very often, two companies that you'd think compete are actually aiming at subtly different customers and can achieve more by working together.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:20PM (#43711897)

    Thinking about your mortality is possibly the MOST constructive thing you can do, at least as far as not being an a-hole is concerned.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:28PM (#43712021) Journal
    Whatever said and done in public, these college drop outs, they are a thick bunch. They stand up for one another.
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Well, one thing for sure - there are few people who are as crass as RMS when discussing someone like Jobs, even if they were rivals during the time the deceased was alive. Gates did the dignified thing he could do, and separated his corporate rivalry with Apple from anything personal to say about Jobs. As for the yachts, it's called a hobby - different people have different ones, be it flying, sking, sailing, whitewater rafting, coding, travelling and so on
  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:34PM (#43712083) Homepage Journal

    You never talk bad (in public) about a rival who is dead. It's poor form.

    Had Jobs still been alive, things would be different.

    • by Seumas (6865) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:42PM (#43712201)

      It's not just a matter of bad form. It's just a matter of something most people would never want to do, Gates included. It's exciting and driving to compete with a rival and to egg that rivalry on. When a respected rival passes -- especially one who was part of this back and forth spurring on for decades through something as amazing as the revolution of computing -- it's a huge personal loss. It's something and someone you miss.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Despite the business rivalry Gates and Jobs seemed to get along well in public, at least when the cameras were rolling. I've seen interviews with them on stage together and they seemed respectful of each other.

        Most people don't want to speak ill of the deceased, even if they were rivals. Of course Richard Stallman is an exception. He was badmouthing Jobs before the man's corpse was cold. RMS has zero class, he could learn a thing or two from Gates.

    • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:45PM (#43712243)
      It's not just that. Talking about how everything good at Apple came from the brilliant mind of a now-dead guy actually is a dig at (present-day) Apple. It serves to undermine confidence in Apple's prospects, and feeds the meme of Apple's inevitable post-Jobs decline, without explicitly stating that.
    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      And here I thought the first rule in business was "do things that will make money." ;-)
    • by steelfood (895457)

      That's because talking smack is only a part of the game. It's not personal. To keep talking smack once the competition is takes things from professional to personal, which is indeed bad form.

      These types of people only stop competing with each other at death, so the smack talk will continue until somebody dies.

      Note this doesn't mean Bill Gates is no longer competing with Apple. It's just that he's aiming in Tim Cook's direction now.

    • by caywen (942955)

      Except that wasn't the case here.

      http://allthingsd.com/video/?video_id=60C4F9FA-9AD5-4D04-8BB6-015AEBB1C052 [allthingsd.com]

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:38PM (#43712149) Homepage

    Gates's magnanimity toward his former rival and Apple is a reflection, perhaps, of his current position in life:

    Yeah, Gates being alive and Jobs being dead, mainly.

  • 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.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:51PM (#43712307)

    I've long been fascinated by the evolution of Bill Gates. I cut my teeth in this field as an engineer at Netscape, where I watched along with the rest of the industry as Microsoft did what they did to Netscape and all of the following legal proceedings and DoJ activities ensued. While I still respected the story and beginning of Gates (reading everything I could about him, when I was a teenager), I hated Mr. Borg with a passion and everything about Microsoft. It was what drove me to the arms of Linux and, ultimately, Unix (and my career therein).

    Then, he decided to move on from just leading a tech and business army and raking in cash to making finding a way to properly use that cash for the betterment of man. We saw a completely different side of him. Perhaps a new side of the guy that game with maturity and wisdom. I gained a completely new respect for him. I still disagree with some of his views, completely disagree with some of his former business practices, am frustrated and dismayed with a lot of Microsoft's current endeavors and decisions . . . but as a man -- I've come to have a lot of admiration for what he's doing. He's a great example for the rest of the world's wealthiest in doing something truly constructive and beneficial with their unimaginable wealth.

    Americans love a success story and we love a story of personal redemption. The only thing we love more than hating someone is them turning things around and giving us reasons to be in their corner. This is one of those stories. And, personally, I find his activities a solid reminder in my own personal life to remember how fortunate I am in my career. As a direct result, I make a point of doing what I can to support things like Engineers Without Borders. I bet many other engineers out there have found the same respect and inspiration.

    I also find it sad that, for as inspiring as I found Jobs as far as business and design, there is simply no similar compelling feeling in that same way, after his passing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • Some people are just there for the money. Others are all about the game. I think this is especially prevalent in Lawyers and Engineers. You want to win - whatever game it is you're playing. When Gates played computer monopoly, he played to win. Now he's playing save the world.

      I'm not sure whether Jobs was just about the money (though I suspect it), whether he felt his defeat early on meant he could never play another game, or if his early death simply meant he never had the option to switch games.

      • by tnk1 (899206)

        No, Jobs wasn't about the money either. He was about making the world look the way he wanted it to. It's just that the money was both the means of doing it, and the measure of his success.

        While I doubt he was upset with the money, nothing I know about him leads me to believe that it did more than enable him to be as ambitious as he wanted to be. I think he would have been almost as happy as a bum on the street if he's seen that everyone was walking around with one of his products in their pocket and his

    • Like you, I've been watching the evolution of Gates from the early days. I started out disliking him and his predatory business practices. In the early days it seemed to me like he stole almost all of the good things that made Microsoft strong (DOS-CPM, Windows-MacOS, MSN-Internet, Zune-iPod, etc). The company used highly unethical means to absorb, overpower, or destroy competitors. It's products seemed nothing more that badly cloned copies of more innovative ideas.

      Over time though I have watched him develo

    • by Quila (201335) on Monday May 13, 2013 @03:30PM (#43713287)

      Or, marrying a woman who probably told him "you're a dick, fix it." Won't be the first time a guy was whipped into shape by a good woman.

    • by jitterman (987991)
      You've put into words (quite nicely) what I've thought. Thanks for a positive contribution.
  • by Tator Tot (1324235) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:52PM (#43712311)
    I found a picture of Bill as he's discussing [pandawhale.com] his friendship with Steve Jobs.
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:52PM (#43712313)

    Jobs' charity efforts?

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday May 13, 2013 @02:12PM (#43712565) Homepage

    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.

    Well... there's not much of a reason to rip a rival limb from limb when he's already dead. It'd be in pretty poor taste, actually, and I'd expect Gates to avoid badmouthing Jobs if only to avoid looking like an asshole.

    Also, their relationship was reportedly far less adversarial than people tended to assume. Most of the people who were supposedly in-the-know claimed that they were friends to some extent, and got along pretty well in spite of disagreeing on a lot of things.

  • 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.

  • http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50146679n

  • dude, it was only 10 seconds of the interview, at about 10 min in here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50146679n [cbsnews.com] this article summary is longer than the comment

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