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Steve Jobs, Bill Gates at 2007 D5 Conference  (Source: All Things Digital)

In a special interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates praised former rival Steve Jobs' performance at Apple, saying that he showed "more inspiration" than any other tech leader he knew.  (Source: Apple Insider)
Gates delivers kind words for rival Steve Jobs at special interview

Apple CEO Steve Jobs' company may constantly belittle Microsoft in its ads, but in all accuracy, there's a lot of love between the companies.  A large number of Macs run Windows installs via boot camp.  And a large number of Windows users interact with Apple products such as the iPods and iPhone.

Speaking at a special CNBC segment, "Warren Buffett and Bill Gates: Keeping America Great", Bill Gates, the world's wealthiest man by current estimates and cofounder of Microsoft had kind words for the at-times divisive leader of Apple, Inc., Steve Jobs.

He affectionately remarked, "Well, [Jobs has] done a fantastic job.  Apple is in a bit of a different business where they make hardware and software together. But when Steve was coming back to Apple, which was actually through an acquisition of NeXT that he ran, Apple was in very tough shape. In fact, most likely it wasn't going to survive."

He continues, "And he brought in a team, he brought in inspiration about great products and design that's made Apple back into being an incredible force in doing good things. And it's great to have competitors like that. We write software for Apple, Microsoft does. They compete with Apple. But he, of all the leaders in the industry that I've worked with, he showed more inspiration and he saved the company."

While that remark might hurt Gates' buddy and current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a bit, it is a symbolic of the deep respect Jobs and Gates -- two of the world's most wealthy and influential men -- have for each other (Gates has roughly 8 times the current net worth of Jobs).

The remarks weren't the first kind words exchanged between the gentlemen.  In 2007 at the D5 Conference, the pair met for an interview with The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg.  Both made complementary remarks at the interview, with Jobs commenting that with Microsoft Bill Gates had founded the first true software company.  Gates had likewise praised the populist approach that has driven Apple under Jobs' leadership.

At the CNBC segment Gates pointed out that Microsoft still makes software for Apple computers.  He said that Office 2010 should be a top seller for the Mac and tells Apple's customers to look forward to the new version of the Outlook mail client, packaged with the Office 2010.  The new version custom-made for Macs is based on Apple's OS X development layer, Cocoa.

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By Ranari on 11/13/2009 10:19:48 PM , Rating: 4
Both Apple and Microsoft make great products. I was in Best Buy the other day, and while I would never buy a Mac, I couldn't help but gawk at the craftsmanship of an Apple computer. It just looked sexy.

However, I believe Apple without Steve Jobs is a rotten Apple. Jobs is the true visionary of the company, and unless somebody steps up and is as imaginative as he is, the company would fail.

Microsoft on the other hand is still a successful company even without Bill Gates. While the Xbox isn't exactly their most profitable adventure, Windows 7 looks to be shaping up to be one of the better OS releases in a long while. They have a lot of money, a lot of ideas, and a lot of solid brainpower to put those ideas into place.

RE: But!
By jonmcc33 on 11/16/2009 9:42:02 AM , Rating: 1
What is sexy about the same thing every single generation? They haven't changed the appearance of the MacBook since it came out. The only way to really tell a difference is by the internals.

Nothing is sexy about an all white product with an Apple logo and slot loading DVD drive.

RE: But!
By mydogfarted on 11/16/2009 5:18:28 PM , Rating: 3
You do realize that the iMac, Macbook Pro and MacBook have all seen significant exterior updates in the last year? Taste is subjective, but even MS's anti-Mac ads admit that the Macs are attractive machines.

Having broken off the tray of a laptop and desktop CD/DVD drive, slot loading is a nice feature on a laptop. Sucks when a disc gets stuck, but I've never had a disc get stuck my mac (or in my PC laptop for that matter).

RE: But!
By taber on 11/16/2009 10:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that the iMac, Macbook Pro and MacBook have all seen significant exterior updates in the last year?

Really? That's an honest question, I thought the iMac and Macbook Pro swapped from plastic to aluminum more than a year ago. I know the higher end Macbooks now look like Pro's, so I guess that one sorta counts. The aluminum models may have been tweaked since they came out, but nothing I would consider "significant", of course that's a word everybody defines differently.

Don't get me wrong, I think they're nice looking computers and the saying "if it's not broke, don't fix it" applies. It just sucks if it's missing something you really want, because you're probably not getting it anytime soon. *cough* blu-ray *cough*

RE: But!
By sebmel on 11/17/2009 7:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
In the following video you can see just how faithfully Microsoft have copied Apple's stores, right down to the name tags and uniforms.

Oh, except for the dance. Only Microsoft knows how to create that creepy mix or servility and shame.

The Thrill Is Gone?
By crystal clear on 11/14/2009 12:57:24 AM , Rating: 3

The list of computing "Greats" probably begins with Bill Gates and ends with Steve Jobs.

Hey we stopped producing any more of these greats !

yes the Thrill Is Gone .......

RE: The Thrill Is Gone?
By crystal clear on 11/14/2009 2:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yes we produces financial geniuses in scams & fraud rather than somebody more interested in finding out-

P = NP ? or P ? NP ?

RE: The Thrill Is Gone?
By noirsoft on 11/15/2009 1:34:23 AM , Rating: 2
If someone was able to prove P = NP they would have more lasting historical influence over computing than Jobs and Gates combined. More like Turing or Babbage. Not in popular mindshare, but in terms of impact on computer science.

Since it is almost certain that P != NP, the person to prove that would be important, but it wouldn't change computing, since we operate on that assumption inthe design of all current algorithms.

I would also posit that a person capable of proving it either way is a genius far beyond the level of Gates or Jobs. Both are geniuses primarily as businessmen, not as computer scientists.

RE: The Thrill Is Gone?
By Murst on 11/16/2009 3:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
Proving that P=NP would be significant and would win you some prizes, but unless the proof provided a method for conversions of NP-complete problems into something that can run in polynomial time, it wouldn't change anything.

Whether P=NP or not, it would be much more significant if someone came up with a process to convert all known NP-complete problems into stuff w/ polynomial complexity, even if it wasn't proven that it applied for all cases.

By WoWCow on 11/13/2009 6:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
And he brought in a team, he brought in inspiration about great products and design that's made Apple back into being an incredible force in doing good things. And it's great to have competitors like that. We write software for Apple, Microsoft does. They compete with Apple. But he, of all the leaders in the industry that I've worked with, he showed more inspiration and he saved the company."

I don't think Ballmer would be hurt at all. Just a fact that Steve did step and bailed Apple out of its own mess of his own interest.

If it is anything, consider Jobs as a true loyalist to the Apple organization as much as Gates and Ballmer are to Microsoft. The organizations pretty much represent everything they were and are right now. In this sense, you can say each individual has a cult of personality.

Jobs the visionary can convince a rich fellow to buy a PC labeled as a Mac at a price that is 5x the premium (they are well built, I acknowledge that). Ballmer is a boastful fellow who would try to sell anything he can to the masses. Gates just keeps the support products coming to back those two up and recruiting the geeks.

Yes, it is good to compliment each other when the three don't really lose anything but have much to gain since their words influence the investors. ;)

RE: Business
By Flunk on 11/14/2009 11:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree with your statement that Steve Balmer has a cult of personality. Even if he does there is only one member, Steve Balmer.

By sebmel on 11/13/2009 6:43:21 PM , Rating: 3
"Both made complementary remarks at the interview, with Jobs commenting that with Microsoft Bill Gates had founded the first true software company. Gates had likewise praised the populist approach that has driven Apple under Jobs' leadership."

No, that's not quite what was said.

Jobs praised Gates VISION in making the first software company when others didn't even know what a software company was.

Gates said he wished he had Jobs' SENSE OF TASTE which he said was reflected in quality of Apple's products.

Reading too much into it
By Carl B on 11/13/2009 8:46:01 PM , Rating: 3
Bill Gates isn't representing Microsoft when he praises Steve Jobs, though one can't say the same for Steve himself necessarily. Point being though, that both men are friends in the real world - completely independent of the corporate battles. Think of it as a fierce rivalry, but between two folk that respect one another.

The secret sause of JOBS
By crystal clear on 11/14/2009 2:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yes in every apple product goes in the secret sause of-

Motivate and Thrill

This may be good for the ordinary user/buyer but does not work with business/enterprise software,thats where Microsoft makes its money.

Two different markets.

You Gotta be Kidding
By tech329 on 11/14/2009 4:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe some have posted here that Apple may have blown a chance to knock MS from the top of the heap. As if to suggest they even could.

Apple has some great products but they don't have the breadth of products or experience in the enterprise to do what has been suggested. Far from it. And I suspect if you were to ask Steve Jobs he would likely agree. He might even get a chuckle out of reading the nonsense posted here. Does this mean such a thing is impossible. Not at all. However, it would take a very long time (think at least a decade or more) before Apple had products that could truly compete in all the ways MS does. This might even happen. But not right now.

Link to CNBC video
By SubtleOne on 11/15/2009 10:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
Here is a link to the actual segment:

Immature Comments
By hiscross on 11/13/09, Rating: 0
Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By sigmatau on 11/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By Sazar on 11/13/2009 6:02:02 PM , Rating: 3
Last I checked, Apple stock had been setting historical highs. Am I missing something? Did it drop to $100 per share?

I get your humorous attempt, but while I love Windows 7, I also quite appreciate the returns my investment in Apple shares have brought me this year :)

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By sigmatau on 11/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By sebmel on 11/13/2009 6:34:12 PM , Rating: 3
"Apple has been doing great the past few years, but they missed the boat."

Only someone not looking at the numbers could say that.

Apple Market cap 1997: $4 billion
Apple market cap 2009: $180 billion

Microsoft market cap 1997: $500 billion
Microsoft market cap 2009: $250 billion

Microsoft profits up 47% since 2005 (in 4 years)
Apple profits up 47% since 2008 (in 1 year)

Last quarter Microsoft had one of it's worst quarters ever.
Last quarter Apple had its best quarter ever... in the middle of a serious recession.

In the last 9 years Microsoft has lost over $10 billion on the Xbox

In the last 10 years Apple has had billion dollar product successes with:

Macintosh computers
iTunes music store
iTunes movie & TV store
iPhone app store

And as an aside Steve Jobs managed to sell his company Pixar, the worlds most successful movie studio (10 out of 10 hits), to Disney for $7 billion.

Fortune recently pointed out that few CEOs redefine an area of business... to redefine four is unheard of. Steve Jobs will go down as the world's greatest CEO and all Americans should be proud of what fine American businesses he has built.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By sebmel on 11/13/2009 7:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Readers may like to watch a video on Youtube of the relevant comments of Jobs and Gates on 'taste'.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By lyeoh on 11/15/2009 8:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By jhb116 on 11/13/2009 7:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
You're an idiot. He was referring to an opportunity that Apple may or may not have had to knock Microsoft from its glorious monopoly in the PC world. Those #'s might be quite different if they had pressed the advantage - could have also ruined the company. We'll never know.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By Mitch101 on 11/13/2009 10:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
There is a lot of speculation that Google will be releasing an OS for PC's in the next week or two. It will run on limited hardware and most likely be a new distro of Linux. I know we all heard this rumor before but a few people are saying its coming this time.

Being that Google was kicked out of the boardroom at Apple if Steve found out about a Google OS for PC's he might have been having flashbacks of the old days when Microsoft developed their GUI OS behind their back. I could certainly see Apple/Microsoft burying the hatchet and working together to prevent Google from getting into their territory.

Dont forget Microsoft invested into Apple when Steve Jobs returned.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By Mitch101 on 11/13/2009 10:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
6of8 - "The Return Of Steve Jobs" - MacWorldEXPO 1997

7of8 - "The Return Of Steve Jobs" - MacWorldEXPO 1997

Microsoft Corporation had agreed to invest $150 million in its longtime software rival, Apple.

150 Million in Apple Stock in 1997 is now worth what?

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By XZerg on 11/14/2009 10:46:06 AM , Rating: 1
Last I checked M$ had sold that stock...

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By sebmel on 11/17/2009 6:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
It isn't normally considered reasonable to suggest that when a company has grown over 5000% in ten years, and it's main competitor has shrunk by 50%, that it can be considered to have 'missed the boat'.

When one considers that Apple is the only computer OS company to have survived competition with Microsoft, all others having failed with exactly the business method suggested (Amiga, Risc, BeOS, OS2, Atari, Next), the 'missed the boat' suggestion seems even more misguided.

And in other news today:
Microsoft lost 28% of its share of the smartphone market over the last year.,100000008...

Perhaps that explains why Gates is praising Jobs.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By Master Kenobi on 11/13/2009 8:15:53 PM , Rating: 3
You also need to remember that Microsoft has incurred endless amounts of antitrust wrath from certain governments and now are required to hand their competitors markets that by all rights should no longer exist. If not for the regulation preventing Microsoft from crushing platforms like the Mac, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

If you allowed Microsoft to take the kid gloves off and stop coddling their competitors they could deal serious damage in short order.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I remember the days when PCs and Macs had similar levels of market share and how godawful it was to get those systems to talk to each other. How every vendor had its own OS that was totally different from another vendors and companies couldn't standardize at all on software because everything had to be custom done for whatever that company was purchasing. Along comes Microsoft who standardizes all PCs on a common platform, thanks to help from IBM/Intel and later on Cisco. Not too many years later between Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco we have a global functioning network that works seamlessly from one side of the globe to another.

Call me crazy, but the last thing I want to see is another vendor specific OS tied to specific hardware taking large market share. We have evolved past those times and it is high time for Apple to make a decision. Do they want to be a hardware company, or a software company.

By crystal clear on 11/14/2009 12:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
Do they want to be a hardware company, or a software company.

This & JOBS can be best described by this-

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.[1],_or_not_to_be

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By KoolAidMan1 on 11/15/2009 2:41:52 AM , Rating: 4
Sebmel - Excellent post. People can spew opinions all they want but its tough to fudge your way around hard numbers.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By sebmel on 11/16/2009 4:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well thank you, KoolAidMan1.

Unfortunately, it doesn't prevent the grass skirt brigade from trying to bury under a red title for disturbing the national levels of etiolated teen, bedroom angst.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By dav115 on 11/13/2009 6:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
"Imagine how much money they (and you) would have made if they would have released their OS to non-Apple computers. Now it's too late with Windows 7. So sad, Apple could have actually been a true competitor. "

Not much really, because the second their OS is no longer locked down to a closed selection of hardware the whole "it just works" argument would go down the drain.

By SiliconAddict on 11/13/2009 9:32:58 PM , Rating: 4
Dude I do not like Apple. But that is a retarded statement. Do you know what Apple did during the Vista saga?

The migrated to Intel. Do you know what kind of strain on resources that had to have done to Apple? While MS was struggling internally with their OS Apple restructured for the future of their platform. So to say they missed the boat is off. They just didn't take your boat.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By jbizzler on 11/13/2009 10:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
Think about this argument. One of the beauties of Mac OS X is that it is made for the hardware it's on. While hackers have found ways to install it on other PCs, the experience is far from ideal for consumption by the general public. Apple saves a lot of money by not having to program for the thousands of PC configurations possible and saves even more not having to worry about tech support for exotic PCs.

It's a quality control issue. Did Windows Vista suck? I used it since it's first public beta and had no problems with it. I think the source of PC-hatred is all the crapware OEMs bloat Windows with, but the general user puts that blame on Microsoft. If people had problems with Mac OS X from, say, Sony, they'd blame Apple, not Sony. (I pick on Sony because I've seen some particularly ugly installations of Windows on Sony PCs).

Different worlds. Different business models for different people with different needs. I think Bill Gates recognizes that. As a business man, Jobs is extremely respectable for saving Apple.

While I don't like all of Apple's business practices, most of the ones that keep me from using Macs and iPods (can't build my own, doesn't work well with anything but iTunes) are all about quality-control, and you can't blame a company for trying to build and keep an image. As a consumer, I recognize a product's pros and cons and weigh them myself. Neither makes Apple or Microsoft evil, just different.

If operating-system development wasn't such a huge, risky investment, I bet we'd see more hardware/software platforms. As it stands, I'm in the middle and wish there were more options.

By haukionkannel on 11/14/2009 3:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Apple has done well, but it's a long way of moving all those XP users to Apple users...
Why Vista was not a succes vs what Apple would have done:
1. The Vista was more restrictive than XP -> Apple is not so much more open either...
2. Old games worked faster on XP than in Vista (at least in older computers) -> They would not have worked at all in Apple
3. There was problems in running some very old company level programs in Vista -> They would not have worked in Apple either...
4. Vista needed better hardware than XP - In this I am not sure. But all in all it would most propable have needed allso some upgrades.

So I don't think that they would have accuired so much more customers...

But yeah, Bill Gates is right this time. Steve Jobs has been one of the most innovative or at least one of the most succesfull IT-leaders of our time.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By lecanard on 11/14/2009 11:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it's that simple. OSX doesn't have what it takes to do what Windows does: run on any arbitrary hardware. That is much harder than when you get to design all the systems yourself. Also, if people could buy OSX for any PC, who would buy Apple's overpriced hardware?

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By NesuD on 11/15/2009 12:55:15 AM , Rating: 2

Apple has been doing great the past few years, but they missed the boat. And what a big boat it was. Not only could they have pounced on MS during the Vista saga, they could have done so epically.

That so absolutely wrong. MAC OSX is totally unsuited for the enterprise world. The largest market for OS licenses is the enterprise market. There is no way that market was going to pick a MAC OS over a Windows OS.

RE: Bill Gates gives Praise to Jobs
By rcc on 11/16/2009 2:21:43 PM , Rating: 1
You are missing the point/boat. Apple isn't in the same market as Microsoft, and they really don't want to compete head-to-head with them on an OS.

It's a bit like asking why Microsoft didn't release the x-box 360 OS for the Playstation when it came out. Ignoring the hardware issues of course.

Apple wants to sell hardware. In the computer market they need an OS to do that.

By marvdmartian on 11/14/2009 9:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
Glad to know that you and Forrest are doing well with your "fruit company" investments! ;)

running scared?
By shockf1 on 11/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: running scared?
By EnzoFX on 11/13/2009 5:42:11 PM , Rating: 4
It's just you. =P

A software sale is a software sale for MS.

RE: running scared?
By sefsefsefsef on 11/13/2009 5:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
When someone buys a Mac, Microsoft makes money. When someone buys a PC, Microsoft makes even more money.

Either way, Microsoft is making money.

RE: running scared?
By DLeRium on 11/13/2009 6:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not everyone buys Mac Office. Office 2008 blows after all when you compare to Office 2007. For that kind of money, Apple's iWork is actutally quite worth it, although I would prefer to VMWare Office 2007 anyway.

RE: running scared?
By KeypoX on 11/14/2009 9:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
So you have to buy, Vmware, a version of windows, and office 2007. Man microsoft would promote mac if all mac users did this.

RE: running scared?
By jbizzler on 11/15/2009 2:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
But in your case, Microsoft made even MORE money. Assuming you're doing everything legally, you bought Windows and Office 2007. And a single retail sale of Windows, like the kind you'd buy for VMware Fusion, gets Microsoft more money than a single OEM sale of Windows on a retail PC.

I never realized how non-threating Apple is to Microsoft until now.

RE: running scared?
By mellomonk on 11/16/2009 10:17:11 AM , Rating: 2
Of course MS loves when Mac users buy a copy of Windows and Office for their Macs. They are the largest seller of Mac software outside of Apple.

But your crazy if you do not think that Apple is a threat in many respects to MS. They have a powerful marketing message that MS just can't seem to compete with. They are in the very consumer space and non-PC space that MS covets with such products as the XBox. The world is changing. PCs are yesterdays news. Phones, personal media devices such as readers and iPods are where the world is turning. The internet is making operating systems and old business models such as Office more and more irrelevant. Apple is a competitor in all of these new spaces and already dominate in some, and you better believe MS is aware of it. The question is are they fore sighted enough to do anything about it, or are they blinded by their still profitable yet fading business models?

RE: running scared?
By xaders on 11/13/09, Rating: 0
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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