Microsoft founder Bill Gates coolly parried some harsh criticism from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, in an interview with ABC television Sunday, saying their professional rivalry was positive.
Gates, who maintained a long rivalry with the Apple innovator, was asked about an authorized biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson which portrayed Gates as comparatively uninspired as an innovator.
The Microsoft founder was told by ABC that Jobs “basically said that you were ‘unimaginative, had never invented anything and shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.’ That’s pretty tough stuff. What’s your reaction to that?”
“Well, Steve and I worked together, you know ... creating the Mac. We had more people on it, did the key software for it,” Gates explained.
“So over the course of, you know, the 30 years we worked together, you know, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things.
Gates went on: “I mean, he faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products, you know, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it’s tough.
“So the fact that, you know, at various times, he felt beleaguered, he felt like he was -- he was the good guy and we were the bad guys, you know, very understandable.
“I, you know, respect Steve. We got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all,” Gates told ABC.
Jobs lost his years-long battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 56 earlier this month.