During an interview with ABC News, Bill Gates addressed some of the scathing criticisms the late Steve Jobs said in his latest biography, and even took credit for helping to establish the Mac computer.
In Steve Jobs’ biography, Jobs claimed that, “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything… He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”
The tech titan was seemingly unfazed by Jobs' harsh words in Walter Isaacson’s book.
“Well, Steve and I worked together creating the Mac. We had more people on it, did the key software for it,” said Gates to ABC News.
When Gates said, “key software,” he most likely meant Microsoft Office, a document processing software that his company developed for some of the earlier Apple computers. Microsoft Office made the Mac more accessible and increased sales of the company.
In 1997, with Apple’s revenues very low, Microsoft agreed to invest a much-needed $150 million into the company and release Macintosh versions of its popular software, including Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and development tools.
Detractors stated that this was only done to abolish legal views of Microsoft as a monopoly in terms of the computer industry, but the deal allowed Apple to eventually create some of their greatest successes, like Mac OS X and the iPod.
The “lack of taste” in PCs is something Jobs publicly disapproved on, but it was also something Gates admitted to back in the 1980s.
Gates confessed then, “To create a new standard… it takes something that's really new and really captures people's imagination - and the Macintosh… is the only one that meets that standard,” at a computer conference.
In the ABC News interview, Gates talked about the relationship with Jobs over the course of their careers. Although publicly, the two were rivals, in private, they were not so unpleasant.
“Over the course of 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 said.
What the philanthropist does not say is that on at least one occasion, Jobs called him to apologize for stating his opinions openly.