When we first think of Apple versus Microsoft, we immediately jump to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, two of the most competitive men in the history of the tech sector.
Yet, behind the veneer of grueling competition, Jobs and Gates respected the work each had put into their companies. In fact, before Jobs’ death, Bill Gates had a chance to meet with Steve Jobs, and that final visit recently left Gates teary eyed.
During an interview with 60 Minutes, Gates explains his last visit with the Apple honcho before his death:
“When he was sick, I got to go down and spend time with him… [We talked] about what we’d learned, families… anything.”
Later in the interview Gates also says he wished that he had Steve Jobs’ design skills. It was those skills that Gates says helped launch the iPad despite Jobs’ lack of engineering know-how.
In the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley and subsequent stories that followed, the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates saga has always appeared to play down any friendship and focus on bitter rivalry, a fact that appears to be undermined in this newest interview. In fact, Gates mentions that the two men were rivals yet still close.
“He and I, in a sense, grew up together. We were within a year of the same age, and we were kind of naively optimistic and built big companies. And every fantasy we had about creating products and learning new things– we achieved all of it. And most of it as rivals. But we always retained a certain respect and communication, including even when he was sick.”
Here’s Bill Gates tearing up as he talks about his friendship and last meeting with Steve Jobs:
Bill Gates now works to give his billions of dollars away to charities and causes in need of his help. Apparently he was just as generous in friendship as he is with his charity, even when that friendship was with his own biggest rival. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer appears to be a motto that Bill Gates actually lives by.
[Image via AllThingsD]