Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never quite got along.
Over the course of 30-plus years, the two went from cautious allies to bitter rivals to something almost approaching friends — or, sometimes, all three at the same time.
It seems unlikely that Apple would be where it is today without Microsoft, or Microsoft without Apple.
Here’s the history of the bizarre relationship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as told by the Walter Isaacson biography of Jobs and other sources.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren't always enemies -- Microsoft made software early on for the mega-popular Apple II PC, and Gates would routinely fly down to Cupertino to see what Apple was working on.
Gates wasn't particularly impressed with what he saw as a limited platform -- or Jobs' attitude. 'It was kind of a weird seduction visit where Steve was saying we don't really need you and we're doing this great thing, and it's under the cover. He's in his Steve Jobs sales mode, but kind of the sales mode that also says, 'I don't need you, but I might let you be involved,'' Gates later said.
Still, Gates appeared alongside Jobs in a 1983 video -- a 'Dating Game' riff -- screened for Apple employees ahead of the Macintosh's launch. In that video, Gates compliments the Mac, saying that it 'really captures people's imagination.'
Microsoft and Apple worked hand-in-hand for the first few years of the Macintosh. At one point, Gates quipped that he had more people working on the Mac than Jobs did.
Their relationship, already kind of rocky, fell apart when Microsoft announced the first version of Windows in 1985.
A furious Jobs accused Gates and Microsoft of ripping off the Macintosh. But Gates didn't care -- he knew that graphical interfaces would be big, and didn't think Apple had the exclusive rights to the idea.
Besides, Gates knew full well that Apple took the idea for the graphical interface from the Xerox PARC labs, a research institution they both admired. When Jobs accused Gates of stealing the idea, he famously answered: 'Well, Steve, I think there's more than one way of looking at it. I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbour named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.'
When Jobs accused Gates of stealing the idea, he famously answered: 'Well, Steve, I think there's more than one way of looking at it. I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbour named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.'