We just posted an old photo of Bill Gates with the first Microsoft tablet.
It reminds us of one of the great quotes in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography.
One of the people that was building Microsoft’s tablet was friendly with Jobs’ wife, Laurene Powell. He asked Jobs and Powell to come to his fiftieth birthday party.
Jobs went, reluctantly, says Isaacson. At the party, the guy was telling Jobs about the Microsoft tablet and how great it was going to be.
This did not go over so well.
Here, in his own words, Jobs describes what happened, and what he did next:
This guy badgered me about how Microsoft was going to completely change the world with this tablet PC software and eliminate all notebook computers, and Apple ought to licence his Microsoft software. But he was doing the device all wrong. It had a stylus. As soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead. This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, “Fuck this, let’s show him what a tablet can really be.”
Jobs says he went into Apple the next day and asked for a multi-touch tablet with no keyboard or stylus. He got one six months later. Instead of making it a tablet, though, Apple shrank it and made the iPhone. Later on, it released the iPad.