Weird History
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How Steve Jobs And Bill Gates Went From Friends To Bitter Enemies

Updated October 21, 2019 22.0k views13 items

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates knew each other for a very long time. They were like-minded technology buffs that met during the late 1970s and kept crossing paths for decades. Steve Jobs, known for his eccentricity, and Bill Gates, one of the richest men and most successful entrepreneurs in the world, started off relatively friendly. However, as their interests and products came into direct competition, they turned into rivals. The Steve Jobs and Bill Gates relationship drove electronics and technology to new heights during the late 20th and early 21st century. 

  • Jobs Let The IBM Debacle Go So They Could Work Together On The Macintosh

    Video: YouTube

    On the heels of Apple's successful Apple I, Apple II, and Apple IIe computers, they introduced the Apple Macintosh computer in 1984

    In addition to the famous Super Bowl ad for the product, Bill Gates appeared in promotional videos, too. It seemed like the two computing geniuses had made amends and were ready to tackle the tech world together.



  • Gates And Jobs Were Actually Ripping Off Xerox

    Gates wasn't shaken by Jobs's outbursts. In contrast, he told Jobs that they both knew the idea for a graphic interface was the brainchild of Xerox and that Apple had no proprietary claims to the idea. Gates said to Jobs “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 neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

    The truth to this claim has been the topic of speculation for years. Xerox had a computer called the Alto at the PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in 1979. Apple engineer toured the facility and saw a demonstration of the company's products, but Jobs only admitted that he had been inspired by the technology. 

  • After The Release Of Windows, The Jobs-Gates Relationship Fell Apart

    Once Windows was released in 1985, Jobs and Gates turned on each other. Jobs said "They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame" and, in response, Gates claimed "If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields."

  • Jobs And Gates Took Stabs At Each Other's Personalities

    Jobs, who spent time in India, dabbled in psychedelic drugs, and considered himself to be a pretty enlightened guy, criticized Gates for being too focused on business. They were very different people, that was clear, with Jobs calling Gates a "stick in the mud" and positing "he’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger." Gates just thought Jobs was odd and a "weirdly flawed as a human being."