Signs of the Apocalypse: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on a Tech Panel

Signs of the Apocalypse: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on a Tech Panel

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at the same table? Microsoft and Apple playing nice together? Dogs and cats playing in harmony in the streets? It's madness, I tell you; madness! All kidding (and partisanship) aside, it turns out that Microsoft and Apple have an interesting history that far predate the current Mac vs. PC rivalry, dating back to the first apple computers. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher from the Wall Street Journal took up the roles of interviewers, asking both tech pioneers a number of interesting questions about how each company has worked together in the past and what caused the original Mac vs. PC debates. You can read the full transcript here.

What I thought was most interesting is that Steve Jobs (with some roundabout approval afterwards from Bill Gates) sees Apple and Microsoft as two of the few remaining software companies still in existence; that everything Apple does, from building computers to manufacturing iPods, is as a vehicle for their software and not the other way around and that Microsoft basically takes the same tack from a different angle. Both men also stressed how Microsoft and Apple have learned to peacefully coexist (even if their partisans have not) because they inhabit fundamentally different market spaces.

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