Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were famously bitter rivals, and while you’d be hard pressed to argue that the pair got along swimmingly, there’s no denying that Jobs had an extreme respect for Gates as a businessman, even if he famously didn’t care for any of Microsoft’s products.
Over time though, past wounds seemed to have healed, and the two seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company at an All Things D Conference in 2007.
Commenting on Jobs’ passing, Bill Gates writes:
“I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.
Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.
The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.
For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Back in 2007, during the aforementioned All Things D conference, Walt Mossberg asked both Jobs and Gates what the biggest misunderstanding of their relationship was.
You know, when Bill and I first met each other and worked together in the early days, generally, we were both the youngest guys in the room, right? Individually or together. I’m about six months older than he is, but roughly the same age. And now when we’re working at our respective companies, I don’t know about you, but I’m the oldest guy in the room most of the time. And that’s why I love being here. …
And, you know, I think of most things in life as either a Bob Dylan or a Beatles song, but there’s that one line in that one Beatles song, “you and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” And that’s clearly true here.
Memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.