Steve Jobs and Bill Gates’ brutal bromance went from betrayal to deathbed letter
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    The rivalry between the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk is well-known, as two of the world's richest men race towards the stars.

    It's the latest billionaire tiff in a long string of rivalries which have dominated Silicon Valley for decades, driving hostility, competition, and innovation between the world's biggest tech companies.

    However, there's one rivalry in particular which gave birth to the modern tech world as we know it.

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    The founders of Apple and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates respectively, both started their tech careers at around the same time. In fact, they began as friends and collaborators.

    But as their empires grew bigger and bigger, so did the rift between them⁠—which eventually morphed into a bitter public rivalry. So public, in fact, it became the subject of a 1999 movie 'Pirates of Silicon Valley'.

    Early on, Gates and Jobs worked together on software for the Apple II PC and later, the Apple Macintosh. At one point, Gates said he had more staff working on Mac projects than Jobs did.

    However, when Microsoft released Windows in 1985, Jobs was furious and accused Gates of ripping off Apple's user interface.

    Apparently, when Gates was confronted by Jobs about it, Gates said: "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."

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    Jobs said: "They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame."

    Gates replied: "If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields."

    Their public comments against each other became increasingly nasty after that.

    According to a biography, Jobs once called Gates more of a copier than an innovator, and said: "He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.

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    "Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

    Meanwhile Gates called Jobs "fundamentally odd" and "weirdly flawed as a human being." He even said to the former Apple CEO Gil Amelio: "Don't you understand that Steve doesn't know anything about technology?

    "He's just a super salesman… He doesn't know anything about engineering and 99% of what he says and thinks is wrong. What the hell are you buying that garbage for?"

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    However, as competition between the two companies heated up and Gates stepped away from the Microsoft CEO role, their public rivalry began to cool a little.

    Gates later shared that he was jealous of Jobs, saying in an interview with Armchair Expert: "He was such a wizard at over-motivating people⁠—I was a minor wizard so I couldn't fall under his spells⁠—but I could see him casting the spells, and then I would look at people and see them mesmerised.

    "I was so jealous."

    He added that Jobs' second time leading Apple, which saw the company release the iPhone and iPod "truly phenomenal".

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    Despite the years of bitter rivalry, Gates and Jobs eventually made up and became good friends.

    Gates told The Telegraph that he'd written a letter to Jobs on his deathbed. "I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had go to know."

    He added: "There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing."

    After Jobs' death, his widow Laurene called Gates. She told him that Jobs had appreciated the letter⁠—and kept it next to his bedside.


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