Bill Gates responded in stride to criticism leveled against him by the late Steve Jobs. The former CEO and founder of Microsoft brushed off the critical remarks as a rivalry that has gone back over 30 years. "He said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things," Gates told Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week.
Gates was on the Sunday morning program to discuss his take on the latest news and the progress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose endowment is over $30 billion for philanthropic purposes. Programs funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation include vaccination, HIV research, micro-financing in some of the world's poorest nations, agricultural development and educational.
In Walter Isaacson's new book on Steve Jobs, the former Apple CEO unloaded on Gates. "Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology," Jobs told Isaacson in the biography released shortly after the tech icon's death. "He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."
Christiane Amanpour noted the outpouring of support from Apple fans after his death. "Steve Jobs did a fantastic job," Gates said. "When you think about why is the world better today, the Internet, the personal computer, the phone, the way you can deal with information is just so phenomenal."
When asked to respond directly to Jobs' criticism, Gates appeared calm and unfazed, seeming to empathize with the former head of Apple. "He faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it's tough."
Gates finds it understandable that "at various times, he felt beleaguered, he felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys." Despite the harsh words for Microsoft's founder, "I respect Steve," Gates said. "We got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all."
Kyle W. Bell is the author of numerous non-fiction books on politics and video games which can be found at Amazon.com and Smashwords. Bell holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Indiana University South Bend. He is the owner of the video game website Game Freaks 365 and a political blog.