- Joi Ito / Flickr
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs built two of the biggest names in technology today: Microsoft and Apple, respectively.
Both companies are considered pioneers in the industry, creating software and hardware that revolutionized how we live, communicate, and do business.
But it’s no secret that the two moguls were more rivals than friends.
Though they had a somewhat amicable relationship early on, Jobs became furious when Microsoft released its first iteration of Windows in 1985, accusing Gates of ripping off his Macintosh computer. It started a competitive feud between the two that spurred years of back-and-forth insults. However, it was clear that the two men had mutual respect for each other.
During a recent Reddit AMA, or “ask me anything,” one participant posed the following question to Gates, point-blank: “Did you copy Steve Jobs or did he copy you?”
Here’s Gates’ response:
“The main “copying” that went on relative to Steve and me is that we both benefited from the work that Xerox Parc did in creating graphical interface – it wasn’t just them, but they did the best work. Steve hired Bob Belville, I hired Charles Simonyi. We didn’t violate any IP rights Xerox had, but their work showed the way that led to the Mac and Windows.”
It’s not the first time Gates has said something of this nature.
Back when Jobs first accused Gates of ripping off his idea, the two met in a conference room at Apple, where Jobs ripped into Gates, yelling, “I trusted you, and now you’re stealing from us!”
As Walter Isaacson reported in his Steve Jobs biography, Gates responded: “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.”