Once considered arch rivals and often seen as the personification of the Mac versus PC debate, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a rare joint TV appearance last night at the D5 conference.
Probably the two most famous figures in the industry, Jobs and Gates surprised viewers by taking to opportunity to broadcast mutual compliments rather than attack each other’s businesses, as has been the trend in recent years.
“What Steve has done is quite phenomenal. The way he does things is just different. It’s magical,” said Gates.
While Jobs was equally flattering of his peer: "Bill built the first software company in the industry," Jobs said. "The business model turned out to be one that worked very well for the industry. Bill was really focused on software before anyone else had a clue."
Jobs went on to say of Microsoft: “They learned how to partner with people really well, and I think if Apple could have had a little more of that in its DNA, it would have served it extremely well.”
The discussion even moved onto the ‘Mac and PC’ advertising campaign Apple ran earlier this year (the resulting controversy of which has been well documented in PC Retail).
"PC guy is what makes it all work," Jobs said, leaning over to Gates, according to ZDNet. "It's worth thinking about."
After reminiscing about the past and their respective roles in the lineage of the personal computer, the discussion ended with Gates boldly predicting that most ideas contained within science fiction are likely to come true, with the exception of a teleporter. “Unless Steve has one up his sleeve,” said Gates.