Bill Gates Response To Steve Jobs On Windows Rip-Off Claim

As Steve Jobs biography went on sale from today, Fortune magazine has got an exclusive reprint rights of  part of the biography where the relationship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates was discussed. In that, following is the situation when Steve Jobs came to know that Bill Gates at Microsoft is developing a competing OS and Bill Gates visits Apple’s campus to talk with Steve as per his request.

Their meeting was in Jobs’s conference room, where Gates found himself surrounded by ten Apple employees who were eager to watch their boss assail him. Jobs didn’t disappoint his troops. “You’re ripping us off!” he shouted. “I trusted you, and now you’re stealing from us!” Gates just sat there coolly, looking Steve in the eye, before hurling back, in his squeaky voice, what became a classic zinger. “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.”

Source: Fortune , Excerpt from Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson Copyright © 2011 by Walter Isaacson.

  • Anonymous

    LOL Steve Jobs was so full of himself, as smart as he was. I love Bill Gates’ answer.

  • Anonymous

    Gates’s response is the most funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

  • Anonymous

    Gates is the man!

  • JP

    Classic! – Thank you Gates for making this Monday much more bearable!

  • Alex F.


  • Mark Matheson

    I’m going to have to watch The Pirates of Silicon Valley again, that moment is recreated very well in the movie.

  • scottag

    I guess all that matters is who won in the end.  Bill is betting on his humanitarian work and Steve built the second largest company in the world.

    • Monkey D Black

      wow. the humanitarian work that bill gates is doing is a very good thing and i respect him for him for that. also what are you talking about steve jobs built the second largest company? second largest in what regard?  

      • Pradyuman Vig

        Market Capitalization…

    • Russ

       Market Cap is not the best way of measuring a company claiming Apple is the largest in the world is a bit of a stretch.

      • scottag

        Look at revenue compared to Microsoft, then.

        • Anonymous

          How much is HP’s revenue? Walmart?

          • scottag

            I thought we’re just talking about Apple and Microsoft here.

        • JimmyFal

          Does it bother you that Jobs supposedly cared nothing about money, and that all he supposedly cared about was creating great products, and that your great defense of him and his company is how much money it is worth?

          And that Gates probably cared just as much about not just making great products, but making them available and affordable for EVERYONE not just the ones that could afford it?

          And that in the end when this pile of money landed in Bills lap, that he decided to give it all away to some really great causes? And that in the end Steve also DID amount a great mass of money that we can only hope goes to creating more good instead of more expensive toys for rich people?

          • scottag

            Clearly one measure of success is the scope and scale of the enterprise a particular CEO can produce.

            Another measure is how much love and devotion one can generate as a CEO of a technology company.  How much outpouring will we see when Bill goes?

            Apple’s products are not only for the wealthy.  I think they leave that up to B&O and Bentley. I don’t think Apple would be able to sell millions of music players and phones if they were not considered affordable.  

            It’s interesting that even clone makers are having a hard time following up the success of the MacBook Air.

          • JimmyFal

            Wait till you see how successful the Ultrabooks (MacAir Clone) will be. I mean they only came out like last week, and the big price drop on them isn’t scheduled to happen until beginning of the year. I won’t be boasting when they outsell MacBook Air, I’ll just be happy that I got one a lot cheaper then a MacBook Air, and that I won’t have to have the MAC OS hanging out on it somewhere where it isn’t wanted.

          • WixosTrix

            I think people need to realize, or rerealize that Apple did not invent this catagory of personal computers.  Companies have been trying to make ultra slim/light PCs for years.  The technology just wasn’t advanced enough.  Much like Windows XP tablets, they were before their time.  Now that we have the technology, Apple uses it and claims it’s all new.

          • scottag

            How hard have “they” been trying to make it?  I have a hard time believing that clone mfgs would have willingly reduced their margins to produce high quality hardware.  But that’s only because I’ve never seen clone makers succeed in this area.

          • WixosTrix

            Oh I definitely don’t think anyone was trying hard enough until Apple decided to push things forward. I give Apple all the credit of pushing their respected industries forward. It doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have gotten there, Apple just got us there faster while also schooling everyone in quality and customer service.

          • Aspiringtolife

            No, Apple didn’t get us there faster.  Apple just stood on the shoulders of the earlier mfgs to finish their job and steal the lime light :)  Face it, their ideas aren’t original.

          • Anonymous

            Are you suggesting that if Apple wasn’t around the trend of ever increasing miniaturization in electronics wouldn’t exist?

          • avejoe

            huhuhu i bought an iPad that now only my kids play. because i bought into the mass hysteria about apple products that i couldn’t afford. same way with many friends i know. huhuhu

          • rootbeer08530yahoocom

            LOL steve jobs was all ego didn’t give a fuck about anyone and admitted he valued the wrong things in life on his death bed. Bill gates doesn’t give a fuck he’s trying to do what jobs did to computers to the world it’s self including people(interface everything under one system). He made PC’s affordable because there would be a larger consumer base witch means more $$. Gates owns 1,000,000 shares of monsanto and we all know how fucked up that company is. Nobody becomes as rich as these two without having an unhealthy taste for money and power. And people like that don’t give a fuck about the well being of others. Jobs at least came to terms with his humanity. Bill has an inferiority complex and probably has delusions of taking over the world.

        • Grant

          I think what you miss in your assertion, is that when you quote Apple’s market cap, you are only comparing it to Microsoft. Not Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell, ASUS, MSI, Fujitsu, Western Digital, and all of the independent vendors that build and sell PCs. Apple is closed market of course. 

          • scottag

            Thought we were just talking about Apple and Microsoft.  One man’s “closed” is another’s “vertically integrated” 😉

        • Yasir Alam

          Now go look up net profits.

          • scottag

            For the most recent quarter, $6.62 BN for Apple and $5.74 BN for Microsoft.  

          • JoeHamburgers

            Why are you idiots bragging vicariously? You will never have the success of either Gates or Jobs, because you are too busy wasting your time measuring their dicks for them.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry to disapoint you, but Microsoft was worth over 500 billion dollar at one point, so Gates holds the belt for both “best line” and “biggest company”

      Oh, and his humanitarian job makes anything Jobs ever did look like shite.

      • scottag

        “at one point” huh? 

        I think it’s great that Bill is doing something with his wealth.  Too bad Steve didn’t live a longer life.  Who knows what he could have done. 

        • The One

          steve blow jobs would have done nothing even if he had lived longer. he was greedy to the bitter end. glad he’s gone. that’s one less prick in the world.

          • scottag

            You’re still here, tho.

        • Nathan Merrill

          Steve Jobs died at just the right moment to look like a total genius, but the fact of the matter is that they were already looking towards being obsolete once more.

          Apple is good at getting to market first, but they aren’t the best at being the best; they’re constantly inferior to the other options and charge more money for it.

    • Anonymous

      “Betting on” his humanitarian work? Sheesh. He’s using his millions to try and make the world a better place. What did Jobs do with his money? Used it to make more money…..and to pay for lawyers to sue anybody who made anything that looked remotely like something Apple made. Yeah, he was a real stand-up guy. The tech world will carry on just fine without him. Bill wins.

    • Anonymous

      What is sad is that you think building a company is better than helping other humans… Sad life you lead.  Hopefully you will come to realize what truly is important and it is not money.

    • Nathan Merrill

      I’ve used a Microsoft product every single day since 1995. In fact, most people on Macs even use Office.

      Microsoft is a vastly more powerful company than Apple is. Google is more powerful as well.

      Apple used every dirty trick in the book to try and win, and it still hasn’t been enough; they’re losing their market share all over the place.

      The truth is that they’re all about hipster elitism, but when it comes to actual substance, they’re just not up to snuff; thus, when the product moves from “novelty” to “consumer item”, Apple just can’t keep up.

  • Anonymous

    In Pirates, If I remember correctly, Steve says we’re better, & Bill looks at him coolly and says you don’t get it; we were first. Go Bill 

    • Gerryf19

      Actually, I think Gates replies “That doesn’t matter.”

      • WixosTrix

        Yeah didn’t he say, they were good enough? That might have been someone’s interpretation though.

    • JimmyFal

      The sad part about that movie, is it’s slant toward Jobs in that they took a really great moment like that and instead of telling the truth which would have been just as great of a TV moment, they decided to take the road of “dramatic license” and use the line, “you don’t get it Steve, that doesn’t matter!” I think the actual line if that is in fact what was said, would have made a much greater line. But then that’s not what they wanted you to think at the time is it. Don’t you just love TV, where everyone in the WORLD is using an Apple computer?

      • Matthew Smith

        Try reading some books about Commodore – Apple wern’t as big as the revisionist history says they were.  During the movie there is a big computer show where everyone is surrounding Apple’s booth – apparently in the real world NO one was at their booth.

        Not saying his later work was good, but the early stuff is way overblown.  Microsoft dominated in a way not really measured at the time – almost all personal computers during that period used Microsoft OS – even Apple signed up in the end.

    • Hrunga Zmuda

      No, you don’t remember correctly. Bill said it doesn’t matter. Big difference.

      Besides, they weren’t first. The context of that conversation was Apple gave them Macs to build Word, Excel, and modify Powerpoint which they bought from another company, to have an office suite for the Mac. Microsoft used the Macs to come up with Windows. Steve found out and summoned Bill to Cupertino where they had this conversation.

  • Ashish

    No wonder Brilliant and Bill starts with “B”

    • Anonymous

      I thought Bill started with a W as in William.

      • Anonymous

        Wonderfully Brilliant then?

  • Nick Schweitzer

    Nothing new here… this is pretty much directly out of Pirates of Silicon Valley

    • Todor Tsvetkov

      My thoughts exactly … just watched it the other day and after reading this I was like … what’s the news here?!

      • WixosTrix

        I’m sure not many people have seen the film.

  • Anonymous

    hilarious kudos to gates.

  • Ahmad J Nicholas

    people are so gullible its be on belief. humanitarian lmao I am saving lives by reducing the population of Africa.

    • José Villaró

      What? You make no sense.

  • Anonymous

    I got cranked on hearing what Gates replied…classy, classic and Classique !

  • Anonymous

    It was laughable Apple claimed copyright on items it licensed from Xerox. 

  • TheOne

    Lol. Gates rocks!!! I’m glad steve blow jobs is dead. No one will miss that prick!!!

    • Ben

      Wtf dude, show some respect. I bet your house have got some products by Apple itself. Douche

    • Jim Balter

      Ok, you are officially a stupid sociopathic asshole. The world will be better off when you join Steve.

    • will777

      Wow. Really? Why don’t you let your momma see that comment and let us know what she thinks about you saying that.

  • Hayssam Koutet

    thief’s rule
    i think then we have to thank Xerox

  • Admissions 2012

    gates rocks :)

  • Simon

    See – Crime does pay! 😛

  • chunk

    jobs came in and ressurected a completely dead company. apples profits were going down the drain. he came in introduced some new tech that was eye catching and cool. boom apple makes money. you gotta give jobs credit i mean he saved apples life. both were geniuses both did great jobs for the market and products they were designing.

  • chunk

    to say ones better that another is mere opinion and personal preference

  • Jon M. Puntervold

    But Gates did not just borrow/license the idea of a mice, he copied all and every nuance of the Macintosh system. Everything; icons, fonts, calculator, chess: the entire layout. A complete trade dress attack. Even though the copy was bleak, there is no doubt that Bill Gates and Microsoft built their fortune on ripping off another product, piece by piece. Gates will go down in history as one of the biggest corporate crooks of all time.

    • Liderc

      Steve and Bill will both go down as corporate crooks. They both did nothing themselves. Steve Wozniak was the only guy who actually built anything and he left Apple because he saw the madness.

  • miyamoto

    but still Gate’s is a thief

  • Jay

    Sun had more of a case than Apple. Mac OS doesn’t look anything like Windows, the only thing they have in common is that they are both graphical but you’re not now going to call DOS a rip off of AT&T UNIX just because they are both text-based.

    Older versions of Solaris and SunOS look exactly the same as Windows XP except they predate Windows XP by a good 10 years, even the start menu is exactly the same only difference is they had the Java logo instead of the Windows logo and it was called Launch instead of Start. “”

    Even the name Windows comes from SunOS’s OpenWindows desktop environment. But Sun didn’t care like Apple, they only sued Microsoft when Microsoft starting building it’s own version of Java.