One of the biggest rivalries in the history of technology is that of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. They both started their companies nearly at the same time and hence this also catalyst the natural rivalry that will exist between the same tech companies. Sometimes we may have seen them talking to each other like long lost friends but the effect of their rivalry has been on the technology company and made it the Two Tech Giants and they stand what they are now today.
When they both started with Microsoft and Apple, they were just cautious allies but as time passed and when they both crossed each other markets the disputes between them kept on growing and they became each other’s bitter rivals. But without this rivalry, they may not have achieved the success they have done it today.
Let’s start from the beginning when both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates started their company. They were not enemies to each other at all, instead, Microsoft was a software maker who used to make software for the operating system and Apple used to produce fully equipped computers. And also, Microsoft even designed software for the Apple PC and Bill Gates was extremely curious about what Steve Jobs was working on and Bill Gates would routinely visit the Apple headquarter to see what Steve Jobs was working on. And even Steve Jobs will regularly visit Bill Gates to convince him of the idea of making the Apple greatest graphical user interface and to work with him alongside to create such a platform.
Steve Jobs was able to convince Bill Gates to work with him on the new project that he called Macintosh which will contain the world’s first GUI, and both of them brought together the team of Mac consisting of the best individuals in their company. Microsoft and Apple work together very well for the starting some years, also during the time of their working together, there was a moment that Bill Gates had more employees working on the Macintosh Project than Steve had.
Bill Gates did not like the Steve Jobs attitude, sometimes Steve Jobs pushed his team too much on the project and the detail-oriented Steve Jobs would make his team work 120 hours a week to make his work done, even he had T-shirts made for the Mac Project workers saying working 120 hrs a week.
But the real start of the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates started when Microsoft announced the first version of Windows in 1985. On seeing Microsoft’s Windows, Steve Jobs was infuriated and accused Bill Gates of copying the idea of the Graphical User Interface from the Macintosh. Bill Gates said that Steve Jobs did not have the exclusive rights to the idea of Graphical User Interface and that GUI was a big revolution in the history of personal computing, and therefore this technology has to be used for the benefit of people. Also, Bill Gates knew that the Graphical User Interface was not the original invention of Apple, and the real inventor of the Graphical User Interface was in the Xerox Parc Labs which was the research institute with greatest computer minds during their time, when steve jobs visited Xerox parc he was showed with three revolutionary inventions one was the graphical user interface with a mouse the second was a laser printer and the third was a completely practical application of internet with Ethernet cables. Steve brought the idea of the GUI and the mouse and then implemented it into his Mac project. So Steve Jobs was not able to sue Bill Gates because the original idea belonged to Xerox parc.
The relationship from here turned into more rivalry because after this incident happened Steve Jobs will not stop mocking Bill Gates about his treachery and the product that was produced by Windows. Also once Steve Jobs even said that Bill Gates was fundamentally odd and weirdly flawed as a human being. But Bill Gates respected Jobs’ instinct for the design. Bill Gates said that Steve Jobs may not know anything about technology but he has the instincts of the products that will work in the market.
After that due to Company Management problems Steve Jobs was removed from the position of the CEO of the company as many of the board members felt that Steve Jobs was pressurizing the project members for doing their work perfectly. After Steve Jobs left Apple his relationship with Bill Gates did not improve and the rivalry was there even though Steve Jobs was not the head of Apple. Steve Jobs opened NeXT, his own computer company. During that time Microsoft was winning the race of the personal computer and Apple was going underwater and was not able to survive with its visionary during the 1980s.
By the late 1990s, Apple was in serious economic loss and was the verge of collapse, after that then CEO of Apple Gil Amelio proposed to buy NeXT and bring Steve Jobs back into Apple and even then Bill Gates Warned Amelia of the Stupid Decision that he is making and even said that Steve Jobs did not know anything about technology and he is just a super salesman.
But in 1997, Job was back as the Apple CEO, and to keep Apple afloat Microsoft was going to invest in Apple. Gates admired Steve Jobs but despite this, their rivalry is still going. When Apple introduced the iTunes Gate admired Steve Job’s ability to focus on the few things that mattered and to get the right interface for the user experience.
After Steve jobs introduced the iPhone in the market and that became super popular which brought great riches to the Apple, Bill gates said that the post-Apple success was due to the Steve Jobs and they have created a great product but it does not guarantee that till will keep on winning the market in the future.
Their 30 years of Rivalry had brought much great technology in the world both of them forced each other to bring a better version of the technology, these Tech giants have brought a great revolution in our culture and some of this revolution came from their Founder Rivalries.