Apple v Microsoft: What they really think of each other


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Bill Gates on Apple

“To create a new standard, it takes something that’s not just a little bit different; it takes something that’s really new, and really captures people’s imagination. And the Macintosh – of all the machines I’ve seen – is the only one that meets that standard.” (1984)

“If you say, well, how do you feel about Bill Gates getting rich off some of the ideas that we had … well, you know, the goal is not to be the richest man in the cemetery. It’s not my goal anyway.” (1994)

“Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.” (2008)

“Apple has done a very good job on usability. You have to compliment them on that. But their agenda is not as broad as ours, so perhaps the fact that they focus in and polish those things well – certainly we need to do that as well or better than they do.” (2008)

“There are very things that are on the banned list in our household, but iPods and iPhones are two things we don’t get for our kids.” (Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, 2009)

Steve Jobs on Microsoft

“I guess I am saddened, not by Microsoft’s success – I have no problem with their success, they’ve earned their success for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third rate products.” (1996)

“I wish [Bill Gates] the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” (1997)

“Our friends up north [Microsoft] spend over $5bn on research and development, and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.” (2006)

“Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet — basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost.” (1994)

“Microsoft’s greatest asset is Windows. Their greatest liability is Windows. Windows is so nonobject-oriented that it’s going to be impossible for them to go back and become object-oriented without throwing Windows away, and they can’t do that for years. So they’re going to try to patch things on top, and it’s not going to work.” (1994)

“I think Bill Gates is a good guy. We’re not best friends, but we talk maybe once a month. I think Bill and I have very different value systems. I like Bill very much, and I certainly admire his accomplishments, but the companies we built were very different from each other.” (1994)

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