Steve Jobs Kept a Letter from Bill Gates by His Bed

Walter Isaacson’s biography doesn’t accurately depict their relationship

After learning of Steve Jobs’ medical condition in the weeks before his passing, Microsoft founder Bill Gates sent a letter to the Apple CEO, giving him his best regards. Steve, according to his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, kept the letter by his bed.

Bill Gates said in a recent interview with The Telegraph, “I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built.”

“I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know…There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness.”

Gates said that soon after Steve Jobs' passing he received a phone call from Laurene Powell Jobs.

According to the report, she had told Gates that Walter Isaacson’s biography did not paint an accurate picture of the mutual respect between him and Jobs.

“She said: ‘Look, this biography really doesn’t paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.’ And she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed.”

Gates regards Jobs as an “incredible genius”, despite the criticism he has received from him during their most competitive times.

Gates told the paper, “Steve was an incredible genius who contributed immensely to the field I was in. We had periods, like the early Macintosh, when we had more people working on it than they did.”

“And then we were competitors,” he continued. “The personal computers I worked on had a vastly higher [market] share than Apple until really the last five or six years, where Steve’s very good work on the Mac and on iPhones and iPads did extremely well. It’s quite an achievement, and we enjoyed each [other’s work]….He spent a lot of his time competing with me. There are lots of times when Steve said [critical] things about me. If you took the more harsh examples, you could get quite a litany.”

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