Merely an observer of the PC world scene, I could not help but notice Walt Mossberg’s latest photo collection of Apple’s Jobs and Microsoft’s Gates—dining with Walt. Friends or foes?
My view of the Mac vs. Windows PC wars is limited to bystander. With few exceptions, I’ve always been a Mac girl. Macs just work better.
I don’t know how Windows people put up with what they put up with. Perhaps they just don’t know there’s a better digital hub solution. Whatever.
What caught my eye recently was a gallery of photos from Walt Mossberg’s recent D: All Things Digital conference which had the three dining together at the same table.
Mossberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. Damn. To be a fly on the salt shaker of that conversation!
If you didn’t know, Walt Mossberg writes from The Wall Street Journal and is a highly regarded, well-respected technologist. He also likes Macs and Mac OS X and has called Apple’s new Intel-based iMac the best computer you can buy for the money.
Steve Jobs is an Apple co-founder. Bill Gates is head of Microsoft, the world’s richest man, blah, blah…
Mossberg’s annual conference is called D and features the most well-heeled of the digital world as guests and speakers.
For example, this year’s speakers included Gates, former Vice President Al Gore, Sony head Howard Stringer, Disney boss Robert Iger, Terry Semel, honcho of Yahoo, and others of similar ilk.
You get the picture, right? All the folks that help make up our digital world were together in one place, speaking, presenting, chatting, eating, talking it up, friend and foe.
What struck me was a series of photos of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at the same table, later joined by Walt Mossberg. Gates’ and Jobs’ notoriety and competitive stature notwithstanding, I’d give my newborn to Walt for his notes on their conversation.
Don’t worry. Walt would give her back. But I could use the rest and the notes would be invaluable, no?
Are Gates and Jobs friends or foes or somewhere in between? Have both matured to the point where it doesn’t really matter that much, but there’s a healthy level of respect for one another?
I think the former and don’t think the latter. Why?
It should be obvious that both men have matured from their brash young days as the Pirates of Silicon Valley (though, to be fair, Gates didn’t spend much time in Silicon Valley—housing in Washington state was less expensive).
Foes? Yes, both have won more than their fair share of business battles, and lost a few a long the way. Jobs is rich. Again, thanks to Apple’s resurgence and Disney’s purchase of his beloved Pixar.
Gates is richer. Both are driven, hard-nosed executives reaping the fruits of their efforts. Jobs is on a roll as nearly everything is working well at Apple, while Gates and Microsoft are reeling from half a decade of business failures, reduced profits, a stagnant stock price.
One of the photos captured on Mossberg’s D Day had Jobs and Gates sitting next to one another and talking in an apparently civil manner. We should have a contest to create a caption for the enclosed photo.
What were they discussing? Was it all the advances about to show up in Mac OS X Leopard? Probably not. Was it a list of problems that Steve sees in Microsoft?
Was Gates responding to Jobs tort of “you’re copying us again?” with the latest Windows vs. Mac market share numbers?
Perhaps they were discussing the sauce on the chicken being served at their table. No, Steve’s a vegetarian and probably doesn’t partake of KFC, let alone a free fowl meal from Walt.
The big news the past week is that Bill Gates plans to step down from Microsoft. If the company’s track record the past five years is any indication of need, it’s not a minute too soon for Microsoft stock holders.
What will Gates do with his time and money after Microsoft? I don’t know if it will take decades to spend $30 or $40-billion dollars, but I’d give it a go.
Gates’ departure from Microsoft begs the question, what about Apple’s life after Steve Jobs?
Few companies have such a high profile leader who’s history and personality are so wrapped up in a single ball of wax.
Mac users beware. The future is full of changes and challenges, not the least of which could be Jobs’ future vs. Apple’s future.
Is Jobs job done at Apple?
If you saw the movie The Pirates of Silicon Valley then you may remember one of the final scenes from Macworld 1997. Apple had just accepted an investment from Microsoft. Gates’ head was displayed on stage, via satellite, on a huge screen behind Jobs.
It sure looked to me like the talking head from Apple’s infamous 1984 TV commercial. The only thing missing since that image nearly a decade ago is the girl and the hammer.
Does Steve Jobs have a hammer for Microsoft? What is it? Is the story yet unfolding for the foes, or nearing an end?