When Jobs cooled an angry Gates with a bottle of water

Jobs was not a great admirer of Bill Gates' software. Here's how he got out of an embarrassing comment he made about Gates just before a joint appearance.

FP Editors October 06, 2011 17:55:03 IST
When Jobs cooled an angry Gates with a bottle of water

When Bill Gates heard about the death of Steve Jobs, he paid him the ultimate tribute. He said: "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come."

But Jobs was not quite an admirer of Microsoft and its products – though circumstances forced him to work with Microsoft when he was launching his iPod and his iTunes programme was installed on millions of Windows PCs.

Walter Mossberg, one of the best-known technology writers whose columns appear regularly in The Wall Street Journal, recalls one personal interaction between Gates and Jobs that almost turned into a disaster. He related the incident in a tribute to Jobs in his All Things D blog. (Read Mossberg’s full tribute to Jobs here)

When Jobs cooled an angry Gates with a bottle of water

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. AFP

As Mossberg tells it, both men were to make a joint appearance for a conversation at a digital conference. In an interview before Gates arrived, Jobs was asked how it felt to be a Windows developer (the reference was to iTunes on Windows PCs).

Jobs’ crack: "It's like giving a glass of ice water to someone in Hell."

When Gates arrived on the scene he got to know about the wisecrack and asked Jobs, a bit testily: "So I guess I am the representative from hell?"

Jobs cooled it all by simply offering Gates a bottle of cold water. And Mossberg notes: "The tension was broken."

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