updated 12:45 pm EST, Fri November 13, 2009
Notes company was on verge of collapse
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, speaking on a Thursday-night CNBC program, is noted to have complimented Steve Jobs on his return to Apple, crediting him for effectively saving the company. Gates was on TV as part of a "Keeping America Great" town hall event, paired with billionaire investor Warren Buffett. One audience member asked Gates' opinion of Jobs, specifically in regards to the latter's contributions as a CEO.
"Well, he's done a fantastic job," said Gates. "Apple is in a bit of a different business where they make hardware and software together. But when Steve was coming back to Apple, which was actually through an acquisition of NeXT that he ran, Apple was in very tough shape. In fact, most likely it wasn't going to survive."
Company fortunes were largely revived on the basis of the original iMac, an all-in-one computer which was also designed to simplify Internet access. Apple's wealth can also be attributed to the iPod, which ultimately became the most popular MP3 player and laid the groundwork for the iTunes Store and the iPhone. The company may be hoping to ignite a similar trend with the introduction of a forthcoming tablet.