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Bill Gates commends Steve Jobs for salvaging Apple

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. andrewbw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quite a journey

    I still have my copy of Wired magazine from the late 90's with the rendering of the Apple rainbow logo and the word "Pray." underneath. I had friends who worked at Apple during that time -- I don't think the full story of just how dire things were has ever really been told. The company was literally weeks away from going under when Jobs arrived. Truly a remarkable rebirth, not only for the company as a whole, but for Jobs who clearly learned and grew a lot during his time away from Apple.

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dammit, Bill

    How am I going suppose to dislike you now... Your retired career is dedicate to philanthropy and now you publicly credit Steve Jobs' skills on saving Apple? Now I'm sorry I threw that pie.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Something u would never head Ballmer saying. He's the type of guy who would shoot you on a duck hunting escapade.

    Go Bill :)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Ballmer

    You need to rephrase that. It is something you would never hear about Ballmer and MS.

  1. nativeNYer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah, Bill has some class and actually knows when someone is doing a great job and isn't afraid of giving credit where its due. Contrast this to Ballmer, who will still claim that Apple won't make any progress with [insert product type here] even though Apple is eating his lunch in said category. The guy is a classless buffoon, basically a sleazy car salesman turned software salesman.

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think Gates has moved beyond it

    The man has more money than he could ever spend and is heavily removed from MS's daily routine.
    He has time to reflect on the past years of battle on both fronts, MS VS APPLE and GATES VS JOBS.

    I think he has moved past the simple rivalry as I'm sure Jobs has also. both of these guys are not getting any younger and the past couple of years has appeared to have mellowed both of them out quit a bit.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Someday Gate will have to come back and save MSFT

    With the way Steve Ballmer is running things, Bill Gates might have to do the same thing Jobs did for Apple and save them from the brink.

  1. Kym

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does no-one remember...

    ...last time Gates talked about Jobs and Apple, he was practically foaming at the mouth and almost crying... his hysterical comments about "a new Mac virus every day". That was the real Gates talking about Apple, and it was a complete embarrassment because it showed how much he is cowed by Jobs. He knew he blew it then, and this is just his attempt to regain some cool. Seems like it worked.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Moved on...

    I think both CEO's have moved on from the bitter mac vs pc days. I personally think by apple surviving its darkest hour, and coming back to rock the tech world, they have in a sense won the war. Not so much in having a marketshare higher than msft, but in proving that there is room for 2 major platforms, and the related products they are involved with.

    You don't bring a socially & technologically important company back from the razor edge of oblivion and become the most talked about name in several industries, fund & create a production company that is essentially a hit making machine & not get to be CEO of the decade. :)

    - A

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