Following comments made by Google co-founder Larry Page yesterday, which suggested Steve Jobs’s thermonuclear war against Android was simply “for show” to rally the troops, Walter Isaacson has confirmed that Page is wrong, and he has insisted that Steve’s war against Android was real.
Speaking at the Royal Institute last night, Isaacson, who wrote the best-selling Steve Jobs biography, explained that Steve’s anger at Google was real, and he explained why Steve wanted to go to war against Android. Macworld reports that Isaacson compared Steve’s spat with Google to that he had with Microsoft in the 80s, after the Redmond-based company stole the Mac’s graphical user interface.
What really infuriated Jobs was not only did Microsoft take Apple’s GUI, Isaacson said, but it then licensed the interface “promiscuously” to the likes of Dell, Compac, IBM, and others. As a result, “Microsoft ended up being dominant.”
Almost exactly the same thing happened when Google ripped off the iPhone and its iOS software.
Isaacson said: “It’s almost copied verbatim by Android. And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated him. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you’.”
But, like most people, Isaacson feels things will be different under Tim Cook. “Tim Cook will settle that lawsuit,” he said.