New documentary explores Steve Jobs’ ‘bitter rivalry’ with Bill Gates


Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, rivals and friends.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates facing off.
Photo: AllThingsD

We’ve had a new Steve Jobs biography and documentary already this year, with a movie biopic based on the Walter Isaacson book just around the corner.

If you thought Jobs’ life hadn’t been explored enough by biographers, however, think again! The National Geographic Channel is getting ready to a air a new documentary series called American Genius, which will explore famous business rivalries throughout history.

And it’s kicking off with an episode about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

“The digital age was not born peacefully,” the first teasers for the show claim — noting that, “It emerged from a bitter rivalry between two of the most influential minds the world has ever known.”

The episode is set to air on National Geographic Channel on June 1.

Am I excited about it? Kind of. As noted, Jobs’ life — and particularly his history with Bill Gates — has been told umpteen times already. Not only have their been dozens of books and hundreds of magazine articles, but it’s even been translated into such offbeat mediums as an off-Broadway musical.

For the record, my favorite telling remains Pirates of Silicon Valley, the late-90s TV movie which is better than it has any right to be.

But while I’d rather see a documentary about Apple cover some new terrain, this one does have a few things going in its favor — such as some nice early archive material and new interviews from Steve Wozniak, Mitt Romney and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

Even if the latter would have been all of about ten when the Jobs/Gates rivalry was at its most bitter.


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