Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates talk ‘future of the PC’

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In a rare joint interview, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates trade barbs and debate the
In a rare joint interview from 1991, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates discuss the "future of the PC" in Forbes magazine.
Photo: Cult of Mac (stock image from Reviewsapex)

August 26: Today in Apple historyAugust 26, 1991: In their first joint interview, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates trade barbs and debate “the future of the PC” in Fortune magazine.

The spirited discussion marks 10 years since the first IBM PC shipped. The piece also looks at what the future holds for both men — described as the former “boy wonders of computing, now thirtysomething.”

Why Bill Gates says he was ‘so jealous’ of Steve Jobs

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Microsoft should have been Apple's biggest mobile challenger, Bill Gates says.
Gates says that, unlike Jobs, he wouldn't have been able to turn Apple around in the late 90s.
Photo: Statsministerens kontor/Flickr CC

The companies they helped found might have been sworn enemies at times, but Steve Jobs and Bill Gates didn’t hate one another. In fact, as the former Microsoft boss admitted on a recent podcast, he was actually jealous of Steve Jobs.

Appearing on the Armchair Expert podcast, Gates told actor and podcast host Dax Shepard that Jobs was a “wizard” when it came to motivating people. “I was a minor wizard so I couldn’t fall under his spells,” Gates said. “But I could see him casting the spells, and then I would look at people and see them mesmerized … I was so jealous.”

Today in Apple history: Apple fan Jerry Seinfeld joins the dark side

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Microsoft ad
"What's the deal with bad advertising?"
Photo: Microsoft

August 21: Today in Apple history: Jerry Seinfeld appears in failed Microsoft ads August 21, 2008: Microsoft recruits comedian Jerry Seinfeld for a series of ads. It’s a naked attempt to shake the company’s reputation as a stodgy oldster (as opposed to Apple’s trendsetting hipster image).

Microsoft pays Seinfeld a reported $10 million for the ads. However, thanks to the Mac’s appearance in virtually every episode of Seinfeld over the years, the comedian remains the world’s most famous Apple fanboy.

Today in Apple history: Tide turns against Apple in war with Microsoft

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Mac vs. PC
A judge's decision proves very damaging to Apple.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

August 14: Today in Apple history: Tide turns against Apple in war with Microsoft August 14, 1991: As Apple and Microsoft head to court to battle each other, the tide begins to turn against Cupertino and its claims that Windows unlawfully copies the look and feel of Mac OS.

The case concerns whether key elements of Apple’s operating system are original enough for copyright protection. The decision turns out to be a major blow against Apple — and the start of the company’s 1990s decline.

Today in Apple history: Microsoft throws Apple a $150 million lifeline

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates looking like the cat that got the cream.
Photo: Apple

August 6: Today in Apple history: Microsoft investment helps save Apple from doom August 6, 1997: In one of the most famous moments in Apple history, Steve Jobs reveals that Microsoft invested $150 million in its rival.

Although often presented as an inexplicable gesture of good faith on the part of Microsoft boss Bill Gates, the cash infusion into Apple actually benefits both companies.

Today in Apple history: Windows scores big victory over Mac

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 25: Today in Apple history: Windows scores big legal victory over Mac when judge throws out Apple's copyright infringement claims July 25, 1989: Apple suffers a major setback in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly stealing the Mac’s “look and feel” to create Windows.

Apple sued Microsoft on 189 counts of copyright infringement relating to Windows 2.0.3. The judge overseeing the case throws out 179 of them. This paves the way for Microsoft’s dominance over Apple in the coming decade.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates took this strategy and made himself a multibillionaire.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

June 25: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS June 25, 1985: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sends a memo to Apple execs suggesting that Cupertino should license its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies

Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée ignore the advice of the 30-year-old Gates, who at the time is best known as a Mac developer. Five months later, Microsoft releases Windows 1.0.

Gates Foundation buys more than half a million Apple shares

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Bill Gates
Picture this guy investing in Apple. Stranger things have happened!
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

The Gates Foundation, the charitable organization belonging to Bill and Melinda Gates, snapped up more than half a million Apple shares during the first three months of 2020, a new report claims.

According to an SEC filing, reported by Smarter Analyst, the largest private foundation in the world purchased some 501,044 Apple shares in the first quarter of 2020. At present, AAPL is trading at $320.40, having made back the value it lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today in Apple history: Apple becomes world’s most valuable tech company

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
It was a big day for Apple!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

May 26: Today in Apple history: Apple worth more than Microsoft for first time May 26, 2010: In a massive milestone, Apple passes Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company.

The changing of the guard proves particularly amazing given that, just 15 years earlier, Apple looked close to dead, while Microsoft dominated the tech world thanks to Windows.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for Apple’s biggest product

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Bill-Gates-60-Minutes
Unfortunately for Gates, Steve Jobs was one step ahead.
Photo: 60 Minutes

May 12: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for iPod, Apple's biggest product May 12, 2005: Longtime Apple frenemy Bill Gates tells a German newspaper that Apple may have hit it big with the iPod, but that its success isn’t going to last forever.

The reason? Mobile phones are going to steal the iPod’s market share. The good news for Gates is that he was right on the money. The bad news for Microsoft is that Apple cannibalized itself by making the iPhone. And Apple’s smartphone became even more successful than the iPod.