Bill Gates 'Unimaginative', says Steve Jobs Bio

Dennis Faas's picture

Few books in recent years have received the kind of attention given Steve Jobs' newly released biography. One of the more interesting sections in that bio focuses on Jobs' relationship with former Microsoft chief executive officer Bill Gates.

In a recent interview, Gates discussed (and mostly dismissed) Jobs' criticisms of him.

This past weekend Gates appeared on the ABC program "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," where the host asked Gates questions on a number of different topics, ranging from his recent philanthropic pursuits to the state of the American economy and finally his relationship with recently passed tech mogul and Apple boss, Steve Jobs. (Source:

Jobs Slams Gates in New Bio

Of course, it's Gates discussion of the latter subject that has garnered all the attention in recent days.

"Steve Jobs did a fantastic job," Gates said, adding that he felt Jobs was someone who played a vital role in shaping how we think of and use computers, the web and the mobile phone.

But then Amanpour asked Gates what he thought of Jobs' opinion of him in the recent biography. There are a number of sections in the book where Jobs targets Gates for his own impact on the tech industry in the last few decades.

"Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology," Jobs said. "He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas." (Source:

Gates Not Bothered by Criticism

Presented with these rather harsh statements, Gates chose to ignore the criticism and, in a very sly way, take the discussion in a new direction. In the ABC interview, Gates implied that his role in developing Mac software was considerable.

"Well, Steve and I worked together creating the Mac. We had more people on it, did the key software for it," Gates told Amanpour.

Beyond that, Gates described Jobs as someone who was tough but fair. "So over the course of the thirty years we worked together, he said a lot of very nice things about me, said a lot of tough things," Gates said.

"I respect Steve. We worked together, we spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all."

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