BLOG: Steve Jobs, tiresome jerk of genius

Tom Jackson
Nov 7, 2011

Steve Jobs is credited with making digital life more productive and easier for everyone, but he wasn't always easy to be around.

Here's Jobs vs. Bill Gates at the birth of Windows, from Malcolm Gladwell's article in The New Yorker. (You need to know that  Apple got the idea for a graphical user interface -- point and click to run a computer -- from Xerox, and that Microsoft introduced Windows after Apple turned the GUI into a commercial success):

In the nineteen-eighties, Jobs reacted the same way when Microsoft came out with Windows. It used the same graphical user interface—icons and mouse—as the Macintosh. Jobs was outraged and summoned Gates from Seattle to Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters. “They met in Jobs’s conference room, where Gates found himself surrounded by ten Apple employees who were eager to watch their boss assail him,” Isaacson writes. “Jobs didn’t disappoint his troops. ‘You’re ripping us off!’ he shouted. ‘I trusted you, and now you’re stealing from us!’ ”

Gates looked back at Jobs calmly. Everyone knew where the windows and the icons came from. “Well, Steve,” Gates responded. “I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

This is definitely a read the whole thing article.