The Roller Coaster Relationship Between Steve Jobs And Bill Gates Had A Bittersweet Ending

If you’re at work right now, chances are you’re reading this article on either a Mac or a PC. You owe that to one of the two technological titans we’re talking about today, and how their at-times contentious relationship shaped the devices we use every day.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates shared a professional rivalry that will make its way into the history books someday. The two frenemies were sometimes the closest of friends, other times the most bitter of foes.

Today we’re taking a look back at the relationship these iconic billionaires shared behind the scenes.


1. Taking A Step Forward

Ken Shipp/DOE Photo

In the ’70s, electronics were on the rise, and both Jobs and Gates wanted to leave their mark on the world. While each of them lived in different states, there was a tiny foreshadowing of their rivalry right at the beginning. Gates founded Microsoft in April 1975; one year later, Jobs launched Apple.


2. Too Basic

Matthew Yohe

In 1977, Jobs released the Apple II, the first-ever personal computer, to the market. The demand for this new machinery resulted in big sales for the company. Though cash was coming in, one minor problem prevented the rivalry from being over before it even began. Jobs needed a proper programming language for his popular PC. He made the call to Gates, who agreed to license Microsoft’s BASIC to his product.

Things were going fine for both companies at first.


3. Mr. Macintosh Arrives

Matt Buchanan

For the next few years, Microsoft and Apple happily made money from their collaboration. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

In 1985, Microsoft officially ended their relationship with Apple with the release of their Macintosh computer. This led to Jobs accusing Gates of ripping off their product.


4. NeXT In Line

Matthew Yohe

Due to the strong sales of the Macintosh, Jobs was removed from his position at Apple in 1985. He started his own computer company called NeXT to go after both Microsoft and Apple. In an interview with Playboy later that year, he stated, “We are going to enter a computer Dark Ages for about twenty years” should Microsoft beat his new company.

Over 10 years later, the unthinkable happened.

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