31 May 07Jobs And Gates Appear Together.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Chief Technologist Bill Gates were interviewed together by the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. The interview was a charming look back as both men waxed nostalgic about their long time rivalry.

Some news reports have given you truncated quotes, but Crazy Apple Rumors Site has the full transcript. Read on.


SWISHER: Gentlemen, thank you for being here together. What do you think each has contributed to the computer industry? Steve?

JOBS: Well, I think I’ve clearly contributed more to the computer industry. I mean, they completely copied all of our…

SWISHER: No. No. Steve. I want you to tell us what you think Bill has contributed.

JOBS: Oh. Uh… well… Flood pants?

SWISHER: Uh… I think those had been around for a while.

JOBS: Oh! He made it OK for hot women to marry painfully incurable geeks who have the posture of Steven Hawking.

[General laughter as Gates blushes.]

GATES: Ha-ha! That is true.


GATES: Oh, well, he… uh… he made me look like less of a jerk.

SWISHER: Hmm. Well, not exactly what I was looking for there…

MOSSBERG: Let’s talk about the Microsoft software that shipped on the Apple II. How did that come about?

GATES: The original Apple II Basic… the integer Basic… we had nothing to do with… I think that was made by elves…

JOBS: Ninjas.

GATES: Oh. OK. But then there was a floating point one and I mostly worked with Woz on that. And then there was one where you could cast integers as floating point and another one where…

JOBS: Here, let me tell this story.


JOBS: Because you have all the narrative charm of Stan Sigman.

GATES: Um… I do play squash with Stan.

JOBS: So, I’m talking to Woz and begging him for this floating point Basic and he’s sobbing and telling me it’s impossible! And I’m telling him, you can do it! I believe in you! You need to believe in yourself!

GATES: Get to the part about the size of the variables.

JOBS: And Woz looks at me with those big eyes of his and says “OK, Steve. If you believe in me!”

GATES: The size of the variables was really small!

JOBS: Woz later said it was a defining moment in his life.

MOSSBERG: Incredible.

GATES: And there was this wicked round function!

MOSSBERG: Let’s talk about Microsoft’s investment in Apple ten years ago.

GATES: I was working with Gil Amelio on setting up this investment and we had been going back and forth and then I get a call from Steve…

JOBS: Ha-ha!

GATES: And Steve says, I’ll never forget this, “I’ve got you surrounded by my army of zombies and I won’t be satisfied until you invest $150 million in Apple and agree to continue making Office!”

JOBS: Oh, that’s embarrassing now! I was strung out on mescaline and covered in chicken blood!

GATES: And it was true! I looked out the window and I was surrounded by his army of zombies. So I… heh-heh… I wrote him a check. I mean, it was only $150 million. I wrote it out of my personal checking account.

JOBS: Yeah. I should have asked for more. But I like how you managed to spin that as a victory for you.

GATES: Thank you.

SWISHER: What’s the greatest misunderstanding about your relationship?

JOBS: You know, despite all the differences of opinion and the rivalry and the tough business deals… I go back to that quote from the Beatles: You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.


MOSSBERG: That’s just great. Fabulous.

GATES: I’m reminded of a function I wrote once that parsed strings…

MOSSBERG: I think we’re just going to end it right there.


27 Responses to “Jobs And Gates Appear Together.”

  1. Mykie says:

    Seventeenth? I should never read the article before posting

  2. Rip Ragged says:

    Seventy-two. Yay! Damn. I got in under a hundred. Whee doggies.

    Shit. I thought there would be munchies.

    I’d better go home now.

  3. Dreil says:

    second…the new first™

  4. disgruntled cynic says:

    Top 5 and I even read the whole thing first.

  5. Carbonfish says:

    Five would be good.

  6. disgruntled cynic says:

    Mossberg and Swisher are amateurs. I found the Moltz interview with Jobs far more enlightening.

    Though I can’t really blame Moltz for not wanting to take part in this one. A man of his stature need not share the interviewer’s potlight with two hacks.

  7. disgruntled cynic says:

    Or the spotlight, either.

  8. Carbonfish says:

    Dear Mr. CARS Staff,

    You are a funny writer. No, that’s not quite it… You write in a very funny way… no wait, that’s not right either.

    You write odd things. Yes! That’s what I meant to say, odd things…

  9. Carbonfish says:

    Damn! I meant to hide behind a “nom de plume” on the last one. Oh well, cat’s out of the bag now I suppose…

  10. Nxxx says:

    Didn’t understand a single word.

  11. Huh? says:

    That’s the thing about irony.

    It can be so ironic.

  12. Ace Deuce says:

    And shiny is so very shinic.

  13. ergo says:

    am I the only one who noticed:
    1. Gates looks disturbingly like Gilligan.
    2. Jobs has pointy hair. It’s like his combover makes a little tent!
    3. Mossberg makes no sense in a written narrative. He relies wholly on inflection to ask a question.
    4. The chick should be writing for The View as all her questions dealt with “feelings”.
    5. Both men cross their legs a little girlish.

  14. redeyebase says:

    never. i’ll never turn to the dark side.

  15. Rip Ragged says:

    I know that Bill and Steve are bitter rivals and all, but I still think some things are right and they should always be right. When they were slow dancing to Dedicated to the One I Love by The Shirelles, tongue kissing should have waited until they were back stage.

    Maybe I’m just old fashioned.

  16. lurg says:

    I liked how the camera zoomed in on Jobs’ crotch when they asked if he was carrying an iPhone in the interview

  17. lurg says:

    or maybe i just zoomed in on his crotch…

  18. Sudo Nym says:

    I wrote a function once that parsed strings.

    It was the proudest achievement of my life. Now I can die happy.

    It’s good to have something like that, you know. Something that makes you die happy. Because dying unhappy is like parsing strings by hand. It’s awful.

  19. Streetrabbit says:

    So “Two Of Us” is kinda like Jobs’ “Helter Skelter” then.

  20. scared monster, better known as Le Chef De La Cuisine, says:

    Didn’t Steve Jobs deny the utilisation of Zombies yesterday ?

  21. J0n says:

    John Moltz, you’ve been on a roll recently. (By “a roll”, I mean a winning streak, not a small piece of bread. You would look silly (sillier?) on a piece of bread. And besides, you would squash the bread.)

    During the month of May, you’ve had a bunch of really funny postings.

    Kudos to you! (By “kudos”, I mean praise, not a milk chocolate-covered granola bar. You can go buy one of those yourself.)

  22. NWJR says:

    Mmmm….chocolate-covered granola. Mmmmmmmm….


  23. nonlinearG says:

    Gilligan? More like Alfred E. Neumann.

  24. Del says:


    You’ve left a word out of Gates’s statement. You must have missed it in the transcription. I believe it is supposed to be:

    GATES: And Steve says, I’ll never forget this, “I’ve got you surrounded by my army of zombie puppets and I won’t be satisfied until you invest $150 million in Apple and agree to continue making Office!”


    GATES: And it was true! I looked out the window and I was surrounded by his army of zombie puppets. So I… heh-heh… I wrote him a check. I mean, it was only $150 million. I wrote it out of my personal checking account.

  25. John Moltz says:

    @J0n: Yeah, well, it’s June now so all bets are off.

  26. nonlinearG says:

    From the WSJ :

    Gates: “It’s a question of using that local richness together with the richness that’s elsewhere”

    Translation: Moving your money to my pocket for security deficient software. He left out “sucker”

  27. disoriented says:

    The funniest ever