Gates: Steve Jobs Was “Brilliant, Always Cooler Than Me”

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During a humorous moment on Wednesday’s The Colbert Report, guest Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder and chairman, took a moment to reflect on comparisons made between himself and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. When asked by host Stephen Colbert about why, despite his tireless philanthropic efforts, Mr. Jobs is remembered as a more popular mainstream figure, Mr. Gates replied that Mr. Jobs was “always cooler than me.”

Bill Gates Colbert Report Steve Jobs

The transcript from that segment of the interview:

Colbert: People say “what a cool guy, what a cool guy Steve Jobs was.” You are out there saving the world and yet, you don’t have the cool factor, no offense, not the same turtleneck cool factor. As a man who has contributed a great deal, does it ever bug you that you are out there saving the world and yet he has the memories a cool guy?

Gates: He was always cooler than me.

Colbert: Yeah?

Gates: Yeah.

Colbert: Maybe saving the world will get cool.

Gates: It’s okay.

Colbert: Really? You don’t care?

Gates: No. He was brilliant. He had his own style, his own approach and mine is a little geekier than his was.

Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs are among the two most influential figures in modern technology. The men had a highly competitive and tumultuous relationship as their two companies struggled to shape the future of computing, although both admitted to maintaing a private and respectful friendship despite their differences.

Mr. Gates maintains his role as Chairman of Microsoft but stepped down as CEO in 2000, leaving the company in the hands of longtime Microsoft employee Steve Ballmer.

The full interview, which primarily discusses Mr. Gates’s charitable work, is embedded below. The discussion on Mr. Jobs begins at the 5:45 mark.

[via Business Insider]

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Lee Dronick

My respect for him has increased a lot over the years.

Lars Pallesen

Actually Bill Gates has always been pretty gracious when commenting on Steve Jobs in public. Which is more than could be said the other way around!
Good on ya, Bill.

Lee Dronick

True that Lars

Robert Elliott

At that historic meeting with Jobs, Gates and Mossberg, Jobs said something really nice about Gates also. Jobs said…Bill was the first one to get that it’s all about software. Very nice comment to Bill and he meant it.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

One day, Bill Gates will be able to say, “Steve was a giant douche” and it will be as cathartic as it is true.

Bryan Chaffin

Brad, it’s simply not going to happen. Bill Gates has class. He might not have taste (as Steve Jobs noted), but he has class.

And his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is awe inspiring to me.

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