Gates on Jobs’ Death: “You Only Have a Limited Time”

“You only have a limited time,” was the takeaway of a Yahoo and ABC News interview with Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, whose quote was in reference to his former colleague and competitor, Steve Jobs.

In a wide-ranging interview on yesterday’s Nightline, Mr. Gates discussed his monetary fortune, philanthropy, personal life, and, of note to the Apple community, his thoughts on the death of Steve Jobs.

Mr. Gates recalled the visit he made to Mr. Jobs in the weeks before his death. “He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We’d talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we’d both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation,” Mr. Gates said of his relationship with Apple’s late CEO.

As for how the death of Jobs affected him, “it’s very strange to have somebody who’s so vibrant and made such a huge difference and been … kind of a constant presence, to have him die,” Gates said. “It makes you feel like, ‘Wow, we’re getting old.’ I hope I still have quite a bit of time for the focus I have now, which is the philanthropic work. And there’s drugs we’re investing in now that won’t be out for 15 years — malaria eradication, I need a couple of decades here to fulfill that opportunity. But, you know, it reminds you that you gotta pick important stuff, because you only have a limited time.” 

The full interview aired on ABC’s Nightline, and is embedded below (Flash). The discussion on Steve Jobs begins at 3:30.