The interview of the decade -- at least in tech circles -- ended up being far more altruistic and sentimental than any of us anticipated. Make no mistake, the joint interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at the D: All Things Digital conference on May 30, 2007, will likely be quoted by pundits, columnists, and scholars for years, maybe even decades.
It lasted over an hour and the two iconic techies touched on a wide variety of topics, including the work Apple and Microsoft did together on the original Macintosh, the Mac/Windows rivalry, Jobs' return to Apple from exile, the perception of their own tumultuous relationship, Apple's Mac guy vs. PC guy commercials, the past, the future, and a little bit of everything in between, including each commenting on the contributions of the other to the industry.
Both were very gracious and humble toward each other throughout the interview, which hasn't often been the case in the past, at least in their public comments toward each other's work. The contrast was especially stark for Jobs, who can never seen to resist making snarky digs at Microsoft. The graciousness shown during this joint appearance seemed to reveal the fact that the two of them do like each other personally and have great respect for each other professionally.
Watch the video
I have posted the eight-minute highlight reel of the Jobs-Gates interview. If you'd like to watch the entire interview, here are links to the prologue and the unabridged interview, which is broken up into seven parts:
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Prologue
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 1
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 2
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 3
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 4
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 5
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 6
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Part 7
- No fight-Gates and Jobs ponder the past and the future (ZDNet)
- Gates and Jobs skip the sniping, play 'statesmen' (MarketWatch)
- For Jobs and Gates, a Night to Reminisce (The New York Times)
- Together again, tech rivals Jobs, Gates talk like old pals (San Jose Mercury News)
- Gates and Jobs share stage, friendly banter at D5 (CNET)
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Session Transcript (All Things Digital blog)
How surprised were you that Gates and Jobs were so gracious? What do you think was the most significant part of this interview? How important do you think Jobs and Gates have been in the technological revolution? Join the discussion.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).