Bill Gates and Steve Jobs shared a stage for the first time in over ten years at The Wall Street Journal‘s D5 conference Wednesday (CNET picture gallery), though this time the two industry pioneers met face to face, which looked a lot more comfortable than the Orwellian appearance of Gates over Jobs shoulder in 1997.

The rivalry was apparent but good natured as the two traded both barbs and compliments over the 90-minute conversation. They joined together to promote the home computer over the multitude of other devices that threaten to put a chink in its dominance.

Jobs, Gates and a Trip Down Memory Lane (TechNewsWorld)

Gates and Jobs share stage, friendly banter at D5 (CNET)

Apple and Microsoft have been rivals for so long (extremely bitter rivals at some points in their history) that it is a little strange seeing Gates and Jobs together without also thinking that the men might come to blows any minute. Microsoft has dominated Apple in the marketplace, with the maker of the first commercially available GUI relegated to the niche and accessory markets while it is difficult to find a place of business that doesn’t run something made by Microsoft. Still, Microsoft guards its stranglehold on the market extremely closely, to the point that they recently sent lobbyists to Florida to get a paragraph extolling the virtues of open source document formats out of a 38-page bill that was read a mere hour earlier in the Florida legislature. Microsoft also continues to enter markets that Apple seems to have locked up for the moment, the latest example being digital music players.

State by state, Microsoft responds to creeping threat (Marketwatch)

Apple’s iPod and Microsoft’s Zune face off (The Tech Report)

Was the recent meeting between Jobs and Gates just window dressing or are the two companies likely to cooperate more in the future? How do you see the iPod vs. Zune battle turning out? Will Apple be able to continue making strides in the face of Microsoft’s dominance? Join the discussion.