Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: Inside the Rivalry

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: Inside the Rivalry

Al Jazeera (2017)

Film Review

This is an intriguing documentary about the notorious rivalry between Apple founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Despite their personal war over Microsoft’s alleged patent infringements, they collaborated on both the Apple and the MacIntosh computer.

The two men were similar in both dropping out of college and both having big issues with interpersonal relationships. Jobs, together with his friend Steve Wozniak, is credited with inventing the first true personal computer (PC), the Apple, in 1976. Gates and his friend Paul Allen were more focused on developing the software needed to make personal computers user friendly. The first Apple computers ran on Basic, the programming language Gates and Allen created for the Altair microcomputer.

Gates would later develop MS-DOS, an operating system written in Basic. It was designed to run on IBM personal computers and IBM “clones” designed by IBM’s competitors.

Gates, notorious for profiting off the inventions of other inventors (see The Inside Story on Bill Gates and Microsoft), also “appropriated” the graphical user interface Apple created for the MacIntosh in designing the Windows operating system which replaced MS-DOS.

Jobs introduced the Mac, the first PC to employ a graphical user interface (GUI), in 1984. This new feature made the Mac even user friendly (ie usable by people with a non-science background) than the Apple. Jobs always maintained Gates stole the GUI Windows is based on when they collaborated on the Mac.

The film also explores Jobs’ tyrannical management style, which in 1985 led the Apple board to fire him. His subsequent involvement with Pixar, the first company to produce full length animated feature films (eg Toy Story), would make him a billionaire overnight.

Eventually Apple, on the verge of bankruptcy, invited him back and he oversaw the production and release of the fabulously successful ipod, ipad and iphone.

In 2008, Gates began winding down his role at Microsoft to enable him to work full time at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The filmmakers suggest the decision relates in part to growing pressure he was experiencing from anti-trust lawsuits.

Jobs died in 2011.

The video can’t be embedded for copyright reasons but can be seen for free at the Al Jazeera website: Steve Jobs Bill Gates Rivalry

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