Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Together: Part 2

It’s later when we worked together on that.

What was the most fun? Tell the story about the most fun that was later.

And maybe later, not the most fun.

Let’em talk.

I’m teasing.

Well Steve can probably start it better. The team that was assembled there at Macintosh was a very committed team,

and there was an equivalent team on our side that got just totally focused on this activity – Jeff Harbors,

a lot of incredible people. And we really bet our future – because – on Macintosh being successful

and then graphics interface in general being successful but first and foremost the thing that would popularize that being the Macintosh.

And so we were working together, the schedules were uncertain, the quality was uncertain, the price…

When Steve first came up, it was going to be a lot cheaper than it ended up being, but that was fine.

So you worked in both places?

We were in Seattle, and we’d fly down there.

But Microsoft – if I remember correctly from what I read – wasn't Microsoft one of the few companies

that were allowed to even have a prototype of the Mac at the time?

Yeah. What’s interesting – what’s hard to remember now is Microsoft wasn’t in the applications business then.

They took a big bet on the Mac because this is how they got into the apps business. Lotus dominated the apps business on the PC back then.

Right. We had just done Multiplan, which was a hit on the Apple II,

and then Mitch did an incredible job betting on the IBM PC and 1, 2, 3 came in and you know,

ruled that part of business so the question was, what was the next paradigm shift that would allow for an entry? Word Perfect –

we had Word – but Word Perfect was by far the strongest word-processing, D-base and database.

And Word was – that was kind of a DOS text…

All of these products I’m saying were DOS-based products, because Windows wasn’t in the picture at the time.

That’s more early 90s that we get to that. And so we’d made this bet that the paradigm shift would be graphic interface

and particularly the Macintosh would make that happen, with 128k of memory – 22k which was for the screen buffer,

14k was for the operating system – so it was…

14k! The original Mac operating system was 14k?

14k that we had to have loaded when our software ran, so when the shell would come up, it had all the 128k.

The OS was bigger than 14k, it was in the 20s somewhere. So we ship these computers now with gigabyte, 2 gigabytes of memory,

and nobody remembers – 128k.

I remember that. I remember paying a lot of money for computers with 128k in those days.

So the 2 companies worked closely on the Mac project

because you were maybe not the only but the principle or one of the principle software creators for it right? Is that right?

Well, Apple did the Mac itself but we got Bill and his team involved to write these applications.

And we were doing some apps ourselves – we did Macpaint and Macdraw and stuff like that – but Bill and his team did some great work.

In terms of moving forward after you left and your company grew more and more strong, how did you –

what did you think was going to happen to Apple after sort of the disasters that occurred after Steve left?

Well Apple’s fate hung in the balance. We continued to do Macintosh software and Excel, which Steve and I introduced together in New York City –

that was kind of a fun event – that went on and did very well.

But then Apple just wasn’t differentiating itself well enough from the higher volume platform and…

Meaning Windows right?

DOS and Windows.

Especially Windows in the 90s began to take off.

By 1995 Windows became popular. The big debate wasn’t sort of Mac vs Windows, the big debate was character-mode interface versus graphics-mode interface.

When the 3D6 came and we got more memory and the speed was adequate

and some development tools came along, that paradigm bet on Gooi paid off for everyone who gotten in early and said this is the way that’s going to go.

But Apple wasn’t able to leverage its products.

They weren’t – after the 512k Mac was done the product line just didn’t evolve as fast –

well Steve wasn’t there – as it needed to.

And we were actually negotiating a deal to invest and some commitments and things with Gil Emilio. No seriously.

Don’t be mean to him.

I’m sorry?

I’m just saying the words Gil Emilio.

So I was calling him up on the weekend and all this stuff and next thing I knew, Steve called me up and said,

“don’t worry about that negotiation with Gil Emilio. You can just talk to me now,” and I said “wow!”

Gil was a nice guy but he had a saying. He said, “Apple is like a ship with a hole in the bottom,

leaking water, and my job is to get the ship pointed in the right direction. “