Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never quite got along.
Over the course of 30-plus years, the two went from cautious allies to bitter rivals to something almost approaching friends — sometimes, they were all three at the same time.
It seems unlikely that Apple would be where it is today without Microsoft, or Microsoft without Apple.
Here’s the history of the bizarre relationship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as told by Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs except where otherwise noted.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t always enemies — Microsoft made software early on for the mega-popular Apple II PC, and Gates would routinely fly down to Cupertino to see what Apple was working on.
In the early ’80s, Jobs flew up to Washington to sell Gates on the possibility of making Microsoft software for the Apple Macintosh computer, with its revolutionary graphical user interface.
Gates wasn’t particularly impressed with what he saw as a limited platform — or Jobs’ attitude.
Still, Gates appeared alongside Jobs in a 1983 video — a “Dating Game” riff — screened for Apple employees ahead of the Macintosh’s launch. In that video, Gates compliments the Mac, saying that it “really captures people’s imagination.”
Microsoft and Apple worked hand-in-hand for the first few years of the Macintosh. At one point, Gates quipped that he had more people working on the Mac than Jobs did.
Their relationship, already kind of rocky, fell apart when Microsoft announced the first version of Windows in 1985.