Founded in 1976 and 1975 respectively, Apple and Microsoft are the world’s two most valuable brands, according to Forbes. The rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates has been well documented through the years, with Jobs famously condemning Microsoft for making “really third-rate products” in 1995, whereas years later Gates claimed “”There’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it’,” in 2010.
From Friends (1981 to 1983)….
During the development of the Macintosh in the early 80s, Microsoft was an important ally. Apple needed groundbreaking softwares for it’s upcoming platform and Microsoft was one of the few companies developing for it. It was a crucial phase for Apple.Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were so close at that time.
… to Rivals (1983 to 1996)
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.
As a matter of fact, Microsoft had engineers secretly working on its own version of a Graphical OS: Windows. Not long after the Internal Event in Hawaii, Steve Jobs learned the crushing news. Microsoft wanted to compete with Apple; Bill Gates deceived him.
Their relationship, already kind of rocky, fell apart when Microsoft announced the first version of Windows in 1985.
In 1985, Steve Jobs resigned from Apple to start his own computer company, NeXT. But just because Jobs was no longer working for Microsoft’s biggest competitor, it didn’t improve relations between the two.
By the late ’90s, Apple was in serious danger of going under. When then-Apple CEO Gil Amelio moved to buy NeXT in 1996 and bring Jobs back to Apple.
By 1997, Jobs was Apple CEO. At his first Macworld keynote, he announced that he had accepted an investment from Microsoft to keep Apple afloat.
During “All Things D5″ in 2007, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were ‘finally’ reunited on a stage. Steve was given the opportunity to praise Bill Gates when asked what Bill’s contribution to the PC industry was. Steve’s answer was rather generic: “Bill was the first to truly see the value of software.”