In an interview with The Telegraph, Bill Gates reveals that he wrote Steve Jobs a letter just before the Apple co-founder passed away. And seems it meant a lot to Jobs, as he kept the letter by his bed until passed away.
The letter came after a personal visit from Gates where the two "spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future."
With Jobs' death imminent, Gates wrote to him. "I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know." The letter wasn't conciliatory, says Gates. "There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness."
Following the death of Steve Jobs, Gates received a call from his wife Laurene. "She said; 'Look, this biography really doesn't paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.' And she said he'd appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed."
Gates notes that while the two were competitors they both respected each other's accomplishments.
"Steve was an incredible genius who contributed immensely to the field I was in. We had periods, like the early Macintosh, when we had more people working on it than they did. And then we were competitors. The personal computers I worked on had a vastly higher [market] share than Apple until really the last five or six years, where Steve's very good work on the Mac and on iPhones and iPads did extremely well. It's quite an achievement, and we enjoyed each [other's work]."