Bill Gates Vs Steve Jobs Who’s the Better Person?

Just came across this excellent article on Wired by Leander Kahney Titled Jobs vs. Gates: Who’s the Star?. I am love both Microsoft and Apple products I think both produce some really innovative products. I get a bit sick of all the MS bashing that usually exists in the geek world. People seem to have double standards when it comes to Apple Vs Microsoft. I found the article interesting since people like to paint Bill Gates as an evil capitalist and Steve Jobs as a innovator, When in fact the facts are completely opposite.

Here are some Key points from that Article.

Gates is the cutthroat capitalist. A genius maybe, but one more interested in maximizing profits than perfecting technology. He’s the ultimate vengeful nerd. Ostracized at school, he gets the last laugh by bleeding us all dry.

On the other hand, Jobs has never seemed much concerned with business, though he’s been very successful at it of late. Instead, Jobs has been portrayed as a man of art and culture. He’s an aesthete, an artist; driven to make a dent in the universe.

But these perceptions are wrong. In fact, the reality is reversed. It’s Gates who’s making a dent in the universe, and Jobs who’s taking on the role of single-minded capitalist, seemingly oblivious to the broader needs of society.

Gates is giving away his fortune with the same gusto he spent acquiring it, throwing billions of dollars at solving global health problems. He has also spoken out on major policy issues, for example, by opposing proposals to cut back the inheritance tax.

In contrast, Jobs does not appear on any charitable contribution lists of note. And Jobs has said nary a word on behalf of important social issues, reserving his talents of persuasion for selling Apple products.

Jobs once offered to be an advisor to Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election, and he invited President Clinton over for dinner when Bubba visited Silicon Valley in 1996 — hardly evidence of deep political convictions.

Jobs can’t even get behind causes that would seem to carry deep personal meaning, let alone lasting social importance. Like Lance Armstrong, he is a cancer survivor. But unlike Armstrong, Jobs has so far done little publicly to raise money or awareness for the disease.

Given Jobs’ social detachment, I’m confused by the adulation he enjoys. Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.

Some Interesting comments from DIGG users.

Menso says: For truth. No matter how much people may dislike Gates/Microsoft, Gates/Microsoft have done much more for people than Jobs/Apple has done for anyone. Although Microsoft is still pretty shady business wise…

th3heretic says: Pretty easy to tell look at Apples policy vs Microsoft’s. Microsoft just wants everyone to run windows, and use xbox 360′s. Apple wants you to run OSX only on Apple hardware, only use their software (itunes, quicktime) with their music play which they want you to get with your mac, they want to own ALL of your digital entertainment not just your pc and console.

Anrkist says: Monopoly?? There’s no competition out there for Windows? Or other countless products that come from MS? I’ve made the choice to use products by his company, they didn’t make the choice for me. If people felt his products weren’t worth using… then they wouldn’t use it. Give people a little more credit then that, stop talking down to everyone with your high & might attitude.
ME is a good example of how the people react when you release a crappy product. They quickly released XP soon after and the people were happy again.
You can then argue that “Windows comes on purchased PCs!! The people don’t have a choice!” – You have the choice to use the Internet and download another O.S. There’s hundreds of choices, people have the options, they just choose not to use whatever else is out there.
You can be Anti-Gates/MS all you want, the fact is his company has helped shape the technology world for the past 2-3 decades & given the growth in technology over those past few years, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

logicwax says: you think plugging in your USB scanner would make your computer automatically install drivers? ha!
Microsoft got things rolling by making sure everyone sticks to a standard. Look at how fragmented Linux is/was between distro’s and windowing systems. Yeah, choice is great……but for the home PC market, microsoft making sure everyone using one OS was what catapulted PCs into every home of america.

tanveer says: Action speaks louder than any words, no matter how ‘reality distortion worthy’ they are!
Its about f’**** time someone in the major tech journal/publishing did away with trendy snobbery of looking bill/microsoft with a biased eye and admitted the truth – which honestly has always been obvious as a day light for anyone interested in the facts and not what’s considered ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ by the fellow ‘tech-savvy’ crowd.
I don’t hate apple, i think they make beautiful machines (albeit pricey – but worth it – except for AppleTV, oh and mighty mouse…and in-your-ear ipod ear buds, iMac keyboards…)
I just can’t stand baseless anti-Microsoft/Bill Gates cow dung!

Highlights of the joint interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

18 Responses

Interesting one! Now I am in a biased situation on whom to support! But what ever, gates takes my vote!


Well both of them are business men and capitalists. I don’t agree with a number of things Microsoft has done over the past few years. Between Gates and Jobs I prefer Gates.

My vote for Gates, he rocks. Think if he would have not been there then we would have using a Rs.1 lac computer from Apple with a SINGLE-BUTTONED MOUSE ;) !

:evil: I love Gates business strategies also! :evil:

@Rishi: I’ve totally been a fan of Bill’s business strategy but its really hard to say who is the better person. But then again for the sake of closure i’d stick to Billy ;)

Hey no Steve Jobs supporter here huh … well this isn’t Digg is it :D

Hey Arpit,
Though I am not a MAC user,but my vote would definitely go for Steve Jobs.When it comes to innovation,Jobs comes to your mind first and than it is Gates…Or may be Gates does not even come at all :)


@himanshu I bet both of them can’t write a single line of code. The question was who was a better man :D ..

Oh oh…my mistake…Since we have heard a lot about Melinda Gates foundation(which indirectly is also a good business strategy) ,I would definitely go with Bill Gates.


@himanshu no probs mate :D

I vote for Steve Jobs!!!

If you talking about business skills, mind you all, Bill wrote enough code, but not a single variable by Steve.

Getting fired from his own company, and then again starting from scratch with NeXT, PiXAR Animation and now again CEO of Apple.

That takes balls for anyone to even think.

Bill Gates, is great, yes for everything, but he lacks guts!!!!


No FOSS enthusiasts here?

@bibin LOL man …. we are talking about monopolistic Business men here :D

See. That’s the whole problem when you even *talk* about these sort of people… You even miss-spelled my name Arpit. ;)

BTW, I like (and admire) Steve-y for his amazing spirit; and LOVE Billy Boy for his contributions towards the society. One may definitely question the motives behind these *social motives*. The results of these contributions can, however, never really be questioned. They do make a hell lot of difference.
So what the hell. :)

…and don’t get me started on things for which I hate M$. ;)

sorry bipin I have a friend named bibin so I typed it fast by mistake :D I love FOSS heck I wouldnt have my own domain and blog for RS. 7000 a year would I , Linux , apache and WordPress :D. So yeah FOSS keeps these monopolistic guys in check :)

Does shying away from public glare necessarily make one a shirker of responsibilites and does hugging the limelight make one a champion of rights? And what responsibility are we talking about? Gates does it because he needs to sell his products and be in everyone’s good books and what better way to advertise than donations?? Jobs knows his products are good and will sell anyways. So, why bother wasting money??? May be, I’m wrong. But there’s a chance I may not quite be.

Hey Dude! If you ask me, it’s not really about the quality of the product (Don’t mistake me to be an M$ supporter). But M$ has produced two products that I really respect; one of them is used by Apple (M$ Office).
The topic of controversy, for me, always has been the *philosophy* behind their business. That’s where both fail, for me at least.
I am a huge fan of Apple products; but then also believe that good/bad is more of an objective decision. You’ll find plenty of videos on YouTube where people blame Apple products to be Junk. (It’s a different topic altogether that I would love to kill ‘em; whatever the truth might be ;) )

@bipin I agree with you MS Office 2007 , Vista and VS Studio 2005 are top notch products.

@indish You do have point there but I don’t agree with you.
Problem with Linux is its too fragmented. too many version no single goal or aim and the interface sucks

…too many version…
That’s a byproduct, if not a product, of freedom. Good for some, Bad for others.
Too subjective, IMHO ;)

…no single goal or aim …
Of course there is Aim. Human being can’t do shit without a target in Sight. The Goal is freedom.

…the interface sucks…
Well, this is again subjective. If people like Vista’s interface more than OS X’s, you can’t really say anything. But what about the cost dude?
Windows Vista drains your memory for something that can be performed with 500MB RAM using Beryl/Compiz on Linux.
But then again, it’s subjective. :)