London: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wrote Steve Jobs a letter as he was dying, which ended up meaning so much to the Apple's visionary co-founder that he kept it next to his bed, it has emerged.
Gates and Jobs had reportedly locked horns throughout their careers as Microsoft picked up the pace, with Apple initially lagging behind.
In a biography published after his death in October, Jobs branded Gates an 'unimaginative' person who 'ripped off' other people's ideas'.
But in a recent interview, former Microsoft CEO shot down these claims, and praised the creator of the iPhone and iPad, The Telegraph reports.
"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 paper quoted Gates, as saying.
"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]," he said.
"He spent a lot of his time competing with me. There are lots of times when Steve said [critical] things about me. If you took the more harsh examples, you could get quite a litany," he added.
A few months before Jobs passed away, Gates visited him at his home, where they spoke for hours about the past and the future.
He later wrote Jobs a letter telling, "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," Gates said.
After Jobs's death, Gates received a phone call from his wife, Laurene saying Jobs appreciated his letter.
"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," Laurene told Gates.
First Published: Monday, January 30, 2012, 21:13