Jobs says Bill Gates "unimaginative" in his biography

Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:09am EDT
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By Soyoung Kim and Poornima Gupta

(Reuters) - Steve Jobs called long-time rival and Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates as "unimaginative" and not really a product person, according to a biography of the deceased Apple Inc chief executive.

"Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology," Jobs told author Walter Isaacson. "He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

"He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger," Jobs added.

The biography "Steve Jobs" by Isaacson hits bookstores on Monday, but was released earlier-than-expected on Apple's iBooks and's Kindle late Sunday.

Gates, for his part, was slightly envious of Jobs' mesmerizing effect in people but found the technology icon "weirdly flawed as a human being."

But Gates, despite his differences with Jobs, enjoyed his frequent visits to Apple's office in Cupertino, especially when he got to watch Jobs' interaction with his employees, according to the biography.

"Steve was in his ultimate pied piper mode, proclaiming how the Mac will change the world and overworking people like mad with incredible tensions and complex personal relationships," Gates said.

Isaacson's biography reveals that Jobs refused potentially life-saving cancer surgery for nine months, was bullied in school, tried various quirky diets as a teenager, and exhibited early strange behavior such as staring at others without blinking.   Continued...

<p>Eric Calderon, an Apple fan who said he owns most of the company's products, browses through the biography of Steve Jobs, sold at a bookstore in Quezon City, Metro Manila October 24, 2011. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo</p>