Does Bill Gates Have a Message for Tech Companies?

Although technology companies are now engaged in fierce competition day in and day out, Bill Gates has shown that there was not always bad blood between companies.

Bill Gates’ Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Steve Jobs’ Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) started up around the same time. The two entrepreneurs were even born less then a year apart. As these two computing behemoths grew up, the computer industry grew up with them.

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Gates recently appeared on a spot on CBS (NYSE:CBS) and briefly discussed his relationship with the late Steve Jobs. Despite Microsoft being the engine that drove the PC-side of the everlasting Mac-versus-PC battle, Gates made it clear that he and Jobs didn’t hate each other — unlike Mac users and PC users — rather, they respected each other.

The two have lead similar lives in some regards, and it’s natural to presume that they could have been friends, as they would have lots of common ground to bond over. When it came to Jobs’ final days, Gates said they had met and discussed what they had learned in all their years in the business and how computer technology hadn’t yet significantly improved education.

Gates commended Jobs for his ability to market products well and skillfully wield a brand name. He said Jobs had an “intuitive sens for marketing,” adding that such abilities allowed Apple to successfully launch tablets even though Microsoft had come out with tablets prior to the iPad. Gates also praised Jobs for his sense of design, saying “with as little engineering background as he had, it shows that design can lead you in a good direction. And so, phenomenal products came out of it.”

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Though the blood might not have been bad between the former executives, it doesn’t seem to reflect the current state of affairs in the tech industry. Many companies are neck in neck and going as far as to seek court injunctions against competing companies. Some courts have wearied of all the legal battling that should be battling in the marketplace, and the Bill Gates interview could be an opportunity for executives to take a hint from one of the godfathers of the modern technology industry.

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