Stephen Colbert told Bill Gates that he’s not as “cool” as Steve Jobs, but he has a chance of getting there if saving the world, ya know, ever gets trendy.
Gates visited the Colbert Report on Wednesday night to talk about his foundation’s annual letter, which outlines his organization’s recent successes in global health. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has played a critical role in reducing the number of childhood deaths (down to less than 7 million from 12 million in 1990) and in working toward eliminating polio (it should be wiped off the face of the earth in the next six years).
“It’s good news that you wouldn’t hear,” the founder of Microsoft said of the information he shared in his annual missive. “I share what I’ve been able to see in my travels to Africa and Asia.”
But after Gates shared his “good news,” Colbert broke it to the humanitarian that he’s just not as “cool” as Steve Jobs was.
“People say ‘what a cool guy,’ ‘what a cool guy’ Steve Jobs was. You’re out there saving the world, yet you don’t have the “cool factor,” Colbert jabbed. “Did you ever want to be the cool guy?”
Gates didn’t seemed phased though.
“He was brilliant. He had his own style. He had his own approach,” Gates said. “Mine is, I guess…a little geekier than his was.”
Also on HuffPost:
Jobs "Can't Win"
"What I can’t figure out," <a href="http://www.cringely.com/2010/04/masters-tournament/" target="_blank">Gates asked in a 1998 interview</a>, "is why he (Steve Jobs) is even trying (to be the CEO of Apple)? He knows he can’t win.” At the time, Microsoft was a $250-billion company, while Apple, Inc. was worth $6 billion, even after Microsoft had given $150 million to Apple in 1997.
Compliments For Steve
It Gates occasionally has glowing things to say about Steve Jobs. "[H]e's done a fantastic job," Gates said of Jobs' reign at Apple, adding, "[O]f all the leaders in the industry that I've worked with, he showed more inspiration and he saved the company."
Bill Gates <a href="http://d5.allthingsd.com/20070530/d5-gates-jobs-interview/">said in 2007,</a> "What Steve’s done is quite phenomenal, and if you look back to 1977, that Apple II computer, the idea that it would be a mass-market machine, you know, the bet that was made there by Apple uniquely–there were other people with products, but the idea that this could be an incredible empowering phenomenon, Apple pursued that dream."
When asked what he learned by watching Steve Jobs, <a href="http://gizmodo.com/264694/live-rumble-bill-gates-vs-steve-jobs-vs-swisher-vs-mossberg" target="_hplink">Gates said</a>, "I wish I had Steve's taste. In people and product. It's magical. In that case. Wow."
Bill Gates praised Steve Jobs indirectly in 1984 (the year Apple introduced the Macintosh computer), <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/7213848/Apple-v-Microsoft-What-Steve-Jobs-and-Bill-Gates-really-think-of-each-other.html">saying,</a> "To create a new standard, it takes something that's not just a little bit different; it takes something that's really new, and really captures people's imagination. And the Macintosh – of all the machines I've seen – is the only one that meets that standard."
While Steve Jobs maintains that the iPad is Apple's <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363013,00.asp" target="_hplink">"most important" and "revolutionary" product</a>--reportedly calling it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/25/steve-jobs-apple-tablet-w_n_435105.html">"the most important thing I've ever done"</a>--Gates has a slightly different opinion. In an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-bronstein/bill-gates-on-journalism_b_544550.html" target="_hplink">interview with Phil Bronstein</a>, Gates was asked if he liked the iPad. Gates' response: "It's okay."
Polish And Scope
In 2008,<a href=" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/7213848/Apple-v-Microsoft-What-Steve-Jobs-and-Bill-Gates-really-think-of-each-other.html" target="_hplink"> Gates suggested</a> that Jobs' Apple had a narrower scope than Microsoft. "Apple has done a very good job on usability. You have to compliment them on that," he said, adding, "But their agenda is not as broad as ours, so perhaps the fact that they focus in and polish those things well – certainly we need to do that as well or better than they do."
Mrs. Gates: No iPods
Bill Gates' wife Melinda once said that her children don't use iPods or iPhones. "There are very [few] things that are on the banned list in our household, but iPods and iPhones are two things we don't get for our kids," <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/7213848/Apple-v-Microsoft-What-Steve-Jobs-and-Bill-Gates-really-think-of-each-other.html" target="_hplink">she asserted</a>.