Steve Jobs chatting with Bill Gates in 1991

An intriguing and candid shot of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates having a discussion at Jobs' Palo Alto home in 1991

Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple, but that wasn't the case back in 1991 when the photo below was taken. At the time, Jobs was the CEO of NeXT and had been disassociated from Apple for a good 5 years following his mid-80s ouster at the hands of CEO John Sculley. Bill Gates, meanwhile, wasn't yet the richest man in the world and was still a few years away from entirely destroying Apple's market share in the PC market with Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.

Back in 1991, Apple had yet to sue Microsoft for copying the Mac GUI, a lawsuit which would prompt a bitter Mac vs. PC battle that arguably continued for decades. But these days, Apple and Microsoft are more allies than they are enemies as both look to counteract the growing influence of Google. And speaking of, Google CEO Larry Page was just 18 and probably still in High School when the photo above was taken.

16 years later, Jobs and Gates appeared together on stage at the 2007 All Things D conference. At that point, Gates was only working at Microsoft part-time, spending most of his energy on philanthropic endeavors. And Jobs? Well, he had helped rescue Apple from the brink of bankruptcy, transforming it into one of the most profitable companies on the planet in the process.

A lot sure can happen in 16 years.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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