Walt Mossberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on Technology at WSJ: All Things Digital

Vincent Nguyen - May 30, 2007
Walt Mossberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on Technology at WSJ: All Things Digital

Get ready for the BIG BASH between Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Walt Mossberg! Live blogging!

7:21pm Showing old videos…IBM, Microsoft, Apple…nothing too exciting yet.

7:25 “2007 Together Here”

It’s actually Walk, Kara, Steve, and Gates from left to right.

Walt introducing some folks in the audience

Kara jumps in and asks whats up with the cat fight and who’s done what for the computing industry? Jobs first to answer by saying Bill built the first software for the industry – focusing on the software before anyone else had a clue. Building a company is hard, getting the right talent and keeping them. Bill has been staying with it for all these years.

Bill clarify he’s not fake “Steve Jobs” all laughed…

Bill has really bad hair!

Bill felt the first Mac…”twiggy disc drive” ahhh…Bill thinks Apple’s first machine was elagant with great taste…the industry benefited from Steve’s work and contributed as much as anyone.

Jobs commented they’ve been lucky to have great partner, great people…

Jobs, Gates, and Mossberg talk tech at D5: All things Digital

Walt…Microsoft software in the first Apple II computer? Walt wants Bill to talk about it. Something about floating point Bill worked with Woz…Steve jumps in and interrupts Bill.

Jobs talks about how perfect Woz’s coding is except for fixed point – flawed. “We” is Steve begging Woz to making it floating point. Steve never understood why.

Microsoft had the solution for $31,000 on cassette tape. Bill thought the working relationship was fun. Kara commented “maybe later when it wasn’t fun.”

Walt commented MS was the only folks to have prototype of the Apple II.

Oh geez Bill said “paradigm shift” would be graphics interface…bet between the two. first mac os was like 20K geez!

Walt remembers paying a bundle for a 128k computer at the time.

Kara wants to know what the future of Apple and MS…

Bill said he’s not happy with Apple not supporting higher platform something (clarify later)

Bill thinks that Apple didnt advance as fast in the GUI area…

Jobs’ job was to get the ship (Apple) pointed inthe right direct…everyone laughed (something funny here)

Walt commented that Windows 95 was a huge leap. Gates agree.

Walt talks to Jobs about coming back to Apple something about being in a battle between Apple and MS.

Jobs agree Apple was in trouble, and if it’s a zero sum game, Apple would lose. That’s the mentality. Too many people at Apple playing the system that in order for Apple to win, MS had to lose. APPLE NEED TO REMEMBER WHO APPLE WAS…he wanted to break that Paradign. Jobs called Bill up and patched things up when he returned to Apple. (how big of him!)

Kara likes PC guys better than the Apple guy. Steve said the purpose of the apple vs pc is to get those guy to like each other. Bill says PC guys mother loves him!

(everyone laughed)

Walt wants to know how often is Apple on MS’ radar? Jobs commented all Zune owners are Apple customers…all laughed.

Jobs…big secret about Apple is that it’s a software company with a beautiful box around it ie. ipod, mac, and maybe iphone?

Walt ask if there were any regrets that Jobs did or didn’t do that could have increase market share for Apple?

Jobs things there could be a number of things, but it doesnt matter. Looking forward is what counts. What happens tomorrow counts! Invent tomorrow rather than happened yesterday.

Kara wants to know what’s going on today and in today’s landscape. Jobs thinks it’s superhealthy, young folks building next generation companies. Lots of activities. Bill agrees – healthy. Bill thinks looking back, this is a big period for invention.

Steve loves google maps, called up google to get something going for the iPhone. Apple wrote api apps resulting in a kick ass client that’s better than any other phone on the market.

Jobs thinks the marriage between services and a powerful devices is more important than just a device with a browser. ie. google maps.

Walt doesnt think this magical device perhaps a tablet hasnt stormed the market yet.

Kara wants to know what would each of them carry in 5-years as a single device?

Steve carries an iphone now and a mbp, an iphone right here right now, what does bill have?

In 5-years bill thinks it’s not just one device, he believes in tablet form factor with rich powerful apps, and then a device that fits in the pocket for navigation, phone, etc. At home there would be gaming, network, etc. Every horizontal surface would have a projector. Walt asks if he can have a room that doesn’t have a projector?

Jobs thinks the PC has been very resilient. Personal computer in general. It plateau then along came the Internet. Multimedia center took over, reborned as the digital hub of your life. He thinks something is starting again…basically same shit different time period as a general device that never dies? Then there’s an explosion in the post-pc, ie. iPod as one of them. Walt comments Steve might get in trouble calling it post-pc (steve is confused as to why)…sample of a post-pc, iPod, phone etc. To steve everything is computer in a different form factor, who cares what’s inside.

Walt want to know what’s a core phone functionality in 5-years? Bill attempts to answer by saying it’s not going to do everything such as editing your homework. Perhaps a scrollable screen may be the right solution. For steve, he doesnt, because it depends on people/consumers. They determine what’s popular. The phone is primarily a communication device with some entertainment in it.

Steve is working on something he cant talk about…”isnt it funny when a ship leaks from the top”

new services interest steve, a lot of them having to do with navigating through life more efficiently. solving people daily problems.

Walt touch on .mac as not being more developed and steve agrees; more is coming he commented.

Steve believes in partnering with partners who are great at doing what they do, unlike Bill. Steve wants a coherent product providing a great user experience.

Entertainment deliver, Kara wants to know what’s up? Bill thinks the big milestone in the delivery is the Internet and the community within it.


Walt change topics to user interfaces on OS. Wans to know if there will be a big change in the UI over the next few years. Bill cited 3D interface, which didn’t live up to the hype yet. Maybe someday when technology is ready used in organizing things like visiting an online book store. Jobs didn’t answer.

Walt changed topic to “multi-touch” will this make it’s way into mainstream to laptops or just on specialized devices? Blah blah blah, Steve is so quiet.

Kara turns to Steve. Steve is speechless. He question how much of the revolutionary discoveries will be done on a pc? In some case augment what’s there and others it will be post-pc.

Kara wants to know the biggest misunderstanding between each other’s relationship??????????

Steve said they’ve kept their marriage a secret for a long time! Bill stars into space blanked. No one is answering this…

Steve comments about love to being in the room hence he’s not the oldest guys…unlike his other environment.


To quote the beatles, You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead, and that’s definitely true here.

Standing ovation for Jobs. Nice grab and use of the Beatles quote.

Opens for questions…we’ll end here too.

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