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October 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Steve Jobs said Microsoft “mostly irrelevant,” according to new bio

Excerpts from writer Walter Isaacson’s new bio of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs are all over the media and Interwebs this week.

The New York Times has a list of Jobs-ian putdowns in the book. Here’s what Jobs had to say about Microsoft and its CEO, Steve Ballmer, according to the NYT:

In the final pages of the book, written in Mr. Jobs’s own words, he described Microsoft as “mostly irrelevant” and said companies like it often ran aground when they were run by salespeople. He singled out Apple’s former chief executive, John Sculley, and Microsoft’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, as examples, adding that he didn’t think Microsoft would change as long as Ballmer was in charge.

Other Jobs quotes from the book about Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates are also making the rounds, including this: “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

Gates, of course, co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has given away a large chunk of his personal wealth. (He is, however, still the richest person in America, according to Forbes magazine.)

Jobs shut down Apple’s corporate philanthropic programs when he returned to the company in 1997. He also had no public record of giving to charity, according to a separate New York Times column, though he may have given anonymously.

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