- "Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology," Jobs said of Gates. "He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."
Let's review: Steve Jobs and a team of Apple engineers stole the idea for the GUI and mouse in the early 1980s. The victim was Xerox, the computer was the Alto. One of Steve Jobs' favorite quotes: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." The first mouse was built and demonstrated in 1969, well before even the Xerox personal computer. The debut of Apple's mouse? 1984.
Most people are aware that Apple sued Microsoft for "stealing" the idea of the GUI and mouse. Are these same people aware that Xerox sued Apple for the same thing? Selective memories are running rampant these days.
As for Gates never inventing anything, how about BASIC for the MITS Altair? I wonder how many people who drink Jobs' Koolaid know what the first language for the first commercially viable microcomputer did for the computer revolution?
Does anybody know what the two best-selling programs for the first Macontish were, and the later iterations in the late 1980s? Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Excel won numerous awards from computer magazines. Words like "masterpiece" were thrown around. I "guess" Steve Jobs forgot about that.
That first Mac, the one made famous by the Orwellian Superbowl commercial in 1984, was both fraud and failure. Here's the fraud: The engineers on the Mac team pleaded with Jobs to give the machine more power. In fact, they were asking for merely enough to make it function. Jobs refused to give the machine a hard disk and more than 128k RAM. The little machine crashed when Jobs tried to run his introduction demonstration -- the famous one. Before the live event, Jobs had the machine specially modified with more RAM. This was not made public at the time.
His demonstration, second video below, was like sneaking a Ferrari engine into a Ford Focus, then showing a commercial with the modified Focus, letting the public think that's what they would be buying.
The 1984 Super Bowl commercial for Macintosh, directed by Ridley Scott:
Below is the famous Macintosh introduction, with a modified machine that consumers would not be able to buy. Few, if any of the cool things Jobs is doing, could be done with the production Mac.
The first Mac, the "computer for the rest of us," shipped with no hard disk and only 128k of memory. Floppy disks of that era would store less than 10 pages worth of writing. It crashed all the time because it had no kernel -- protected memory spaces. No multi-tasking.
Early publicity produced a lot of early sales, but 1984 finished in the toilet -- because the machine didn't perform, specifically because Jobs got his way, overriding the wishes of the engineers.
After Jobs got fired, Apple released a new version of the Mac with a hard disk and more memory. Sales took off, and the rest is history.