What does Bill Gates think about all that biting criticism from Steve Jobs in the biography released after the Apple co-founder’s death? That’s one question that wasn’t asked of Gates at his University of Washington appearance last week.

But the question was posed to the Microsoft co-founder by Christiane Amanpour as part of a segment on ABC’s “This Week” that appeared over the weekend. In Amanpour quoted Jobs’ comment in the book that Gates was “basically unimaginative and has never invented anything… and shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

Gates, who had earlier said that Jobs “did a fantastic job,” had this to say in response.

Well, Steve and I worked together creating the Mac, we had more people on it, did the key software for it. So over the course of the 30 years we worked together, he said a lot of very nice things about me, and he said a lot of tough things.

He faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium-priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products — including a range of prices because of we worked with multiple companies — it’s tough.

And so the fact that various times he felt beleaguered, he felt that he was the good guy, we were the bad guys, very understandable. I respect Steve, we got to work together, we spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.

Previously on GeekWire: Jobs: Microsoft ‘mostly irrelevant’ with Ballmer in charge

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  • jazzbrownie

    Just what I wanted to see.  I was almost certain that Gates would be classy about it, and wasn’t disappointed.  

  • Mike Mathieu

    Classy response.

  • http://twitter.com/cellartracker Eric LeVine

    Indeed, very nice job taking the high road. Both men will have long, incredibly positive legacies.

  • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

    Well said, Bill.

    This message was typed on a Windows 7 machine.

  • Yetter

    Bill Gates has been taking the high road for 40 years.  

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