Steve Jobs may have been “cooler” than Bill Gates, and that’s OK.

The Microsoft co-founder and chairman made his first-ever appearance on The Colbert Show last night and answered questions about his philanthropy, his days at Microsoft and Jobs.

“I was lucky enough to meet Steve Jobs a few times, and people always say ‘what a cool guy he was,” Colbert told Gates. “You’re out there saving the world, but you don’t have that ‘cool’ factor. Does it ever bug you?”

“He was always cooler than me,” a smiling Gates responded.

“Maybe saving the world will get cool,” Colbert offered.

“It’s OK,” Gates said. “He was brilliant and he had his own style, own approach. Mine, I guess, was a little geekier than his was.”

Colbert also asked Gates if he misses his days at Microsoft and staying up all night writing code.

“It just doesn’t grab me quite the same way,” Gates said. “But I do miss the intensity. It was phenomenally fun. For my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, it was the coolest thing I could have done.”

“You don’t look a day over 40,” Colbert responded. “And I’m not just saying that … because I’m going to hit you up for cash later.”

Gates published his fifth annual letter yesterday and wrote that accurate measurements and clear goals are the keys to improving the lives of poor people around the world. You can check out the full interview with Colbert here.

Previously on GeekWire: Bill Gates says you should read these 5 books in 2013

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  • Guest

    Congrats to Stephen and Bill on this excellent satire! Very exciting to see Bill poking a little fun at his own public perception with a man who has painstakingly crafted one of his own.

  • guest

    Congrats to Bill. The passion he has for his new vocation is obvious, unlike the last few full-time years he spent at MS where he was clearly “phoning it in”. The world is benefitting greatly from his efforts. It’s also nice to see he’s matured a lot personally, and can now be magnanimous about a former rival – something Steve Jobs never accomplished despite his brilliance as a CEO. There’s only one more small thing I’d like to see Bill do. No, not come back as CEO of MS. That’s never going to happen and he’s probably not the right guy anymore anyway. Just resign as Chairman. The company is in big trouble. Steve Ballmer has led it there and is incapable of turning it around. But the Chairman’s support of his chosen replacement and friend, implicit or explicit, makes replacing Ballmer impossible.

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