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A lot has been written and said about the rivalry between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs over the past couple of weeks.

But we’ve never quite heard the differences expressed as clearly as they were Tuesday night by biographer Walter Isaacson who appeared on The Daily Show to promote his new book about Steve Jobs.

Comparing the mystical, artistic vision of Jobs to the “processor-power smartness” of Gates, Isaacson used two products to emphasize his point: “In the end, (Bill) makes the Zune and Steve makes the iPod.”


Of course, there’s more to Gates’ legacy certainly than the Zune music player. But the message was clear: Microsoft just couldn’t make cool consumer products like Apple.

Comedian Jon Stewart could barely contain his laughter after hearing the remark, responding that it could have been the “best eulogy I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Here’s the full-transcript about Gates and Jobs from Tuesday night’s episode of The Daily Show, with the video below.

Stewart: “There’s great stuff in there about Gates and Jobs, and how all of the Apple people are like: ‘We hated Gates, he never got it.’ And all of the Microsoft guys were like: ‘Jobs was crazy.’ But they all had to work together at some level.”

Isaacson: “And they were all right, at some level. What it was — in astronomy we call it a binary star system where two stars are linked because of their gravitational pull in sort of an orbit. And the whole digital age is these two college dropouts who were born in 1955 — Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Unbelievably different personalities. Because Steve is very mystical, artistic, sort of comes from the counterculture. Bill Gates is awesomely smart, with that processor-power smartness to him and makes a great business model for Microsoft. But he never makes the artistic, you know products. I mean, in the end, he makes the Zune and Steve makes the iPod.”

Stewart: (Laughs). “That is the best eulogy I have ever heard in my life.”

Isaacson: “I actually think Bill Gates is a good guy, and Steve thought he was a good guy.”

Stewart: “No, he is. (Laughs). I just love that. One guy made the Zune, and the other made the iPod. Good night everybody.”

Here’s the video of the exchange:

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