Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

Now that the iPhone is out and making its rounds, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the two most visible leaders in the field of computers and convergent media. Having been a switcher since right before the intel transition, I find myself hating MicroSoft less and less. It’s probably because I don’t have to use their products everyday and rarely touch one. I digress.

The CES in Las Vegas and MacWorld provide a good backdrop to compare two diametrically different leaders: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. With Apple’s resurgence it’s almost easy to forget that Microsoft is still bigger than Apple by an order of magnitude.

The two leaders couldn’t be more different in style as evidenced at the shows. While Bill may be one of the richest men in the world, he’ll still sit down with bloggers for lunch and is still relatively approachable. Even with billions and power over most of the world’s computer users, Bill just doesn’t cut an imposing figure.

Steve Jobs may have a charming smile but he certainly is not accessible. He’s an icon with the awe inspiring power reserved for leaders of religious cults. Every keynote he makes is legendary and talked about for weeks. His ability to charm all those that come into proximity is called a “distortion field”. Those that work for him cower in fear and are eager to please. He’s more like a legendary French monarch than a tech CEO.

Interestingly in the years to come Bill Gates is set to retire while it seems like Steve Jobs is only getting started. Whereas mac users shudder to think of the day that Apple loses Steve Jobs, MicroSoft has hopes of improving after Bill Gates’ time is up.

Editor’s note:
This article sure came out like a piece of crap. Oh well.