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Steve Jobs Quotes: Microsoft
There’s no other company that could make a MacBook Air and the reason is that not only do we control the hardware, but we control the operating system. And it is the intimate interaction between the operating system and the hardware that allows us to do that. There is no intimate interaction between Windows and a Dell notebook.
Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet — basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost. 
Unfortunately, people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better. 
I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
Bill [Gates] is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.
It wasn’t that Microsoft was so brilliant or clever in copying the Mac, it’s that the Mac was a sitting duck for 10 years. That’s Apple’s problem: Their differentiation evaporated.
They are shamelessly trying to copy us. I think the most telling thing is that [OS X] Tiger will ship at the end of the month and [Windows Vista] is still two years out. They can’t even copy fast. (re: Microsoft)
Our friends up north [at Microsoft] spend over five billion dollars on research and development and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.
I’ve seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left! You’re much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you’re connected with about two feet of headphone cable.
The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally love music.
The only problem with Microsoft is that they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste, and I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way. They don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their product. You say, why is that important? Proportionally spaced fonts come from type-setting and beautiful books, that’s where one gets the idea. If it weren’t for the Mac, they would never have that in their products. So I’m saddened — not by Microsoft’s success, I have no problem with their success. They’ve earned their success, for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products. Their products have no spirit to them. They have no spirit of enlightenment about them. They are very pedestrian. And the sad part is that a lot of customers don’t have a lot of that spirit either. But the way we’re gonna ratchet up our species is to take the best and spread it around everybody so that everybody grows up with better things and starts to understand the subtlety of these better things. And Microsoft’s just McDonald’s.
I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that was the case, Microsoft would have great products.