Bill Gates did not rip off Steve Jobs

I’ve seen and heard of people claiming
Bill Gates ripped off Steve Jobs / Apple

Just read an interesting article about how Bill Gates and Paul Allen stated writing computer language and creating software for computers with their mentor who was a guy named Henry Edward Roberts who just passed.

He’s the guy that first sold kits containing all the hardware needed to build a personal computer and then started selling them assembled and ready to go. Bill Gates and Paul Allen got their start writing programs to run on this guy’s computers and later started selling software to other computer makers as the personal computer inductry becane to grow

This ought to help clear things.

Article is at:

I’ve never heard any such claim, though it’s worth pointing out that Windows over the years has been somewhat inspired by Apple’s OS incarnations. :slight_smile:

I actually heard that quite often… Steve Jobs invited Bill Gates to show off a bit with their new OS that would include a graphic interface… and then Bill Gates copied it and launched its own version.

The rumour also has it that Steve Jobs didn’t have the idea by himself but that Apple was close to Xerox who was trying to get a graphical and more intuitive interface for their copy machines…

Wether it is true or not, I don’t know. Great tale, nevertheless :lol:

Actually, Bill Gate was working on operating systems long before Steve Jobs was
and if anything it was Steve Jobs that got ideas from Bill and the boys.

At any rate, whoever was inspired by whoever…you can be assured that if it
was actually “stealing” there are many many lawyers who would have been
itching to take the situation into court…which never happened.

That pretty much proves right there that nobody stole anything because
there would have been a big long court case if anyone would have had
a legitimate claim on this

Didn’t Microsoft buy a $150 million stock of Apple so they could not start a law suit for plagiarism? You can’t start a lawsuit if you’re going against a stockholder :smiley:

As far as I remember, the excuse was as a deal to do IE the main browser in Macintosh and it was for 5 years. Microsoft would have no voting right. Those stocks were sold long time ago (this was around 2004 I think) but Apple would have to drop a patent infrigment lawsuit against Microsoft.

So maybe the urban legend is not such a lenged, after all :lol:

But don’tr trust my memory… this was a few years ago and I’m not in the mood of searching for information so I may be completely wrong.

That’s not true…stockholders of companies sue all the time…

In the US you can file a lawsuit for anything

The Apple ][ and its operating system were around for several years before Microsoft purchased their first operating system so no Bill didn’t have an OS first. Microsoft wasn;t even considering branching out into operating systems until after several versions of Apple had been released.

Prior to IBM approaching Microsoft to produce an operating system for them after Digital Research refused to, Microsoft were in the programming language business - they invented BASIC. It was only after DR refused to supply CP/M to IBM that IBM (who had already convinced MS to give them BASIC) asked them to get them an OS as well. Paul Allen purchased QDOS from a friend of his for $50000 and they reworded it into MS/DOS1.0.

It was some time after that when Apple and Microsoft both copied the Xerox mouse.

The only operating system Microsoft has developed from scratch rather than purchasing something to base it on is OS/2 which they started developing for IBM. When MS split with IBM they both had rights to the operating system and MS renamed their version to avoid confusion and to try to cash in on the name of their graphical interface for DOS. Their OS/2 operating system is now on its seventh version.

According to that article, that doesn’t appear to be true.

The guy in the article was building personal computers before there was an Apple personal computer because he was the first guy to build personal computers.

Then, along comes Bill Gates and his buddy and they hire on with this guy to build programs that would work on this guy’s computers.

That doesn’t contradict what I said. Microsoft developed BASIC in 1975 specifically to run on the Altair computer (they later got it to work on many other computers as well). The first Apple computer was released in 1976. Microsoft didn’t get involved with operating systems until 1981, before that they were only involved with programming languages.

So Apple was involved with operating systems five years before Microsoft even though Microsoft satrted the year before Apple.

Anyway they didn’t hire on to create anything. They had already written BASIC for the Altair before they approached Ed Roberts.

What happened to geosite? He’d bring some clarity to this argument.

um he got banned :x

Ah yes. That great clarity that he brought :slight_smile:

Well, they obviously got paid for their work and what they were doing was the forerunner of the operating system.

That big long court case did happen, filed in 1988 and not finally resolved until 1994. Microsoft won because the court ruled that look-and-feel of computer interfaces was not covered by copyright, only the specific graphics themselves. Nobody can own the concept of a GUI, of menus, of windows, etc. They are ideas, not tangible expressions of ideas. That doesn’t mean Microsoft didn’t copy, but that it’s not illegal to copy those ideas.

Apple Computer Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation

If Apple had won that court case then it would have opened the way for Xerox to take similar action against Apple on the same basis.

Then that settles it…Microsoft didn’t steal anything from Apple!

Bill is a good 'ol boy :eye:

In fact the very first case of software theft was when someone stole a paper tape copy of a beta version of the Altair basic and gave it to Dan Sokol who had access to a mainframe computer which he could use to produce copies of the tape which were then distributed free. Since the finished version was the first piece of software to actually be sold the owners that produced it were extremely upset at having their companies only product stolen from them after having spent a huge amount of time developing it.

The victims in this first case of software theft was Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

All software prior to that had been given away free (since almost no one had access to the resources to be able to use it anyway). That was the first time that there were enough of the same computer around to make it viable to charge for software. That Dan Sokol and Steve Wozniac were both members of the Homebrew computer club does not mean that the Apple founders had anything to do with the theft of the software from the Microsoft founders.

Doesn’t mean they didn’t either…

This is far out! A reversal of the old argument
that says Bill Gates ripped off Apple

Not exactly an argument but rather a collecton of facts.

Bill Gates produced Basic for the Altair on paper tape.
Some unidentified person took one of the beta copies of paper tape.
Dan Sokol was asked to and did make copies of that paper tape.
The copies were distributed through the Homebrew computer club.
Steve Wozniac was a member of the Homebrew computer club.
Bill Gates had a letter published in several computer magazines requesting that those who had acquired copies of the stolen tape to please pay for the sotware and a small number of people actually did.
These events all took place in 1975 prior to either Microsoft or Apple having been founded.

Of course that doesn’t stop someone from going beyond the facts to claim that the Apple founders stole from the Microsoft founders but there is nothing in the known facts to support that.

If the Apples founders were members of this group that gained access to what Bill and Paul created…there are no facts that prove they didn’t get it and use it in their future products either

More than likely, they did as computer guys back then were getting ahold of everything they could to further their own knowledge and abilities