Genius: Jobs vs Gates – Ep 8 Sneak Peek
It’s the 1970s and the mainframe computer is a 2-ton machine, inaccessible to the average consumer… but not to Bill Gates.
Gates – a nerdy college student who epitomizes the “me” generation – and his friend Paul Allen snap up the Altair 8800, the newest computer gadget to hit the geek trade. On its own, the Altair can’t do much, but Gates and Allen recognize the potential: a miniature, relatively simple computer with no user interface. Gates and Allen set to work tackling a way to reimagine the Altair’s “software”… and out of their success comes an entirely new company: Microsoft. But they aren’t the only ones trying to reinvent the Altair.
Steve Jobs is a hippie visionary with a work ethic to match his imagination. A college dropout, Jobs and his friend Steve “Woz” Wozniak reconstruct the hardware of the Altair. The addition of a keyboard and a monitor creates an entirely new machine, and another new company to rival Microsoft: Apple is born.
Gates provides Jobs with the software he needs to launch the Apple II computer, but Gates sees greater potential in licensing his software elsewhere. He convinces IBM to buy his operating system MS DOS, making Microsoft a fortune.
In anticipation of the next revolution in consumer computers, Jobs convinces Xerox – an undervalued R&D consumer group – to give him access to their current desktop software. When Jobs sees Xerox’s mouse and graphic window interface, he pirates the idea. But when Jobs tries to bring Gates and Microsoft into the fold on the Macintosh, Gates betrays Jobs… and steals the interface.
The Macintosh is a failure, and the Apple board blames Jobs. When Gates releases his Windows operating system, it becomes the revolution both Gates and Jobs had anticipated. Windows becomes the industry standard, but Microsoft’s aggressive software packaging garners the attention of the Justice Department. Facing charges of monopolistic practices, Gates soon receives help from the most unlikely of places…
Over a decade after his departure from Apple, Jobs charms his way back into the Apple boardroom. The company is nearing bankruptcy, but Jobs has a plan. He offers Gates the chance of a lifetime: save Apple with a $150 million investment, and Microsoft no longer appears to be a monopoly.
Gates’s investment gives Jobs the capital he needs to rejuvenate the company he founded. As Jobs resigns before his untimely death, he leaves behind a radically changed world forged by the competition – and eventual partnership – between his company and Bill Gates’s.