Gates and NeXTBill Gates was not a soul mate. Jobs had convinced him to produce software applications for the Macintosh, which had turned out to be hugely profitable for Microsoft. But Gates was one person who was resistant

to Jobs’s reality distortion field, and as a result he decided not to create software tailored for the NeXT platform. Gates went to California to get

periodic demonstrations, but each time he came away unimpressed. “The Macintosh was truly unique, but I personally don’t understand what is so unique about Steve’s new computer,” he told Fortune.

Part of the problem was that the rival titans were congenitally unable to be deferential to each other. When Gates made his first visit to NeXT’s Palo Alto

headquarters, in the summer of 1987, Jobs kept him waiting for a half hour in the lobby, even though Gates could see through the glass walls that Jobs was

walking around having casual conversations. “I’d gone down to NeXT and I had the Odwalla, the most expensive carrot juice, and I’d never seen tech

offices so lavish,” Gates recalled, shaking his head with just a hint of a smile. “And Steve comes a half hour late to the meeting.”

Jobs’s sales pitch, according to Gates, was simple. “We did the Mac together,” Jobs said. “How did that work for you? Very well. Now, we’re going to do this together and this is going to be great.”

But Gates was brutal to Jobs, just as Jobs could be to others. “This machine is crap,” he said. “The optical disk has too low latency, the fucking case is too

expensive. This thing is ridiculous.” He decided then, and reaffirmed on each subsequent visit, that it made no sense for Microsoft to divert resources from

other projects to develop applications for NeXT. Worse yet, he repeatedly said so publicly, which made others less likely to spend time developing

for NeXT.

“Develop for it?

I’ll piss on it,”

he told InfoWorld.