The Scene: We are in Cupertino, California. I am joined by Satya Nadella, Walter Isaacson and Jay Elliot. Satya Nadella is the current CEO of Microsoft. Isaacson is the author of the best-selling book “Steve Jobs” and Elliot is the former Senior Vice President of Apple Computer. We are standing a few feet away from the upcoming Apple headquarters.
Aditya: Hi guys, thanks for coming! What brings you here Satya?
Satya: Oh I’m just checking what my competitors are up to (cynical laugh). I heard they are spending $5 billion on this building! That really got my attention, I thought we should do something like this at Microsoft too (laugh again).
Walter: Brings back memories from the infringement back in the day doesn’t it. Steve (Jobs) was really upset you copied Apple’s software. I wrote extensively about that in the book.
Jay: And now you want to copy their building too, come on Satya! Its sad Jobs couldn’t be with us, but if he was he won’t be very happy with that.
Satya: You know what they say, good artists copy, great artists steal!
Aditya: You guys at Microsoft always come up with good excuses. Do they choose their CEO based on who deals with lawsuits the best?
Jay: Hahah I should have written that in my book!
Walter: Jay! You wrote a book too?
Jay: Yes, its called “The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation”
Walter: I should definitely read that….
Aditya: Satya, did Mr. Gates ever tell you about the competition between Apple and Microsoft over the years?
Satya: You bet he did! He always spoke about how Apple would bring out a really fast, user friendly computer, for half the price of a PC, almost like a first move in chess. It was then Microsofts job to step up and do the same. He always said that “The only competitor we care about was Apple. We always tried being better, sometime we did, and sometimes it didn’t really go our way”
Jay: Thats really interesting (deep thought). Walter, you have interviewed Steve several times for the book, what was his side of the argument?
Walter: Well, when I asked Steve about his relationship to Microsoft, and more specifically to Bill Gates, his mood changed little….At first he was Happy, then serious, almost angry, and then a smile appeared on his face again. It was almost as if he was recollecting a chain of events.
Aditya: The relationship between the companies was defiantly bilateral. Sometimes, when one company profited, the other was really affected negatively.
Walter: Thats exactly what Steve told me.
Satya: All thats interesting, but can we go and see what this huge spaceship building is all about?
Aditya: The typical Microsoft attitude…