From Gates's perspective, however, what did he think his Apple counterpart had that he hadn't?
Well, Gates believed that Jobs was a genius at "casting spells."
Bloombergreports that in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria -- to be broadcast on Sunday -- Gates tried to maintain a belief in his own little genius, while admitting Jobs could simply do otherworldly things.
I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerized, but because I'm a minor wizard, the spells don't work on me.
Was Gates renowned for minor wizardry? Or was it more for the major ability to forcibly create a circumstance in which businesses were manhandled into using Microsoft software?
Microsoft was renowned for its fierce aggression and dominance of scale more than for any -- even minor -- wizardry.
When it came to Jobs, the casting spells Gates referred to involved creating the belief that Apple was truly special.
And, by the way, that Jobs was truly special too.
It's quaint that Gates claims Jobs could never fool him into falling under these alleged spells.
He did admit to Zakaria, though, that he's never seen anyone with Jobs's ability to find talent and motivate it.
But that's rather because the products that Apple created moved people at an emotional level, rather than making humans merely more productive.
You looked at an iMac and sighed with wonder.
You looked at Windows software and sighed for a very different reason.
Which would you rather be involved in creating?
Some leaders bring with them a spirit that makes others follow, even if there's a fast-approaching ravine.
They make you believe they're doing something truly different, truly memorable.
Some say Elon Musk has that ability. Many say Mark Zuckerberg does not.
It sounds as if Gates wishes he only knew the ingredients of that grand wizardry.
Oh, Bill, perhaps some people are just born with it.