Bill Gates and Paul Allen react to the death of Steve Jobs

The death of Steve Jobs has, and will continue to dominate the blogospheres and news feeds for several days to come—and rightly so. Few people have had such a significant and measureable impact on modern life, and his absence will be felt.

Over the next weeks, months and even years, the retrospectives and remembrances will flood in, and the man will be transformed to legend. Part of that legend will always be kept in context with the rivalry between Jobs’ Apple, and its primary rival, Microsoft.

Originally friends, then enemies, then respectful rivals, Jobs and Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen have a long history that will undoubtedly be recounted for years to come. But for now, both Gates and Allen have taken a moment to honor their rival, issuing statements heralding Jobs as a pioneer.

In a statement, Gates spoke of his respect for Jobs:

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

Paul Allen also issued a statement of respect for Jobs:

My condolences to Steve Jobs’ family and friends. We’ve lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products. Steve fought a long battle against tough odds in a very brave way. He kept doing amazing things in the face of all that adversity. As someone who has had his own medical challenges, I couldn’t help but be encouraged by how he persevered.

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