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Dying Steve Jobs kept Bill Gates letter by his bed

Miro Kuzmanovic / Reuters file

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were frenemies, as many know, but when Jobs died last fall, the mutual respect between the two tech titans was quite strong: By his bed, Jobs kept a letter Gates had written the Apple co-founder in his final months.

Gates said on his last visit with Jobs, in the months before he died, "We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future.” He made the remarks in an interview with The Telegraph recently.

And despite their business battles over the years, "There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no (cause for) forgiveness," said Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.

( is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBCUniversal.)

After their meeting, he wrote Jobs a letter, telling him "how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know.”

The relationship between Jobs and Gates was detailed in Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs — with Jobs quoted as saying Gates is "basically unimaginative" and would "be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger." The biography was published shortly after Jobs died in October.

Steve Jobs' wife, Laurene, called Gates after the book came out, to let him know how much his letter had meant to Jobs.

"She said; 'Look, this biography really doesn’t paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.’ And she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed," Gates said.

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