(about Microsoft) They are shamelessly trying to copy us. I think the most telling thing is that Tiger will ship at the end of the month and Longhorn is still two years out. They can’t even copy fast.
Steve Jobs, 2005
It’s kind of like watching the gladiator going into the arena and saying, ‘Here it is.’ It’s really perceived as Apple’s do or die. And it goes even deeper… If we don’t do this, nobody can stop IBM.
Steve Jobs, 1984
First I should tell you my theory about Microsoft. Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet, basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost. They were able to copy the Mac because the Mac was frozen in time. The Mac didn’t change much for the last 10 years. It changed maybe 10 percent. It was a sitting duck. It’s amazing that it took Microsoft 10 years to copy something that was a sitting duck.
Steve Jobs, 2004
I saw a video tape that we weren’t supposed to see. It was prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. By watching the tape, we discovered that, at least as of a few years ago, every tactical nuclear weapon in Europe manned by U.S. personnel was targeted by an Apple II computer. Now, we didn’t sell computers to the military; they went out and bought them at a dealer’s, I guess. But it didn’t make us feel good to know that our computers were being used to target nuclear weapons in Europe. The only bright side of it was that at least they weren’t [Radio Shack] TRS-80s! Thank God for that.
Steve Jobs, 1985
(about Listen.com saying that downloading isn’t the most popular feature on their music service Rhapsody) Well, that’s correct. Downloading sucks on their service. You download a track and you can’t burn it to a CD without paying them more money, you can’t put it on your MP3 player, you can’t put it on multiple computers, it sucks! So of course nobody downloads! You pay extra to download even on top of subscription fees. No wonder they have hardly any download traffic, [they] hardly even have any subscribers.
Steve Jobs, 2003
(about saying Microsoft have no taste) I told him I believed every word of what I’d said but that I never should have said it in public. I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once, or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
Steve Jobs, 1997
And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly. But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself? So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. John Akers at IBM is the consummate example. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t. Look at Microsoft, who’s running Microsoft? (interviewer: Steve Ballmer.) Right, the sales guy. Case closed. And that’s what happened at Apple, as well.
Steve Jobs, 2004.