A number of Microsoft employees have shared their reactions to Apple CEO Steve Jobs resignation.
Steve Jobs, the 56-year old co-founder of Apple, resigned from his position as chief executive officer of Apple earlier this week. Jobs career has been marked with moments of genius and controversy. Jobs resigned as chairman of Apple on September 16, 1985 and returned twelve years later to the day. Jobs initial resignation has been largely reported as the result of his clashes with Apple management and other groups inside Apple. Jobs returned in September 1997 and announced a Microsoft partnership at Macworld Boston.
The deal saw Microsoft commit to releasing Mac copies of Microsoft Office for five years with the same number of major releases as on Windows.Jobs also announced that Internet Explorer would be the default browser on Macintosh computers, drawing boos and shouts of “no!” from the crowd of attendees. Jobs cooled the crowd by revealing that “since we believe in choice” Apple would ship other browsers on its Macintosh systems too. Apple and Microsoft also collaborated on Java interoperability as part of the deal. Microsoft also made an investment in Apple, the company purchased $150 million Apple shares at market price and agreed not to sell the stock for three years. Bill Gates, then Microsoft CEO, spoke during the announcement, saying:
“We’re pleased to be supporting Apple. We think Apple makes a huge contribution to the computer industry. We think it’s going to be a lot of fun helping out and we look forward to the feedback from all of you as we move forward doing more Macintosh software.”
Apple’s Microsoft deal and the return of Steve Jobs signaled a new era for the company and Steve Jobs managed to turn Apple around into the world’s largest company, surpassing Exxon Mobil in market value. Jobs’ introduction of the Apple iPod, iTunes and the iconic iPhone and iPad devices has seen Apple's stock surge from a $10 price 10 years ago to nearly $400 in 2011. Despite his incredible success, Jobs has been ill-fated with his personal health. In 2004 Jobs was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. The tumor was removed and Jobs appeared to be on the mend. Apple’s WDDC in 2006 saw Jobs take the stage appearing thin and gaunt but the company claimed his health was “robust”. Jobs health problems were the subject of intense debate in the following years and culminated in him stepping away from the day-to-day running of Apple in January 2009. Jobs admitted at the time that his health problems were “more complex” than he originally thought. He underwent a liver transplant several months later and returned to Apple full time. In January, Jobs announced he would be taking a medical leave of absence to focus on his health.
Job’s resignation as CEO and new position of chairman leaves him still heavily involved in the company he helped co found 35 years ago. Although Microsoft hasn’t issued an official statement on Steve Jobs’ resignation, some employees have shared their thoughts over Twitter. Microsoft’s Senior Director of Communications, Bill Cox, wished Jobs well. “Wishing the best to Steve Jobs – a true legend in the tech industry and beyond,” said Cox in a message on twitter. Stephen Toulouse, Director of Xbox LIVE Policy and Enforcement at Microsoft, also had kind words for Jobs. “I don’t have any snark for Steve Jobs resigning, mainly because I fear it’s due to health and he’s a true tech pioneer and visionary,” said Toulouse in a Twitter message.
Microsoft employees Jeff Johnson and Patrick Hevesi were in the middle of a Tech-Ed New Zealand demonstration when they used the New York Times website in a demonstration and saw the breaking news of Jobs resignation. The moment was met with laughter (see the video below) but they did wish Jobs well and hoped he was OK.