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Microsoft's Bill Gates Praises Apple's Steve Jobs For 'Saving the Company'

Thursday, 12 Nov 2009 | 6:36 PM ET

Microsoft's Bill Gates had some words of praise today for Steve Jobs, the CEO of arch-rival Apple, despite the blistering "Mac and PC" television ads that sharply, and humorously, criticize the new Windows 7 operating system.

Here's another highlight from today's taping of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates: Keeping America Great, a 90-minute CNBC Town Hall Event hosted by Becky Quick. It airs tonight (Thursday) on CNBC television at 9p and 12:30a ET.

David Matthews of Columbia Executive Business school had this question for Bill Gates:

Gates on Apple
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is asked about the job Steve Jobs has done as CEO of rival, Apple.

QUESTION: If you could just comment and tell us what your thoughts are on the job Steve Jobs has done as the CEO of Apple? (Audience laughs as Gates smiles.)

GATES: Well, he's done a fantastic job. Apple is in a bit of a different business where they make hardware and software together. But when Steve was coming back to Apple, which was actually through an acquisition of NeXT that he ran, Apple was in very tough shape.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

In fact, most likely it wasn't going to survive. And he brought in a team, he brought in inspiration about great products and design that's made Apple back into being an incredible force in doing good things. And it's great to have competitors like that. We write software for Apple, Microsoft does. They compete with Apple. But he, of all the leaders in the industry that I've worked with, he showed more inspiration and he saved the company.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates: Keeping America Great, a 90-minute CNBC Town Hall Event hosted by Becky Quick, airs tonight (Thursday) on CNBC television at 9p and 12:30a ET.

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